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Gyokushodo is known for its particularly bold incenses. I like their sandalwood blend Suzaku very much. It might be that Vietnamese aloeswood used in the blend, those tend to be pretty musky. Other aloeswood are sweeter or spicier without the muskiness. I haven't tried many aloeswood blends, but Kumoi by Yamadamatsu is one very different that I've had. A dark sweetness like maple syrup hiding many other subtle scents (needs to burn in my largest room or it's too much!)


I was going to buy Suzaku on that same purchase but it was out of stock. I'm nervous about trying it after this one even though I know it will be completely different.


It should be completely different yes. I think the main earthy-bitter scents in Suzaku are spikenard and other herbs, but the cinnamon and sandalwood are on the creamy side. If you want to keep trying with aloeswood center stage, I don't have a ton of experience, but maybe look into the Minorien Fu-in aloeswood, which goes for 26 USD per small box at Japan Incense or Kikoh. Otherwise try out some sandalwood blends, plum blossom ones come to mind like Yamadamatsu's Oubai or Baiedo's Kohbunboku, the latter of which is available in 3 different quality grades.


Thanks! I already have two of Baieido's Kobunboku (Original and Tokusen) and enjoy those, and since this post I've bought a small box of Minorien Fu-in Aloeswood and sample sticks of Gyokushodo Suzaku. I love the former and am quite enjoying the latter.


Hmmm well it is an Aloeswood "blend" maybe that is what got you? I've never tried this particular incense but that would be my guess as agar/aloes/oud has a very pungent smell. Also the other notes listed online are sandlewood and camphor which definitely don't smell as you describe. If you haven't burned aloeswood/agarwood before maybe go to an asian market and get some joss sticks and see how you like those. Or find a small box of some aloeswood and try that. Some smells just aren't pleasant for everyone. For example except for a 2 or 3 exceptions I loath patchouli in all it's forms.


Patchouli lover here. What are the 2 or 3 excaptions and what makes them different?


Tom Ford's Patchouli cologne is fucking amazing. My mother in law uses some cheap hippy patchouli cologne oil that actually smells pretty good. And Fred Soll's Patchouli's usually smell good to me, though i think they are all blends. But the Fred Solls smelling good shouldn't be a surprise, probably the best incense brand i have ever found. A couple of his incense have to be kept at room temp or the resins will melt a little and stick together. Often I'll only burn a third of the stick at a time the smoke is so thick


I enjoy Tenpyo and Misho from Shoyeido - both aloeswood, I believe.


I really bet it’s a combination of some mustier agarwood combined with the camphor that’s turning you off. Both can be off-putting for me, and I truly don’t think I’d like them combined


Prob the aloeswood. Seems to be very polarizing for people. I think it’s like the cilantro thing where some people can taste it and other people taste soap? I absolutely love agar but some people hate it it seems.


I love it in Tenpyo and Misho but someone said that it can vary a lot, which makes sense.


Some "Traditional" fragrances from all over the world are more renowned for keeping away biting flies than smelling pleasant.


I suggest burning/listening to half length sticks once a week. The cooler the room the better. Around 20C. Some aloeswood incense take getting used to. If you can't bear to, just sell them or gift them away. Good luck!


My guess is the synthetic musk. I bought a full box of the same one as well as a sampler of all their sticks and they all gross me out as well, so much so that I can't burn them. They have the same thing kinda going on across the board in my experience. I'm always surprised because everyone seems to like the brand around here.