August 10, 2023

 Listening to Seikado Jinko Daikoboku

Sometimes the best things in life are the least expected. I was a boy when SweeTarts were first introduced. Sold in inexpensive small packets that were flat and fairly non-descript, they were smaller and less flashy than the larger more well known chocolate confections that were the focus at the end of any child's trip to the supermarket with mom. But despite their diminutive packaging, Sweet Tarts were a favorite because they packed such delightful flavors - orange, lime, grape, and cherry - into such a small package. In Jinko Daikoboku, Seikado has done something as delightful, packing a surprisingly rich, sweet, and wonderfully sour woody fragrance into a daily Aloeswood incense.

Part of Seikado's excellent Diakoboku daily line of incenses, as its name implies Jinko Diakoboku is the Aloeswood variant at the top of the Diakoboku series. Seikado describes Jinko Diakoboku as "A subtle and mysterious secret blend of sixteen aromatic spices with carefully selected Vietnamese and Indonesian Aloeswood as a pillar." A delightful Aloeswood blend, Jinko Diakoboku is a favorite daily incense at Kikoh.

Jinko Diakoboku's unlit stick is a cornucopia of rich, spicy, and sour delights. As noted in Seikado's description, there is a "pillar" of wonderfully sour and earthy Aloeswood that anchors the stick with an almost fruity green citrus tang to it. A light sweetness mixes well within this giving Jinko Daikoboku a sort of sweet-tart citrus appeal that is delicious. In support, lightly salty notes mix with hints of cinnamon sharp sweetness and and earthy richness lay in the background providing undertones that serve as a superb base. Jinko Diakoboku's stick is wonderfully enticing, thoroughly enjoyable, and provides a lovely preview of what is to come.

Once lit, Jinko Diakoboku welcomes the listener with a comforting warmth that is rich, lightly sweet, and woody. A nice balance between waves of cinnamon sharp sweetness and mellow Aloeswood quickly develop that is comforting and relaxing. Soft sweet notes mingle with earthy rich tones that at times give hints of a salty savory character, bubbling to the surface like fond memories of the mass of food vendors a street festival. The initial burn is a delightful blending of Aloeswood tones that develop into a chorus of lightly sweet and savory rich woodiness.

As Jinko Dakoboku's fragrance begins to warm and open, a surprisingly sweet sour acidity develops that was first heard in the unlit stick. The increasing depth of the rich bitter Aloeswood tone that grows as the burn continues is superbly balanced delightfully by sour notes with hints of green fruity citrus overtones, like wagashi sweets served to balance bitter green tea. Adding this dimension to Jinko Daikoboku's lightly sweet woody note experienced at the top of the burn adds greater depth than expected from mainichikoh incense, illustrating not only the lovely nature of Jinko Daikoboku, but its exceptional value as well, often delivering a fragrance that exceeds its category.

One of the greatest qualities of Jinko Daikoboku is the reach and subtlety of its fragrance. Jinko Daikoboku easily fills the space with its rich sweet and sour earthy Aloeswood fragrance, but at the same time leaves something to be discovered. There is a transparency to Jinko Diakoboku that allows the experience to change, shift, and develop throughout the burn, throughout the space, and at different distances from the lit stick. Up close earthy and rich, within the space richly sweet with sour fruity tones, and from a distance a range of light sweetness, sourness, and rich Aloeswood tinged with savory notes. For this reason alone, Jinko Daikoboku is an excellent choice to scent a space, providing a peaceful, calm, and relaxing atmosphere for both hospitality or meditation.

Just as experienced during the burn, Jinko Diakoboku's after-note is superb, long lasting, and subtly rich and sweet, with of lovely hint of fruity-tang. As the stick consumes itself, its fragrance takes on a more subtle character, faintly muting the tones provided during the burn to a more gentler version of itself. Tones shift and soften, becoming more transparent and open, giving Jinko Daikoboku's after-note a lovely soft and reassuring character like a comforting friend. Over time, the rich bitter tones moderate completely, blending into a soft mellow easy going sweetness that is unobtrusive, welcoming, and relaxed.

Mainichiko - daily incense - can often be one-dimensional with little depth focused upon a single highlighted ingredient or wood base. Jinkoh Diakoboku is anything but one dimensional. Wonderfully rich and woody highlighting elegant sweetness and a delightful fruty-tanginess of Aloeswood, Daikoboku is a great addition to any daily rotation.

Sweetness upon the breeze
Tartness breaking the chill
A hint of spring appearing on old wood.

Jinko Daikoboku is available in the following size:
60-Stick Small Box