The Rikkoku Gomi translates to “Six Countries of Agarwood” and “Five Tastes” is the traditional Japanese way of classifying agarwood.
The Six Countries of Agarwood
- Kyara – A solemn and complex scent, usually accompanied by bitterness.
- Rakoku – A sharp scent, which smells sort of like a deeper and wetter sandalwood.
- Manaka – A unique scent. Light and airy in nature. None of the five elements are easily detectable in this type of agarwood.
- Manaban – A sweet scent. Manaban typically has quite a bit of oil.
- Sumotara – An initially sour scent, but it tends to alternate between sour and bitter. Sometimes mistaken for Kyara.
- Sasora – A cooling, slightly sour scent. Quality and scent can vary quite a bit on this one.
The Five Tastes of Agarwood
- Sweet – Has a sweet smell, reminding one of honey.
- Sour – Has a sour and acidic smell, reminding one of dark fruit.
- Hot – Has a warming vibe, reminding one of heat, or the color orange.
- Salty – Has a salty, oceanic scent, reminding one of ocean water and a cool wind.
- Bitter – Has a bitter scent. This is the scent which your typical Vietnamese agarwood will have.