Thursday, February 2, 2012

still-sound 37. Tensei

The lidded pot devoted to Tennendo

I made this lidded pot shortly before Christmas.  It's glazed mirror black and has a golden disc leafed on the side.  The inside is also mirror black.  I use it to store incenses from Tennendo since the bundles don't come packaged in their own individual boxes.  Each one is wrapped in a beautiful lace-like paper.  Right now the collection includes Frankincense, Kuukai and my favorite, Tensei.

The Tensei bundle bound in aqua colored paper

I've been wanting to write about Tensei for a while.  I discovered it last summer and was immediately impressed, even declaring it as my favorite stick from the first whiff.  I've waited this long to mention it because I haven't figured out how to properly describe it.  I still don't think I can.  Its scent is full and round.  It reminds me of a polished grand piano, perhaps this is why I've chosen a glossy black vessel to store it.  It's warm and slightly sweet.  There's perhaps even something a little rotten or acrid, barely perceptible but deftly contributing an interesting contrast to its accessible charm.  It doesn't have a distinctive aloeswood profile although I wonder if Tensei's subtle dirtiness can be attributed to that magical substance I like to call oud.

I've given sticks of Tensei to other incense afficionados and have not received any enthusiastic reactions that rival mine.  Perhaps it just appeals to my particular taste. From my research I gathered that the Enkuu Horizon stick is generally hailed as the masterpiece of the Tennendo line. I've sampled it and liked it.  But I love Tensei more. 

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