This incense was created as gift to a friend, using some of the best/rarest ingredients, optimized and perfected to the right combustion/temperature/smoke qualities.
The left over sticks became little sample sets which were available for procurement back then with the following description :
The Sunken Journeys Incense sampler set was a 2 month long project that I had embarked on.
If you had followed me on Instagram (aloeswoods), you would have seen occasional posts on me extruding incense sticks, or destroying some sticks because they couldnt light etc.
Two months ago, I had decided to challenge myself to create a series of pure-aloeswood incense sticks, using the best quality raw materials, selecting the material based on how well they identified themselves with the place of origin.
The raw materials were then handground/filed, sieved and carefully blended to create a stick where the fragrance of the wood is at its peak with minimal binder notes. The stick’s burning temperature was also moderated to create a strong “heated” fragrant wood feel.
As every fragrant wood is unique, incense made from each, had its recipe adjusted/calibrated. For all sticks that are “black”, charcoal powder was added between 10.5% to 15% to help with the combustion as the sinking fragrant wood powder could not support burning. Binders were processed differently, and used at various ratio in an attempt to maximally conceal the binder note. The fragrant wood content of each stick ranges from 70% to 84% in weight.
for the 14 stick series :
(each stick is 8cm long)
– Kyara, Vietnam – elegant, dark, stoic. kyara content at 5%, with 65% nhatrang
– Red Soil, Vietnam – sweet, hollow cool, hints of melon skin, quiet and mellow
– Yellow Soil, Vietnam – mild earthiness interwoven by a slight cool hint, lingering sweetness
– Hue, Hoi’an, Vietnam – a sharp woody spiciness that turns into a sweet animalic
– Nhatrang, Vietnam – classical cool sweetness that has been highly sought after by the chinese
– Cambodia – cool, silent, stronger wood note than nhatrang
– Burma – a cool wispy sweetness like that of freshly cut sugarcane pulp with a spice note
– Thai – mild bitter base with hints of ripe fermenting fruit sweetness
– North Malaysia – thick, rich and bold, almost oud-like presence, bitter and sour sweet
– Sumatora – lively, lush, woody sour notes
– Sinking Kalimantan – mild hints of cool, with deep, dense and weighty sweet/sour notes.
– Bitter Kalimantan – a burst of bitter medicine that quickly evolves into a persistent sweet
– West Borneo – an interweave between sweet vanillic notes with hints of menthol, and a light herbal base
– Irian Jaya – sweet, with a strong dark herbal base
the set is designed to be rather “instructive”, one can burn a centimetre of the stick each time, take notes and revisit from time to time. perfect for fragrant wood study, or to be used at events, tea ceremonies, or at gatherings.”