January 04, 2020

Listening to Baieido Toyotomi Hideyoshi 豊臣 秀吉

Born a commoner, Toyotomi Hideyoshi would rise to the highest position of Imperial nobility, Imperial Regent, and usher in changes in Japanese culture that would remain in existence for hundreds of years. By stratifying the class system, barring commoners from owning weapons and Samurai from farming, Toyotomi Hideyoshi would eliminate the pathway from which he rose to prominence while imposing a foundation upon which unification of Japan could survive.

In Baieido's new Samurai series honoring the three "Great Unifiers" of Japan, the Incense of Toyotomi Hideyoshi is the second of this new series. Baieido's superb new golden label aloeswood blends transcends more than just fragrance, honoring the man who transcended his humble beginning to rise to be the second Great Unifier of Japan.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi's stick note brings to mind one of Baieido's premium line incenses, with similarities to Kohen's stick. There are rich, earthy notes with a slightly sweet licorice overtone and a very pleasant aloeswood note. Overall, the stick is reserved and only hints at the fragrance to come.

Once lit, Toyotomi Hideyoshi is almost transparent, slightly sweet, and camphor cool, like a passing breeze foretelling winter's ending. One of the great aspects of Toyotomi Hideyoshi is that the fragrance was present, but distant and alluring. The longer the burn progresses, the more open and enveloping the fragrance became, with the sweet aloeswood notes riding the cool breeze softly in the background. Almost magically, as the stick is consumed the sweetness fades to almost the feeling of a found memory experienced in with one's mind rather than a scent experienced through the senses. The overall feeling of expansiveness is quite impressive, as Baieido's Toyotomi Hideyoshi pleasantly allows the mind to open beyond the body's awareness. I found I could drift calmly within this fragrance with ease and comfort, as thought life was a dream I was experiencing as an observer.

Toyotomi Hideyoshi's after-note sees the sweetness of the burn diminish and nearly vanish. There is a pleasant salty aloeswood note dominating the after-note that is low, unobtrusive, and very pleasant - like savory after a sweet. This is a very pleasant fragrance to return to after leaving the room for even a short amount of time. The long lasting soft aloeswood note that remains just below awareness is both transparent and impressively decadent. 

Without a doubt, Baieido's Incense of Toyotomi Hideyoshi would make a perfect companion to meditation and mindfulness practices, as its expansive qualities are truly remarkable. This is a fragrance that blends with existence, and provides a transcendent landscape that is easy to drift within as one opens the mind.

A door opens
Lost within the dream
My mind drifts with ease above awareness.

View the entire line of Baieido Samurai Series of fragrances!

Incense review: Listening to Oda Nobunaga

Incense review: Listening to Tokugawa Ieyasu