June 30, 2022

Listening to Yamadamatsu Kumoi

The world today is complex. Everything seems to require a remote and be able to perform multiple functions at once. Simple comfort food is now full on gourmet, with sauces and fancy toppings to the point reading a menu requires a culinary degree. Buying a television requires knowledge of a huge lexicon of electronic terms and the ability to watch picture in picture in picture simultaneously. But in this modern embrace of complexity, every so often a breath of clarity illustrates just how the sweetest things in life are often superior in their divine simplicity. In Kumoi we find such an example, as Yamadamatsu demonstrates how the simple expression of Aloeswood can be exquisite all by itself.

Yamadamatus describes Kumoi as "made from the finest quality of Aloeswood in profusion, Kumoi gives off the distinctive deep and sweet scent of Aloeswood." There is a simplicity to this description that belies the richness of Kumoi, but at the same time captures the heart of the experience with its fragrance. Kumoi is premium Aloeswood en masse. It is, simply, nothing more than an expression of its exquisite wood base.

Kumoi's stick note is delightful and mellow. Light and decadent, the unlit stick displays sweet tones filled with chocolate and caramel like a blend of salted taffy and rich brownie. Deep beneath there is a lovely soft green note that is subtle and barely present. Kumoi's unlit stick is rich, deep, sweet, salty, and superbly tempting. Promising the simple pleasure of a sweet Aloeswood, it feels much like comfort food in incense form.

Once lit, Kumoi begins with an earthy bitter Aloeswood note that is a surprising contrast to the mellowness of the unlit stick. As the burn deepens, the sharp Aloeswood note grows into a dark chocolate bitterness that is semi-sweet with overtones of the rich sweet creaminess of espresso and vanilla. With time the bitterness is tempered by a semi-sweetness that reminds of chocolate cake warm from the oven, with a softness that is rich and gentle. The two combine together to form the basis of Kumoi's deep rich texture.

Kumoi is warm and inviting, become richer and softer the longer it continues to burn. Yamadamatsu is know for its superb woods, and Kumoi is no exception to this reputation. There is nothing but a wood note here of "Aloeswood in profusion," yet it appears as so much more. The richness and depth is lovely, as is the chocolate espresso tone that is seductive and hypnotic.

Kumoi's simplicity is what is striking about it. There is nothing to get in the way of its rich woody Aloeswood note. Nothing to confuse or dilute the experience in the duality of wood and... There is no and. Kumoi is sweet Aloeswood. It is the wood's own expression of its Buddha nature, pure and simple, content upon doing little but expressing nature's fragrant creation. This is the great gift of Kumoyi. By simply revealing its own nature, Kumoi awakens us to our own universal nature. There is no duality. There is only Aloeswood.

Kumoi's after note begins by remaining true to the burn, with sharp chocolate notes mixing with a bitter coffee tones to create a luxuriously rich and earthy texture. Over time the sharpness diminishes and the chocolate note intensifies, revealing a smooth sweet caramel tone that becomes as prevalent as it is lovely. The long lasting after note provides the ambiance of a luxurious espresso bar with rich deep sweet chocolate coffee tones for hours after the stick is consumed.

Kumoi is an Aloeswood connoisseur's fragrance, demonstrating the expertise with high-end Aloeswood that Yamadamatsu is famous for. In Kumoi, Yamadamastu has taken premium Aloeswood filled with earthy depth and sweetness and produced a fragrance that is rich, warm, and filled with chocolate and caramel notes simply by focusing on its wood base and nothing more. Decadent, seductive, wonderfully sweet and invigorating, Kumoi is simply an Aloeswood paradise.

Hydrangea in bloom,
Balls of pure white flowers.
Simple beauty.

Yamadamatsu Kumoi is available in the following sizes: