April 07, 2019

Listening to Baieido Tokusen Kunsho 薫昇

As a child, my grandmother was a great source of security for me. Warm, loving, and supportive, she was always one to sing my praises and lift me up when I was down. In her eyes, I was always on the rise and capable of great things. With Kunsho, Baieido has created a fragrance that, like the support of a loving grandmother, provides a secure base from which to uplift the spirit.

Baieido describes Kunsho as a "gem with plenty of natural flavors. A soothing scented incense that combines premium Cambodian Aloeswood and Indian Sandalwood with traditional natural spices." Meaning to send forth fragrance (kun 薫), and rise up (sho 昇), Baieido's Tokusen (premium) Kunsho is indeed a superb blend of premium Cambodian Aloeswood and spices that exemplifies the magnificent rising scent it is named for.

Kunsho's stick note is gracious, uplifting, and delicious. It is warm, slightly sweet, with an amazingly welcoming beauty that pleasantly relaxes the spirit. Notes of clove mixed with an almost molasses like semi-sweet and salty woody tone of Cambodian Aloeswood produce an absolutely delightful experience. Enjoy the moment, and let Kunsho's soft fragrance bring peace and calm to your spirit. Breath in, know you are breathing in a peaceful fragrance. Breath out, smile at Kunsho's warmth and beauty.

Alight, Kunsho is delightfully subdued. The semi-sweet tones of the stick give way to a deeply quiet, earthy note of its premium Cambodian Aloeswood. The semi-sweetness of the stick shifts to a subtle tangy saltiness, which is firmly and subtly grounded in a way that suggests both security and freedom. In many ways, Kunsho reminds me of Kaiunkoh's bold rich, spicy, earthiness - with a discreet feminine presentation. Where Kaiunkoh is like a supportive wise old uncle demanding the attention of the senses, Kunsho is like a loving grandmother, content to reassure, encourage and uplift one's spirit. Where Kaiunkoh is stern, protective, and agile - certain to make the little kids sit up straight, Kunsho is cheerful, comforting, and encouraging - certain to make the little kids feel loved and supported. Kunsho simply smiles upon you, lifting the spirit gently and easily. This is a subtle incense that just feels good, providing the loving security from which the spirit may soar.

The after note produces a brief and surprisingly sweet, almost perfume like bouquet. Quickly fleeting, a subtle decadent note akin to fruity milk chocolate sparks a memory of being surprised as a child with an unexpected dessert after dinner. The earthy semi-sweet and salty Cambodian Aloeswood persists as a wonderful undertone throughout, and continues to make its presence known long after the sweeter notes quickly fade away.

Kunsho would be a superb base from which to practice mindfulness or contemplate loving kindness. The subtle but long lasting Aloeswood fragrance makes Kunsho also a great choice for scenting a space. No matter the purpose, Kunsho provides a delightful experience, unique in its ability to encourage the senses and uplift the spirit.

Kunsho is available here at Kikoh.

Beneath the sun of summer
Warmth encouraging wings to unfold
Uplifted, the spirit soars to the heavens.