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April 02, 2020

Listening to Gyokushodo Jinko Yomei 沈香 陽明

In the harmony of yin and yang, yang (陽) is related to the sun, brightness, and active expanding energy. The brightness and enlightenment (明) of yang energy comes through the contrast with yin receptivity and darkness, giving form to yang's active expanding nature. In Jinko Yomei (陽明) Gyokushodo has created a fragrance that embodies the active and vibrant nature of the bright sunshine of ever expanding yang energy.

Gyokushodo describes Jinko Yomei as "the sophisticated sweetness of Kyara created by skillfully blending premium Vietnam Aloeswood and various fragrant Chinese herbs, creating a calmness appropriate for high-grade incense." Gyokushodo list the ingredients as Premium Vietnamese Aloeswood, Indian Sandalwood, Sandalwood oil, clove, benzoin, borneol, and spices. With this list of ingredients, one might expect a traditional static woody fragrance - which is where the expansive activity of Jinko Yomei sets its surprise.

The unlit stick feels alive. There is a evergreen quality to it that is fresh, sharp, and sweet with a distinctive green note. Jinko Yomei is a unique stick, with the woods and spices combining into something that is alive and breathing like a pine forest in the cool morning air. Their is a stillness and a quietness to the stick like potential energy about to spring into motion that is very enticing.

Once lit, Jinko Yomei is soft, silky, and slightly camphor cool. The wood note of the premium Vietnamese Aloeswood is sweet, distant, alluring. This is a fragrance that builds in a controlled, fluid, and confident manner. As the warmth of the burn intensifies, sharp, spicy notes that have a short reach appear and disappear. Then a sweet, almost caramel like note, followed by a quick bitter green note that turns to sweet green notes. At times a dark chocolate note drifts by quickly. This is Jinko Yomei - shifting, mutable, alive with motion, delighting the senses.

As the seemingly unrelated mixture of notes build, a tangy sweetness develops that is both captivating and unifying, bringing Jinko Yomei's divergent notes into one masterfully addicting fusion. No matter the random notes that are both surprising and enjoyable, there is always a return to an energetic tangy sweetness that is completely addictive, providing undivided form to Jinko Yomei's experience. This is a fragrance that really needs repeated listening to completely appreciate, as the experience seems to deepen each time, making this a stick of great potential.

Jinko Yomei's immediate after-note is soft, elusive, low, and filled with a sweet, balsam fragrance that calls to mind the fresh greens of spring, thus returning to the note of the unlit stick. The after-note appears short lived, but this is another surprise Jinko Yomei provides. It in truth, the fragrance hides, becoming so low as nearly disappear, only to surprise hours later upon reentering a room with the soft awareness of a rich earthy aloeswood memory.

Jinko Yomei is a wonderfully addictive, mysterious, and unique incense. Active, vibrant, and filled with life, Jinko Yomei is a highly recommended experience.


The sun's brightness
Beautiful sweetness

Enlightenment brings