November 20, 2021

Listening to Tennendo Tensei 天成

Japanese Byobu (folding screens) are striking works of art so much so that many are considered national treasures. Some of the most stunning have backgrounds covered in gold leaf featuring light and elegant depictions of flowering trees such as plum and cherry in full bloom. The intentional contrast in softness of the floral motif with the dark woody branches on a warm golden background is not only subtly beautiful, but an example of remarkable elegance. Reminiscent of exquisite Japanese Byobu, in Tennendo Tensei a subtle floral and woody interplay results in a warm golden refined elegance of fragrance.

Tennendo is known for its expert blending of the highest quality fragrant woods in creating superior premium incense. Tensei is representative of this tradition, blending multiple premium select Aloeswoods with a tart spiciness reminiscent of Kyara into a premium Aloeswood blend of the highest quality.

Tensei's unlit stick is soft with a slightly floral sweetness. There is a powdery quality to the stick that is reassuring and light. Deep down low there is a barely noticeable leathery cologne base note that is very subtle and reserved. Tensei's stick possess a semi-sweetness that is mysterious - sometimes floral, sometimes fruty, sometimes hints of chocolate. Regardless of the note, Tensei is reserved, calm, and subtle unlit.

Upon lighting, Tensei's initial note is a rich earthy Aloeswood tone that is warm and sweet. There is an unusually smooth creamy feel for an Aloeswood incense that mixes well with an almost chocolate note that is both luxurious and satisfying. As the stick heats up, woody-floral tones begin to build below the sweeter notes, soft and subtle, creating a feeling of the softness of spring.

With time, the powderiness seen in the unlit stick returns, further softening Tensei's light floral semi-sweetness and adding a hint of tartness that is very subtle and light. The top note of smooth woody-floral mixed with chocolate and a hint of tartness is as addicting as it is remarkable. 

Throughout Tensei maintains its reserved and subdued nature, its fragrance soft, comforting, and reassuring, never overpowering or sharp. But don't let Tensei's reserve fool you. The depth of fragrance is marvelous, with a unique and rich fragrance and stunning lightly sweet and warm slightly floral-woody tones. Tensei very subtly fills a space, and is easily recognized from a distance, it's creamy light sweet tones evident in adjacent spaces.

Tensei's after-note rapidly softens to gossamer like transparency. Its warmth dissipates quickly, leaving behind a softly sweet floral like note that at times is lightly fruity with hints of chocolate. Over time this becomes increasingly rich and woody as it continues to soften. Superbly long lasting, Tensei's after-note eventually fades to a rich slightly salty Aloeswood note that remains delightfully hours after the burn is completed.

Soft, warm, golden, and sweet, with hints of chocolate mixing with woody-floral tones, Tensei a remarkable example of a superior Aloeswood incense. What makes Tensei superior is the accessibility of its beauty through a lovely contrast of warm woody tones and sweet golden glow. An outstanding experience!

Golden autumn sunset
Leaves drift on the breeze
Content and at ease.

Tennendo Tenseiis available in the following sizes:
Large box of 450 sticks
NEI packs of 40 sticks.