December 07, 2017

Listening to... Nippon Kodo Zuiun Aloeswood

Zuiun Aloeswood is part of Nippon Kodo's Tranquility line of incense created for meditation, religious ceremony, and as a home fragrance. Zuiun means "Good Fortune Cloud" which is appropriate as it offers a great value Aloeswood incense ideally suited for daily use. Nippon Kodo describes Zuiun as "incense with elegant Aloeswood scents with deep and mellow blend of Sandalwood, Benzoin, etc., harmonized with a floral balsamic." Simply stated, this is a subtle wood-lovers incense that is one of my go to fragrances when I desire a sense of peace and calm.

Sold by the roll, Zuiun comes wrapped in attractive paper with elegant gold accents surrounded by stylized cloud graphics perfect for gifting. The stick note is subtle, only hinting at the ingredients with gentle Aloeswood and balsam fir overtones. This is not a stick with a loud voice, nor one that even demands attention. Instead, just the soft woody fragrance reminiscent of a sunny Autumn afternoon infuses the bundle.

Lighting brings an unfolding experience. At first, the fragrance is so subtle that it can almost be missed. This is definitely a background scent, meant to provide the base for meditation and space work. But the longer the burn continues, the deeper and more luxurious the fragrance of Zuiun becomes, reminding me of a walk deeper into a forest on an early autumn day. Here the floral balsamic takes much more of a balsam fir presentation, with a consistent low, steady note. As the burn continues, the deep, rich and earthy Aloeswood fragrance takes over, giving the space a wonderfully woody aroma. The longer the burn, the longer this bouquet of Aloeswood and fir continues to deepen and enrich the fragrant landscape, providing a warm and rich fragrance that permeates the space it gently fills.

The after-note continues deepening, just as walking deeper into the woods heightens the experience. The Aloeswood tones remain well after the burn is complete, scenting the space with an elegantly subtle fragrance that is a pleasure to return to. One of my greatest pleasures regarding Zuiun is just how subtly sublime the after-note is. I will leave my office for a few minutes only to return and be greeted by Zuiun's fragrance like a fond forgotten memory returning. For this reason alone, I often find Zuiun in the ash of my incense burner.


Trees half bare
Clouds, reflecting the sunset
found memories race to greet me.

zuiun image