10 Virtues of Incense

Incense is the most democratic of all scent enjoyments, writes Kiyoko Morita in her short but comprehensive work titled The Book of Incense: Enjoying the Traditional Art of Japanese Scents. While distilling roses or gathering ambergris was as expensive in antiquity as it is now, blending spices and aromatic woods was much more accessible even to those with small budgets. Certainly, incense made with the finest grades of agarwood can cost its weight in gold, but even the inexpensive varieties are excellent and comparable to the best perfumes in terms of complexity, elegance and balance.

incense-cat1

Although incense for most European and American scent lovers is associated with the heavy sweetness of Indian nag champa, the world of combustible aromatics and their artisans is vast and diverse. My personal favorites come from Japan, and instead of sweetness, they place their accents on licorice and moss like notes. Sandalwood or various types of cedar provide the woody backdrop, and the rest is up to the blender’s imagination and your tastes. You can find Japanese incense with floral motifs, intertwining violets with woods, or edging towards mellow spices and ambers. Shoyeido is one of the most readily accessible Japanese brands in the US, and their website offers lots of choice (Autumn Leaves is especially recommended).

You can burn incense at any time of day. Japanese incense comes in sticks, cones or pellets, and the latter are especially convenient for perfuming the linen closet–just place a few unburned pieces of incense in a sachet and stick it among your clothes. Alternatively, hold your scarf or sweater over the incense smoke to create a lingering but soft sillage.

These are all quite practical uses, of course. According to a 16th century Zen Buddhist monks, incense has also other more profound virtues:

1. It brings communication with the transcendent.
2. It purifies mind and body.
3. It removes uncleanliness.
4. It keeps one alert.
5. It can be a companion in the midst of solitude.
6. In the midst of busy affairs, it brings a moment of peace.
7. When it is plentiful, one never tires of it.
8. When there is little, one is satisfied.
9. Age does not change its efficacy.
10. Used everyday, it does no harm (Morita, p 104.)

Does this sound like an excellent reason to keep some incense on hand?

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Which incense do you like? How do you use it?

Enjoyed this? Get blog posts via email:

Or, stay updated via:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS

91 Comments

  • Cornelia Blimber: There was a lot of incense in the catholic church, years ago. I loved the mass with incense and the Latin liturgy. All gone.
    I have some incense sticks from the Dutch brand Mother of Earth, ”Sandalwood” and “White Rose”. I don’t burn it that much. I like the incense in my perfume ”Bois d’Encens” better. November 14, 2016 at 7:55am Reply

    • Phyllis Iervello: Cornelia, I used to love those Catholic Church incense as well. November 14, 2016 at 10:24am Reply

      • Maureen: Me, too! I loved the incense in the Catholic Church. I still do, and they still use it during funeral services (which is pretty much the only time I go anymore). November 14, 2016 at 2:59pm Reply

        • Victoria: It’s not used during the mass? November 15, 2016 at 3:28am Reply

          • Cornelia Blimber: Not in the Netherlands. Maybe elsewhere. November 15, 2016 at 3:47am Reply

          • Alicia: It is still used in solemn occasions to incense the altar. At Easter, during the Solemn Mass of the Resurrection the main naves of the church are incensed in the Roman Rite. I understand that the Orthodox Church uses incense more often. (I have seen this in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Peru, Spain and Portugal). November 15, 2016 at 4:30am Reply

            • Cornelia Blimber: That kind of Roman Rite is abolished in Amsterdam and to my knowledge in the rest of the Netherlands. No incense, no Latin. Never.
              Only fire somewhere (Easter) and candles. November 15, 2016 at 6:08am Reply

              • Cornelia Blimber: Now that I think of it…some years ago I was in the Obrechtkerk in Amsterdam, and we (and the priest) sang the Latin Mass. But there was no incense.

                It is a pity that the Latin liturgy is abolished in most of the churches. The Latin Mass is so beautiful! November 15, 2016 at 6:19am Reply

                • Alicia: In Berkeley CA we have several choices of Masses in Latin, the Novus Ordo in Latin and the Trinitarian Mass, but in both incense is only used in solemnities. Here, in Upstate NY only Novus Ordo in the vernacular, but still incense at solemnities. In my prayer group in Berkeley sometimes I was asked to lead the rosary in Latin. November 15, 2016 at 1:06pm Reply

                  • Cornelia Blimber: I see. Well, it is different in different countries.

                    When I was in the church choir, some years ago, in Amsterdam, there was sometimes Latin, but never incense.
                    I was asked at the time to sing the soprano solo solo, in a Mozart or Schubert Mass for a wedding. And a beautiful old Italian aria ”Vergin tutto Amor”. November 15, 2016 at 1:29pm Reply

                • Victoria: I also love the Latin Mass.

                  Armenian and Georgian Orthodox masses are gorgeous. I don’t know what it is about Georgian specifically, but it moves it far more than any other mass. November 16, 2016 at 1:41pm Reply

            • Michaela: Yes, the Orthodox Church uses incense very often, actually every time, from daily service to weddings or funerals. Usually a priest makes a tour of the church, several times during any ceremony, with burning incense, a mix of frankincense and myrrh, an unmistakable perfume. Part of the solemnity. November 15, 2016 at 7:22am Reply

            • Victoria: Yes, it does. Some priests go so heavy on incense that the whole church fills with smoke! November 16, 2016 at 1:39pm Reply

          • Maria: It is still used in Latin America, during the Holy Week rituals. Recently, I was really surprised to find this same smell when I tried l’Eau Sento from Iunx. Even if this eau de toilette is sold as a japanese reminiscent, for me, it smell like the little church in an Andian village where my grandparents lived. It was like Proust’s “madeleine” for me. For the same reason, I found it very difficult to wear. November 15, 2016 at 11:26am Reply

            • Alicia: That has been exactly my experience in Latin America. November 15, 2016 at 2:08pm Reply

              • Maria: A potent olfactory experience! 😉 November 15, 2016 at 4:48pm Reply

            • Victoria: I think I know L’Eau Sento and years ago when there was a large IUNX boutique in Paris, I remember liking the matching candle. I also could never wear the perfume itself, although it was evocative. November 16, 2016 at 1:35pm Reply

    • Victoria: I also love incense at the church services. Well, if you go to the Orthodox church, they still use it in large quantities and you can even buy incense there. I have a collection of incense from many churches I visited during my stay in Ukraine, although I suspect that very few actually make it themselves. November 15, 2016 at 3:10am Reply

  • Sandra: I love nag champa, and during Puja’s there is an incense for green tara that has a very strong smell that I love. I would love to try some Japanese ones, there has to be a store that sells some in NYC..

    I am wearing Dzonghka today, I smell peaceful , or at least, promoting peace! November 14, 2016 at 8:26am Reply

    • Victoria: You smell wonderful! 🙂

      I also like nag champa, and there are many different varieties of that. In NYC, there are lots of Japanese stores, and they sell a few different brands. Shoyeido has its own website based in the US. November 15, 2016 at 3:12am Reply

      • Sandra: do you wear perfumes with an incense note? What are you favs? November 15, 2016 at 8:06am Reply

        • Victoria: I like perfumes where incense is one of the supporting players, rather than the star, although L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer, Comme des Garcons Avignon, Tom Ford Sahara Noir and Armani Bois d’Encens are as good as incense gets. But the top favorite must still be Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant. November 16, 2016 at 1:38pm Reply

          • Sandra: Thanks, I will have to sniff those out!
            My favorite is Dzonghka, though some days I get more iris then incense and some days I get more whisky then incense. November 17, 2016 at 9:39am Reply

            • Victoria: I also get a woody, rooty note similar to iris. November 17, 2016 at 1:49pm Reply

  • Hamamelis: Great article, and I think the 10 virtues (almost) all apply to perfume in equal measure! If I use incense I burn resin on charcoal.

    My two favourite incense perfumes are Dzonghka, Encens Flamboyant and my current favourite April Aromatic’s Calling all Angels which has a very beautiful honey note. November 14, 2016 at 10:06am Reply

    • Victoria: I do too, except that I don’t have a gas stove, and an electric range makes heating the coal up difficult.

      Apart from April Aromatics, I have tried all others, and I like them very much. November 15, 2016 at 3:15am Reply

    • mayfly: Hello, my ears always prick up when u mention perfumes I haven’t tried, as our perfume tastes are so similar!
      I’m really enjoying my new bottle of Dzonka, it is so perfect in the autumn, with the damp leaves and wood smoke in the air. I will sniff out these other two u mention as well. November 15, 2016 at 9:13am Reply

      • Hamamelis: Encens Flamboyant is by Annick Goutal, the April Aromatics one is my top favourite, but it isn’t cheap! A sample goes a long way though. November 15, 2016 at 9:35am Reply

        • mayfly: Thank u, I will hunt them out. November 15, 2016 at 2:24pm Reply

          • Hamamelis: Let me know if your hunt is not succesfull, then I will make samples when time permits! November 15, 2016 at 2:30pm Reply

            • mayfly: Thank you, that is so kind x November 16, 2016 at 5:54am Reply

      • Hamamelis: Short addition: I am wearing Yves Rocher’s Accord Chic today (from their Secrets d’Essences line) and it is such an easy beautiful incense iris, and…cheap. It is reminiscent of YSL Nu, which I have, but there is a note in there which after some time gets a bit on my nerves. Accord Chic behaves the whole way!
        In the Netherlands they sell a pursespray 10 ml for 10 euro’s but they also have 30 ml.
        Hope you are well! Let me know if I can help out with samples, it is just I am too busy (except for time out on BdJ and NST)… November 15, 2016 at 9:49am Reply

        • mayfly: The yves Rocher sounds gorgeous, I will definitely try and find some! November 15, 2016 at 2:25pm Reply

  • Amanda: My favorite incense is pure Turkish storax, which I buy from Hévéa. It is burnt by sprinkling it on top of charcoal in a lovely little Japanese cast-iron burner that I have. November 14, 2016 at 10:26am Reply

    • Victoria: I agree, it’s great. Benzoin is another great resin to burn as incense. November 15, 2016 at 3:16am Reply

  • Gina Tabasso: I have tons of incense fragrances! November 14, 2016 at 11:03am Reply

    • Victoria: Which are your favorites? November 15, 2016 at 3:16am Reply

      • Gina Tabasso: Oh, to choose! I like the drier rather than the sweeter. I enjoy Annick Goutal’s Myrrhe Ardente but LOVE Encese Flamboyant. I like Heeley’s Cardinal but I LOVE Kilian’s Incense Oud. LOVE LOVE Rebel & Mercury’s Encense. Like Regina Harris Amber Vanilla and Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles for a different spin on incense. Tauer is a master: Incense Flash, Lonestar Memories and LDDM. November 15, 2016 at 8:02am Reply

        • Victoria: What a fun list! Thank you for sharing. November 16, 2016 at 1:38pm Reply

  • Portia: Hey Victoria,
    Have you tried the Korean incense? I find them a little more engaging and sweeter (though sweeter is not exactly the word I want to use here) and smells/feels more luxe to me.
    There is something profound in the scent on the breeze in the mountain temples there.
    Portia xx November 14, 2016 at 11:09am Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t. When I was in Korea, I had no luck finding a decent local maker, but I’m sure I simply didn’t know where to look. November 15, 2016 at 3:17am Reply

  • Kitty Van Halen: I love Triloka Ayurvedic incense in Pitta (fire). It smells very pure, unlike some of the more affordable incense brands that just smell like smoke with a little bit of fragrance. I also like burning resins on charcoal tablets, although it usually ends filling the entire house and setting off the fire alarms. There was a great brand that I wish I could remember that had sticks of incense with actual bits of resin on the frankincense ones. It smelled identical to the incense they burn in the censer at church. If anyone knows what I’m talking about, please tell me! All I can recall is that the label is blue. They don’t sell it anywhere that I know of where I live now. 🙁 November 14, 2016 at 11:21am Reply

    • Kitty Van Halen: Just answered my own question after digging online: Fred Soll’s. They burn for a ridiculously long time, are super strong, but the best alternative to burning straight resin there is. Their sandalwood is good too, but the frankincense is my favorite. November 14, 2016 at 11:27am Reply

      • Victoria: I’ll have to look for these. Thank you! November 15, 2016 at 3:19am Reply

    • Amalia: Try to ask from a Greek orthodox church if you have in your city. I think they will give you some resin to try out. They are like pearls, teardrops. Big hugs from Greece! November 15, 2016 at 3:00am Reply

    • Victoria: Sounds very good! Apart from the fire alarm part. 🙂 I try to make sure I don’t burn too much of the pure incense in one go. Japanese incense sticks, however, produce little smoke, which is another reason I like them. November 15, 2016 at 3:19am Reply

  • Marsi: My favorite “splurge” incense is anything by Mariage Freres, especially Thé de Lune. Pretty hard for me to obtain outside of Paris though.

    In San Francisco, I stock up at Kohshi, which sells almost nothing but incense. They have a lovely shop in the Japan Center. Here is their website for ordering:

    http://www.japanincense.com/?viewfullsite=1

    My favorites to buy at Kohshi are both by Daihatsu: Violet Tanka and Tokusen Tanka, the latter of which was recommended to me by the owner when I told him I love the opulent, rich scents of French perfumes by Guerlain and Chanel. He said the Tokusen Tanka was designed to evoke the complexity and richness of French perfumes.

    Another one I particularly love for its unusual notes is Rice Shower by Fragrance Memories. It is Japanese as well and features rose petal, white lily, and champagne. It is gorgeously powdery, like Love, Chloe. Such a different and unusual scent for incense.

    I prefer incense to scented candles. You can get really high quality sticks for not much money — and with three kitties in the house, I never worry about tails or whiskers on fire. 😻 November 14, 2016 at 11:42am Reply

    • Victoria: I thought that Aedes carried Mariage Freres incense and candles. I bought The de Lune for a friend and apparently made her addicted to it.

      Thank you for the extra recommendations and your link. November 15, 2016 at 3:20am Reply

  • Marsi: Oh, and for Mother’s Day this year, my son and husband gave me an incense burner from Astier de Villette. Ridiculously extravagant — and yet I use it every day, so it was actually a sensible, luxurious gift. November 14, 2016 at 11:44am Reply

    • Victoria: A perfect gift, I say! 🙂 November 15, 2016 at 3:21am Reply

  • epapsiou: I have just started down this path. Any recommendations would be nice.
    I am going off this now:
    https://olfactoryrescueservice.wordpress.com/indian-durbarchampa-hall-of-fame/
    https://olfactoryrescueservice.wordpress.com/hall-of-fame/ November 14, 2016 at 11:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Those are impressive lists. I don’t know brands all that well when it comes to Indian incense. November 15, 2016 at 3:22am Reply

  • Annie O: For those looking for divine incense, I so so recommend ‘Mermade’ Magical Arts Sacred Smoke Incense. Her scents are amazing, and she is very mindful of sourcing ingredients from reputable, and sustainable farmers/gatherers from around the world.
    Shoyeido is elegant and even ‘intellectual’ if that can be said. But Magical Arts gives you something earthy and essential that makes you feel you are receiving gifts from the Goddess. I don’t know how else to say it. Good stuff! November 14, 2016 at 11:51am Reply

    • Victoria: Will have to try it for sure. November 15, 2016 at 3:22am Reply

  • spe: Burning incense had two purposes when I was growing up – to cover up other smells (the skanky stuff) and the transcendent, liturgical purpose at mass (the good stuff). Although I can appreciate in theory how lovely these scents are that you are all describing, I have no inclination to burn incense at home. Even if I wished to do so, I cannot set foot in those shops that sell it / burn it. I get ill from the suffocating environment. Nu is the one incense fragrance I wore – many years ago. Lots of compliments on that one! November 14, 2016 at 1:19pm Reply

    • Victoria: Incense, like perfume, differs tremendously from one variety to another, and Japanese incense is quite subtle. November 15, 2016 at 3:26am Reply

  • Alicia: I love incense in Kyoto and other perfumes, As for burning it, I am nervous. Twice I fainted in church after the priest incensed it; once when I was a child, and the second time not long ago. It might depend on what is burned, since in a Carmelite chapel i went last year the incense, which smelled also of roses, did not affect me at all, and I loved it. Just as a precaution I burn sandalwood at home. Always a delight. November 14, 2016 at 1:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: I have sandalwood chips I got from a Japanese store for burning, but they’re so fragrant that I use them to perfume my sweaters. November 15, 2016 at 3:27am Reply

  • Nemo: I am not in the habit of burning incense, but I am sorely tempted to try now that I know I can have a super adorable cat incense holder 🙂 November 14, 2016 at 9:51pm Reply

    • Victoria: Incense burners are a big plus, and the Japan ones come in a large variety. 🙂 November 15, 2016 at 3:29am Reply

  • Amalia: Every time I use the censer and burn church incense, the house comes in another level. My husband after my recommendation,loves Bois d’Encens. November 15, 2016 at 2:19am Reply

    • Victoria: I also love Bois d’Encens. One of the best incense perfumes. November 15, 2016 at 3:30am Reply

  • Alicia: Yes, Victoria, that is what I burn, sandalwood chips. I shall imitate you and put them to perfume my sweaters. At the moment I am putting among them the soaps of Sandal of Mysore. Thank you for the idea. Tonight I am wearing Samsara. My love of sandal is endless. November 15, 2016 at 4:18am Reply

    • Notturno7: Dear Alice, thanks for Samsara reminder. I haven’t used my little extrait in 2-3 years. Good timing!

      I wonder if Bois D’Encens is similar to new Vert D’Encens. I’ve tried only the latter and it’s lovely. November 15, 2016 at 4:44am Reply

      • Alicia: Dear Notturno, I have tried Bois d’ Encens a couple of years ago, and if I recall well, I liked it. Never tried Vert d’Encens. You already know how fond I am of Narcisse Noir. Chanel #22 is one of my warm weather staples. This summer I finished a bottle (or perhaps 10 ml are left). At the moment I am wearing mostly woods (Bois des Isles, Samsara, Feminité du Bois) and a couple of ambers (Eau des Merveilles, and Tauer, L’Air du Désert Marrocain). For roses, Paestum Rose, and La Fille de Berlin. After Thanksgiving I’ll start with leathers, although I have already done my incursions through Bottega Veneta, Knize 10, and beloved Bandit. Different Amouages are providing the exotic journeys. This is the delight of fragrances: no time for boredom. November 15, 2016 at 12:52pm Reply

        • Notturno7: I just realized I didn’t reply, dear Alicia.
          I love your list!
          Especially Bois des Iles, La Fille and Narcisse Noir……
          I haven’t tried Bandit yet, except sniffing it on a paper at the store and it seemed so intense that I didn’t get it. I know it must be amazing and such a classic, that it deserves another try.
          Did you like it right away or did it take time?

          Lately, I’ve been living in N Noir and Nuit de Noel, both vintage Extraits. In this cold weather they are so amazing and I’m absolutely hooked.
          Narcisse is like a dream come true to me. I’m so into it that it feels like a signature perfume for me this winter. 💖

          Victoria, your reviews are a delight. ❤️
          I just ordered vintage Bellodgia extrait,
          a blind purchase, just cause your writing is amazing and I love carnation and vintage perfumes. And I got a discount, so how could I resist!!
          I can’t wait for the package to arrive.
          I hope one day we will be able to order your book with all these amazing reviews . 😍 November 29, 2016 at 4:37am Reply

          • Alicia: Notturno dear, I first smelled Bandit on my mother, as I did Narcisse Noir and Tabac Blond. I suspect that I learned to love all of them since I was a child. Bandit is powerful indeed, a have to like leathers, which I do, very much. Just try a bit on your wrist, and see how it goes. If itt is too strong for you, I suggest Chanel, Cuir de Russie. Those two, plus Knize 10 are my favorite leathers. I wear Bandit nearly exclusively in the evening; the other two practically at all hours for my own pleasure, in the classroom, and even for church. Bottega Veneta is my casual leather. Still, for Thanksgiving I wore something quite different: Vol de Nuit. November 29, 2016 at 5:33am Reply

            • Notturno7: 😍💖🌸 Oh, what a delight that must have been.
              Growing up with Tabac Blonde, Bandit and N Noir, all vintage!!
              Lucky you, dear Alicia. Your mom had a great taste in perfumes. Vintage Tabac Blanc is legendary!
              If I had lived in your neighborhood as a child, I would have followed your mom around like a happy puppy.
              Yes, I already love Cuir de Russie. I’m used to my EDT but this fall I got the extrait and it’s different and darker with a more pronounced smoky note.
              I’m looking forward to finding Bandit and Knize 10 sample and developing my taste for stronger leather.

              My bottle of vintage Bellodgia arrived today with vintage Joy, both Extraits and both with stuck stoppers!!!
              Now I have 3 vintage bottles I can’t open.
              I tried cooling the stopper with an ice pack for 10 min while holding the rest of the bottle wrapped up in a cloth, and I tried the freezer alternative for 6-7 min because I was afraid to freeze the juice, but it’s still stuck and I can see the dried perfume around the edge.
              I will buy some alcohol and try to open it up by soaking as a next step.
              Hope it works 😐
              Ah, the complicated and exciting world of vintage treasures💖. December 2, 2016 at 5:37am Reply

    • Sandra: I love Samsara, my peaceful sandalwood bliss perfume November 15, 2016 at 6:56am Reply

    • Victoria: You smell like a goddess. 🙂 November 16, 2016 at 1:38pm Reply

  • Notturno7: I can’t burn incense because my husband is allergic to most scents. We sometimes burn sage to clear the energy in the room.
    But I get my dose of incense from vintage Narcisse Noir extrait and No 22 in the dry down and I’m not complaining 😘 November 15, 2016 at 4:39am Reply

    • Victoria: I do like the smell of burning sage. A college roommate used to do that. November 16, 2016 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Aurora: I discovered Shoyeido thanks to you, Victoria. Also, do you know the Indian brand Maroma d’Auroville? I find their incense of good quality. November 15, 2016 at 6:53am Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t, so I need to see if it’s sold around here. November 16, 2016 at 1:41pm Reply

  • Inma: Incense in catholic churches at special ocassions, mainly at Easter, here in Sevilla (Spain) is one of your main olfactory experiences when you live here.

    At Easter, I love the mixture, the blend, in churches and in the street, of the smell of incense and flowers. Streets are full of the smell of orange blossons. And we celebrate the Easter taking out “Pasos”. They are sculptures with a religious content (sorry for such a simple description). These “pasos” are full of flowers and surrounded by incense. And the orange trees in the streets.

    It is a moving experience in all senses, also, at the olfactory level. November 15, 2016 at 7:56am Reply

    • mayfly: This experience sounds wonderful, it is one of my dreams to visit Seville in the spring time!
      How does the perfume Seville a l’aube compare to the reality? Unfortunately I don’t smell the incense in it, but love the perfume nevertheless. November 15, 2016 at 9:24am Reply

      • Inma: I’ve only read about it, I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet.
        You’ll have to come and explore the differences by yourself! November 16, 2016 at 6:37am Reply

    • Karen A: One of my favorite memories of Spain was a carriage ride in Seville when the orange trees were blessing. Leaned my head back and just breathed it in. Beautiful city! November 15, 2016 at 5:51pm Reply

      • mayfly: What a gorgeous memory! November 16, 2016 at 5:56am Reply

      • Notturno7: What a lovely memory! November 29, 2016 at 4:15am Reply

    • Victoria: I so enjoyed reading this comment and imagining all of the scents! November 16, 2016 at 1:42pm Reply

  • Terry: Thank you, Kitty Van Halen, for sending me in the direction of “Fred Soll’s”! And thank you, Victoria, for engaging us with your lovely writing and thoughts. Every time I visit, I am inspired to try something new by everyone… November 15, 2016 at 8:17am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for such nice words, Terry. 🙂 November 16, 2016 at 1:36pm Reply

  • mayfly: I bought the ‘Autumn’ incense from Santa Maria Novella from the Rome shop, as a reminder of a wonderful break last month.
    The incense is made for SMN in Japan by Buddhist monks , it really is lovely, and smells very autumny! November 15, 2016 at 9:28am Reply

    • Victoria: Another incense on my to try list. Thank you! November 16, 2016 at 1:36pm Reply

  • Tati: One of my favorite smells is burning papier d’armenie. Aromatic but not overwhelming.

    For incense perfume it is Passage d’Enfer. The lily sweetens the smoke just enough. November 16, 2016 at 2:42am Reply

    • Victoria: I’m off to burn some papier d’Armenie. You’ve reminded me how much I like it. November 16, 2016 at 1:34pm Reply

  • Liz: I haven’t even thought about burning incense for years and now I’m excited to find that shoyeido is available on Amazon (free shipping with prime!). I’m getting the sampler pack and Autumn Leaves.

    Many years ago I used to have copal resin that I would burn on a charcoal and it was beautiful. November 18, 2016 at 9:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Enjoy it! It’s such a delicious scent, and the sticks don’t smoke as they burn. November 18, 2016 at 9:36am Reply

  • Em: I adore incense, though I’ve moved very far indeed from the spiritual significance it had for me when I was a child. Nowadays it’s a worldly, sensuous luxury for me.

    I burn pinon resin on charcoal rounds held in an Indian brass incense burner. Same with my small collection of frankincense, myrhh and sandalwood, though I have far fewer of these. Big chunks of pinon resin provide my main household perfume during the winter months.

    Two of my favorite incense perfumes are Samsara and Timbuktu. I wear them often in winter and fall. Will have to try some of these other incense perfumes! November 23, 2016 at 2:24am Reply

  • Charles: Recently at L’Officine universelle Buly, I smelled one of their scented candles. The scent was quite heady and reminded me of some long-ago Catholic or Orthodox church filled with incense. It was quite something–and nothing that I would ever think to scent my home with–weeks later, though, I still think about it. November 27, 2016 at 1:06am Reply

What do you think?

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Joseph in Postcard from Paris: “Well. Now I really do have the vapors.” August 21, 2017 at 9:50pm

  • Surbhi in Recommend Me a Perfume : August 2017: I just saw a new packaging of la fille de Berlin. Does anyone know if it’s a repackaging or re formulation. August 21, 2017 at 9:50pm

  • ClareObscure in Postcard from Paris: Caption: the gentleman says, “I certainly did not expect ‘the swoon effect’ to happen that quickly. Messieur Guerlain did say his new perfume could be hypnotique.” August 21, 2017 at 9:14pm

  • ClareObscure in Postcard from Paris: I loved the Sophie Dahl redhead nude for YSL’s Opium. Thanks for mentioning this book. I will try to order it. August 21, 2017 at 9:01pm

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2017 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved.