Today I am going to be reviewing Shoyeido Five Clouds incense sticks.
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Five Clouds Incense Packaging
So, this particular incense I received came in their ‘Premium Incense Assortment’ sampler pack, which I purchased along with some other of their products.
The sampler pack contained the following incense sticks:
- King’s Aroma (Ohjya-koh)
- Pride of Kyoto (Kyo-jiman)
- Beckoning Spring (Shun-yo)
- Gentle Smile (Misho)
- Southern Wind (Nan-kun)
- Refinement (Ga-ho)
- Infinity (Myo-ho)
- Translucent Path (Sho-kaku)
These incense sticks are marketed as ‘All Natural’ and are said to contain no synthetic oils or fragrances. A lot of people are picky about the quality of incense they burn, and you should be too. Remember that you are inhaling whatever incense you are burning, so it’s important that it is non-toxic.
The product description says:
Five Clouds’ stirring fragrance of fine agarwood inspires thought and invigorates spirit.
The fragrance profile supposedly consists of primarily kyara, agarwood, and sandalwood.
The Chinese have a saying which says that one needs to accumulate 3 lifetimes of good virtue before encountering true kynam (kyara), and 8 lifetimes of good virtue to be able to use and appreciate it.
Five Clouds Incense Review
This agarwood incense is quite nice.
It’s not the ‘electric blue’ kind of scent like their Translucent Path kyara incense sticks. Instead, it is a slightly warmer scent. The sandalwood and spices seem to cloud the bitterness of the agarwood, but not in a sweet or cloying way. Some sour notes are detectable as well. It seems fairly well balanced.
It has a sort of airy tranquility to it and certainly has introspective qualities.
Unfortunately, I really don’t think there is a lot of kyara in this particular incense blend. You can smell a bit of it’s deep composure, but it’s not particularly upfront.
The agarwood seems mid-grade to me, as it has an inherent sour quality at times. The way they blended this incense seems as though they tried enhance the smell of the mid-grade agarwood. It’s really quite nice, and I would love to burn this again, but honestly, there are other agarwood blends I enjoy more.
I would rate these a 8/10.
These smell lovely and you can pick up many distinct notes throughout the incense.
The addition of sandalwood provides some warming notes which many would find pleasant.
However, in my opinion, there are better agarwood incense sticks, including such from Shoyeido, such as their Infinity incense sticks.
Shoyeido Company History
Shoyeido has been around for over 300 years and is one of the more prominent Japanese incense manufacturers and exporters. The founder of the company was Rokubei Moritsune Hata, who was an employee in Kyoto’s Imperial Palace in the 18th century. The history of Shoyeido has now spanned over twelve generations.
Due to Shoyeido’s company history, they are considered to be an accurate representation of Japanese incense. If you haven’t really tried much Japanese incense, then Shoyeido is probably one of the better brands to start with.
It’s typical for Japanese incense manufacturers to use nature as inspiration for their creations. Many Japanese incense creations are forged from the memory of fragrances experienced in past-times. This leads Japanese incense to be quite different from the other various forms.
Kyoto, the city where Shoyeido is located, is essentially a cultural center for Japan. Traditional goods, arts, and practices are kept alive in this city. An interesting fact about Kyoto is that it was almost a target for an atomic bomb during World War 2. However, the US Secretary of State at the time, Henry Lewis Stimson, personally intervened to save Kyoto from destruction.
I hope you found this information beneficial.