Today I am reviewing Gyokushodo’s Shinsui incense sticks.
These incense sticks came in Gyokushodo’s Dento no Kaori Incense Assortment along with many of their other iconic incenses.
This is a new formulation of Gyokushodo’s Shinsui incense. It is now made with Vietnamese Tani aloeswood. It is also mixed with Kiakou (also known as onycha), along with other traditional Japanese herbs and spices.
Main Ingredients: Aloeswood, kiakou (a fragrance made up of the operculum of a veined rapa whelk), clove, benzoin, and borneo camphor, patchouli, reiryo koh (Lysimachiae-herba)
Burn Time: approx. 30 min.
This incense smells strange to me. I’m sure it’s the onycha, which I have always thought smelled very peculiar. It sort of smells oceanic, but also sort of like, well, a living sea animal.
The aloeswood is nice. It is probably medium quality, or perhaps a bit less, but it is a bitter variety, which is usually preferred by most people. The warmth of the patchouli is noticeable, as is the herbacous spiciness of the reiryo koh, but they are not the up-front scents. The spices, such as the clove, aren’t very noticeable.
Onycha is a traditional ingredient, but it’s not one of my favorites.
While I did enjoy burning this, I am not a huge fan of onycha (although a lot of people are), and I would probably have personally preferred it without that ingredient.
Hope you enjoyed my review!