September 14, 2023

Listening to Daihatsu Tokusen Jinko

Too often our daily lives can be devoid of simple pleasures. We deprive ourselves of the things that excite us, reserving them for those special occasions that only happen when we set aside time outside our daily routine. Desert is for the weekend after a fancy diner. Cake happens on birthdays. Rare aloeswood for kōdō. That is why daily aloeswood incenses are a treat. Aloeswood itself is rare and special, and as such, generally is reserved for connoisseur fragrances relegated to special occasions. With Tokusen Jinko Daihatsu breaks this mold, giving us a luxurious aloeswood fragrance intended for daily use.

A rare select aloeswood in a mainichikoh form, Daihatsu Tokusen Jinko is a wonderful addition to daily rotation. Daihatsu describes Tokusen Jinko as "The scent of ancient Japanese incense culture, Daihatsu's Tokusen Jinko is a gem of aloeswood that was produced in small quantities for the solemn main hall of a temple. With a full, rich, pleasantly salty fragrance and a dry aftertaste, Tokusen Jinko is patterned on the solemn scent of luxurious aloeswood heard at temples." With a lovely salty-earthy fragrance and a deep sense of tranquility, Tokusen Jinko is an unusually satisfying daily incense.

Tokusen Jinko's stick note is warm, salty, and richly earthy. Underneath this top-note combination there is a lovely creaminess with a slight sweetness that tempers Tokusen Jinko's sharp top note, making it softer and delicious. Notes of turpentine, aged wood, and leather bubble beneath it all, creating a aged sort of wisdom that feels alive and full of potential.

Upon lighting, Tokusen Jinko is warm, sharp, and spicy. A rich sharp note of dark chocolate mocha espresso greets the listener as clear and clean as a temple bell. As the stick warms a wonderfully delicious creamy salted caramel note builds to the front of fragrance profile. Earthy tones that are confectionery in their appeal round out this mix of notes giving Tokusen Jinko a warm and inviting atmosphere.

The overriding note of the burn is that of the earthy-saltiness of rich aloeswood. Slightly tinged with aloeswood bitterness, a dry sweetness adds depth and contour to Tokusen Jinko's gentle earthy profile. The wood here is foremost and takes center stage, but other animalistic and masculine notes seen in the unlit stick also resurface on the periphery, lending a rich tapestry that give Tokusen Jinko a multi-faceted depth unusual for a daily incense. Powdery creamy notes, soft leather, and ancient varnished woody notes percolate to the surface like clouds passing in the warm summer sky.

The experience with Tokusen Jinko easily falls under an "aloeswood" fragrance umbrella, but at the same time provides a rich depth that highlights aloeswood's ability to transcend its classification and create something greater than fragrance. Tokusen Jinko's is peaceful, soft, and at times almost meditative as though in a state of Zen. The fragrant notes of aloeswood rise and fall in awareness, with a rich creaminess softening the sharper points of aloeswood bitterness. Its saltiness gives off the feeling of being in the presence of someone deep in mediation on a summer day, as though the listener was not alone in the listening, but with a wise companion there to guide them through a meditation. Over time the aloeswood note deepens, becomes richer and more pronounced, producing a profound calmness and stillness of mind. Just as is found in many temples, this is an aloeswood that would be right at home for formal sitting and mindfulness work.

Tokusen Jinko's after-note is reassuring, long lasting, and far reaching. The tones most evident in the burn continue, providing a soft bitter richness with salty overtones of rich aloeswood that easily spill over into adjacent spaces. The peaceful tranquility of the burn also carries over into the after-note, creating a calmness in the space where Tokusen Jinko was consumed that effortlessly influence surrounding spaces. For a daily incense to have such presence long after it is consumed is remarkable, and one of the key features of Tokusen Jinko that make it an outstanding daily aloeswood. Hours after the stick has been consumed, the rich salty notes continue to lightly permeate the space releasing a warmth and calming affect that is delightful.

With Tokusen Jinko, Daihatsu has reached into the rich history of aloeswood's use as a daily temple staple, and in so doing provided a wonderfully rich and tranquil fragrance that highlights the beauty and eloquence of nature's rare gift of such transformative fragrant wood. A wonderful daily incense with a rich earthy salty aloeswood tone and superbly long lasting after-note, Tokusen Jinko is highly recommended for daily rotation. Oh the delight of having our cake and eating too.

Each day
a fragrant miracle
as precious as gemstone

Daihatsu Tokusen Jinko is available in the following sizes:
65-Stick Small Box
280-stick Medium Box