March 27, 2023

Listening to Kikujudo Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood

The patriarch of Soto Zen and founder famed Eihei-ji temple, Dogen Zenji wrote in his masterwork Shobogenzo of zenki -total expression: "When the old plum tree suddenly opens, the world of blossoming flowers arises. At the moment when the world of blossoming flowers arises, spring arrives." Dogen taught that in each moment the potential of the entirety of the universe is expressed just as spring is expressed in each plum blossom. In Kikujudo's Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood the purity of Aloeswood's total expression gives rise to a fragrance of warmth, elegance, and peace as full of potential as a plum blossom on old wood.

The pinnacle of Kikujudo's Koboku Ginmi series of carefully selected fragrant woods presented as close to their natural form as possible, Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood is described as "displaying a delightful balance of sweet, spicy, and bitter highlighting the unique fragrance profile of highest quality rare and precious Aloeswood of Vietnam."  Luxurious and elegant, Kikujudo's Vietnamese Aloeswood highlights the inherent potential of Aloeswood's five classic tastes of sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy expressed in a wonderfully calming and well balanced woody fragrance of exceptional quality.

Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood's stick note is warm, elegant, soft, and light. The tone of aged wood provides the base from which the warm sweetness rises softly and confidently. A faint floral sweetness hovers in the background adding a lovely depth to the unlit stick's warmth like a refined courtier in elegant silks. Luxurious creamy notes of chocolate, maple, and vanilla exist well within the ether about the stick like sparks of light in a twilight sky. Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood's stick is sumptuous, elegant, and delightfully delicate.

Immediately upon lighting a rich earthy Aloeswood note rises with a lightly salty overtone which is quickly met by a soft woody sweetness. The two together provide a wonderful balance of sweet and savory to the opening of the burn that is pleasant and reassuring. With time a cool sour note adds to the mix, but more refined and restrained, providing a slight acidity to the sweet and salty tones. There is a wonderful balance to these notes, blending seamlessly into a unified lightly sweet and elegant Aloeswood fragrance like a rich fragrant chord. Creamy, soft, and elegant, the rich woody tone builds steadily and confidently.

With more time Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood begins to display a rich Aloeswood bitterness, but this is kept at a distance outside the immediate circle of the lighter fragrance of the burning stick. Rich and woody, with sharper edges like fresh roasted coffee, the bitter note is well balanced to the light sweetness experienced more closely to the censer, lending a more long range fragrance beckoning those passing by to come closer. Woody, with hints of dark chocolate and mocha, this resonate and spicy Aloeswood tone is a wonderful complement to the balanced creamy sweet and savory note experienced earlier in the burn.

With continued listening a smooth buttery texture develops that adds another layer to the beautifully developing Aloeswood tone, like the silky smoothness of a rich brocade. As the fragrance continues to deepen, the Aloeswood note expands, softens, and becomes more ethereal and transparent existing as nothing but the moment in which listened to. The various notes remain, but now are clear like a temple bell, soft yet resonate, disparate yet one. A lovely soft woody sweetness rises above, yet is not dominant but instead just more present in awareness. The transparency is astoundingly profound in its clarity, yet approachable and friendly like word of kindness from a stranger.

Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood's after-note cools quickly, becoming soft, light, and breezy with sweet overtones of caramel, mocha, and a gentle floral. A light sour note mixes with a powdery dark chocolate note that is unexpected and playfully sophisticated. As the after-note continues to cool a soft almost sour fruity floral note develops at a distance that is like the first blossoms on old wood giving rise to springtime. Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood's after-note is remarkably complex, compelling, and fluid.

Filled with fragrant potential, exquisite Aloeswood tones arise in Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood, giving rise to moments of peace and tranquility that whisper of the depth of Aloeswood's true nature. Beautifully presented in a washi paper tube displayed in Paulonian wood box, Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood would make an exceptional gift for the Aloeswood connoisseur.

Early morning serenity
Rays of sun upon the frost
The day arising in the moment.

Kikujudo Koboku Ginmi Vietnamese Aloeswood is available in the following size:
60-Stick display washi paper tube and kiri wood gift box