Which is the Best Japanese Incense?
Guide to Choosing Japanese Incense in the UK
Japanese incense is ideal for meditation and aromatherapy, or simply for creating an environment in which you can relax and enjoy a bit of me-time. It has a long history stemming from its arrival from China in 538 CE, and has since become well-recognised aspect of Japanese culture. Many incense companies in Japan have been going for over 300 years, so they certainly know a thing or two about producing a well-blended fragrance. But the question is, which are the best Japanese incense brands you can find in the UK?
Incense Manufacture in Japan
When choosing incense, you should seek out that which is made in Japan using traditional manufacturing methods and ingredients for optimum authenticity.
Japanese incense is typically made using a blend of aromatic resins from trees and plants, such as camphor, benzoin and frankincense, mixed with essential oils and spices. Two of the most sought-after ingredients include sandalwood and agarwood, both of which are sweet and woody, making them ideal for meditation and relaxation. Many of these ingredients are also chosen for their properties in Traditional Chinese Medicine.
The ingredients are carefully blended together using makko powder, the bark of an evergreen tree that has an almost odourless characteristic and ensures that the incense burns evenly. Getting the perfect blend takes an enormous amount of skill, as even slightly too much of one ingredient can completely alter the overall scent.
Best Japanese Incense Brands in the UK
Two of the best Japanese incense brands I’ve found over here are Four Seasons and Kaori-Komon. Both are made in Japan using traditional manufacturing methods and the perfect blend of ingredients, and come in beautiful packaging.
Four Seasons – this incense gives off a pure and evocative scent that will take you away to distant lands. Cherry blossom is richly symbolic in Japan, making this the ideal choice if you want a real taster of Japanese culture. This fragrance is blended with cypress to give that characteristic woody tone. Alternatively, choose their Hydrangea incense which is combined with sandalwood to create the perfect atmosphere for meditation.
Kaori-Komon – this genuine Japanese incense comes in a beautiful, fan-shaped box, which is a symbol of friendship and respect in Japan. It thus makes the perfect gift, and comes in a range of gorgeous, natural fragrance blends from tranquil Bamboo, which is mixed with green notes, lily of the valley, cyclamen and bergamot, to crisp and refreshing Clear Stream, made using aqua notes, mint, bergamot and clove.
Both of these brands are available from The Japanese Shop, an online store supplying authentic Japanese goods in the UK and worldwide including what is, in my opinion, some of the best Japanese incense available. Head over to www.thejapaneseshop.co.uk to have a look.