May 24, 2024

Listening to Seikado Tokusen Jinsui Vietnamese Aloeswood

Trained for years in the refined arts, geiko are highly respected entertainers of great sophistication, refinement, and elegance. More commonly known as geisha, in Kyoto geiko display their skills by playing traditional instruments, performing traditional dances, ritually serving tea, and conversing eloquently about the history and culture of Japan with their patrons. With only as few as 100 fully trained geiko in all of Kyoto, they are as rare as the fragrant woods of the Rikkoku. In Tokusen Jinsui Vietnamese Aloeswood Seikado has created a fragrance reminiscent of elegance the beauty of the geiko of Kyoto while highlighting the eloquent beauty of Vietnamese aloeswood.

Part of Seikado's Luxury incense series, Seikado's ultimate expression of Vietnamese Aloeswood, Tokusen Jinsui Vietnamese Aloeswood (TJVA) uses only premium grade Vietnamese woods to create the magnificent sweet fragrance treasured for centuries. Blended using traditional techniques and the finest Vietnamese aloeswood, the result is a gorgeous and solemn fragrance created to pass on to future generations the fragrance of rare woods that have fascinated people for over a millennium.

The unlit stick of TJVA is faintly sweet, jet black, and feels warm like being in the presence of refined individual. The stick is soft, subtle, and approachable, giving the feeling of a freshly made stick barely dry. There is a lovely tangy sweetness that feels more floral than citrus that permeates the stick, lightly giving a hint of what might be to come once lit. Overall, the unlit stick is reserved, quiet, displaying a  subtlety of a highly refined courtier.

Once lit, the initial note is one of rich sweetness tinged with a green bitterness akin to matcha tea. Quickly a lovely woody sweetness takes over, soft and lightly floral. In time a more spicy note develops, yet still retaining a sweetness in a way that is like a savory complement to the woody sweet notes that continue to dominate TJVA's refined fragrance. Above it all however, TJVA remains reserved, refined, and very subtle, enriching the space with its fragrance gently and without fanfare.

There is a delightful warmth to TJVA that is alive, filled with the quiet of a geiko walking along the streets of Kyoto's Gion district, her elegance on display with every step and movement, yet without the need to announce her presence. Although not a reduced smoke incense, there is only a faint trace of smoke rising from TJVA, its fragrance taking the attention. Overall the impression is one of quiet reserve, placing nothing in the way of the enjoyment of its premium Vietnamese aloeswood.

With time a caramel like sweetness develops tinged with a rich earthy spiciness and gentle sourness that easily fills the space. The longer than usual stick gives greater time to the burn, allowing a deeper penetration of the fragrance, infusing the space it inhabits with a rich sweetness that is soft and comforting. Graceful and elegant, TJVA is intelligent and purposeful, like a geiko performing the tea ceremony for her guests. As the burn deepens, so too does the feeling of richness, spreading effortlessly beyond the original space, its fragrance traveling lightly to great lengths like a pleasant reminded of its presence.

TJVA's after note is rich and elegant, its sweetness turning drier and sharper. The floral sweetness of the burn turns to a more woody elegance like aged wood shaped into artwork by skilled artisans with a light sourness that is addictive. TJVA's after note is far reaching, spreading its woody sweetness far beyond the space of the burn, although without offense or overwhelm. Soft, sweetly sour, and earthy, TJVA's after note is long lasting and enjoyable long after the burn is complete.

Just as the geiko of Kyoto are rare embodiment of the refined arts, Tokusen Jinsui Vietnamese Aloeswood is a refined expression of rare and fragrant Vietnamese aloeswood. An experienced not to be missed, this beautiful incense is a clear display of Seikado's artistry with fragrance, highlighting the rare gift of nature Vietnamese aloeswood provides.

A glance of a passer by
In a moment gone
Her beauty lingering in the air

Seikado Tokusen Jinsui Vietnamese Aloeswood is available in the following size: