Shoyeido Nokiba (Moss Garden)

Shoyeido’s Nokiba or “Moss Garden” is part of their Daily Incense line, a series of lower priced but still traditional Japanese incenses.

I can’t say I’m a big fan of Nokiba… it’s mostly burning wood to me and short on the sandalwood, patchouli, and benzoin that are supposed to make up the stick. Nokiba has elements fragrance (I can smell moments of green patchouli and touches of vanillic benzoin) but on the whole it’s quite weak and unsatisfying. More campfire than moss garden.

I suspect that because Shoyeido only uses natural ingredients in their Daily line, rising costs may be forcing the company to cut back on the amounts (and perhaps the quality) of aromatics. A shame because when I could get brief whiffs of the aromatics in Nokiba, it was quite nice. The patchouli was very restrained and seemed to contribute a green quality to the blend rather than being dusty. I’m not a big patchouli fan, but here it was gentle and soft and paired beautifully with the sweet vanillic tones of the benzion.

If the prices for naturals don’t come down (and I bet they won’t!), I hope Shoyeido considers doing a premium version of Nokiba because the composition is very nice… it’s just hard to “find”.

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