From Japan, with Love

From Japan, with Love

As we all know, creating anything of lasting value can require a great deal of time and effort. Sometimes, perfection is only acquired after generations of honing and nurturing a particular skill. In this day and age when things seem made to be ephemeral at best, it can be a comfort to know that while a product may be new, the knowledge and craftsmanship behind it are not.

Japanese culture beautifully exemplifies this concept. In what other part of the world is the art of arranging a flower, or drinking a cup of tea taken to such lofty heights? While you may think a cup of tea is simply a cup of tea, in Japan it becomes a living art - a ceremony. There are 3 ceremonies that are known as the Japanese Arts of Refinement, and while many of you may be familiar with Ikebana (or Kado, the way of flowers) and the aforementioned tea ceremony (Chado, the way of tea), the third (Kodo, the way of incense) is less well known here in the west.

In the Kodo ceremony, one does not merely "burn" the incense. Much like a sommelier experiences a fine wine, Japanese incense should be experienced with one's whole being. The beauty of Japanese incense at its core is intended to transcend the beautiful fragrance.

When making the decision to carry an incense in the shop, we first wanted to determine what makes one incense better than another. It was surprising to learn that a great deal of the incense we see here in the west are often petrol-chemical based and filled with chemical preservatives. The fragrance produced is often harsh, and short lived. Japanese incense, on the other hand, is first and foremost based on its traditional ingredients and the rare woods that serve as its fragrance base. Modern Japanese incense blends the natural ingredients with essential oils and high quality perfumes to create something truly special.

Learning this, there was clearly only one direction to go. We hope you take a moment to stop by the shop or take a peek online at these beautiful washi paper incenses from Japan that are so lovely, they won the 2019 Good Design Award. Our Black incense set will set the mood for a great night's sleep, and our Wooden Box Incense Set is a wonderful sampler for any mood. Each leaf is representative of a tree found only in Japan with a burn time of about 7 minutes, so why not take a few minutes out of your day to just be in the moment and add some ceremony to your life? (P.S. If you find them too lovely to burn, they also make a wonderful potpourri!)
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