Bikou Kobunboku Incense (180 Sticks)

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Incense weight: 80 grams
Number of sticks: Approximately 180 short sticks. This may vary slightly though as the quantity of incense is based upon weight, not the number of sticks
Stick length: Approx 13 cms
Burn time per stick: Just over half an hour per stick 
Manufacturer: Baieido, Japan

Baieido says: Bikou means : "Delicate incense" Bikou Kobunboku is a subtler version of the traditional Kobunboku formula. Very soft and fresh, with just a hint of cassia and other Chinese herbs with both sandalwood and aloeswood.

Bikou comes in two types, regular and less-smoke. Smoother and softer is the way we describe this Kobunboku formula.

About sandalwood: An evergreen tree of the Santalaceae family found predominantly in India. Within India, the area by the southwest coast known as the Mysore region is referred to as Sandalwood City, and this is regulated by the Indian government. It is extremely famous for its production of superior quality Sandalwood as well as its high price. The heartwood of the Sandalwood tree has been valued from ancient times for carving Buddhist statues and ritual objects. Its aroma is proclaimed of in ancient works as; 'pure, powerful, emanating tranquility, when burnt it is superior to other incense aromas.'

More About Baieido Incense
Baieido is one of the oldest traditional incense producers in Japan and has been producing a range of pure and high quality incense for over 300 years. The company has a long history, which can be traced back to the Muromachi period in Japanese history (1338 to 1573). The founder of Baieido, Kakuuemon Yamatoya, became a wholesaler of medicinal herbs in Sakai city during this time. It was a well known trading port, where demand for good quality incense was high. By 1657, Kakuuemon Yamatoya was specialising in selling incense ingredients and incense sticks and was able to call himself Jinkoya Sakubei. Jinkoya meant ‘aloeswood trader,’ and it was a name that only authorised medicinal wholesalers, who specialised in incense, in Sakai were able to call themselves.

Later the name of the business changed to Nakata Baieido, still making incense with methods that had been handed down for generations. Baieido is now recognised as one of the highest quality incense manufacturers in the world today blending the finest aromatic woods and resins to produce a natural, mild, low-smoke incense stick of superb quality and aroma. Since Jinkoya’s incense work, the time-honoured traditions and incense formulas have passed on down through the centuries and the company continues to make incense to the oldest recipes. Baieido take pride in using both traditional incense stick making processes alongside more modern manufacturing techniques and new technology. 

About Japanese Incense - High quality, pure 
Japanese incense (speaking in general terms) is refined, pure, light smoke and rich in natural ingredients such as sandalwood. They don't usually have the thin wooden stick centre that is often found in Indian and other incense sticks. They are normally pure incense right the way through the stick. They are often designed with meditation in mind. Due to the high quality manufacturing processes the incense goes through they can be a little bit more expensive than other incense on the market.
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To find out more read:
The History of Japanese Incense

Staff Review by Brett Almond

This Bikou Kobunboku incense comes from the Kobunboku range (their best selling range) from the Japanese incense manufacturer Baieido. It brings in some of the original formula used with the Original Kobunboku, which we sell, and brings in some cassia (cinnamon family) and aloeswood. It also sets out to have less smoke than the original. I did a comparison and would say that it gives off about a third of the amount of normal smoke. The incense stick is a tiny bit thicker than normal.

To review this incense I compared it to the Original Kobunboku, which was a touch more floral and more gentle and I also compared it to the heavily cinnamon-influenced Sawayaka Incense, which was more spicy and male with a pleasant “burnt” aspect. After burning Sawayaka and going back to the Bikou Kobunboku I found the more subtle floral sweetness of this particular incense more noticeable. It has a nice balance of “relax” and “uplift”.

It seems to me that Original Kobunboku has a mass appeal, which is why it is so popular. This product is like a cousin of the original that has the appeal for some of less smoke and brings in a slightly more edgy male aspect, ideal for meditation I would say. I tend to feel that cinnamon has a bit less mass appeal, and more a specialist appeal than say the more floral incences. Bikou to me retains some of the subtle floral aspects of the original while bringing in a bit more spicy vibrant energy.

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2 Reviews Hide Reviews Show Reviews

  • 5
    Highly Recommended

    Posted by Zubair on 8th Jul 2019

    A very oriental and cleansing aroma. Kind of aromatherapy like without overpowering. Sandalwood, definitely but I could compare part of the aroma to paolo santo burning (which is quite therapeutic and healing) and hints of Japanese cypress incense which I routinely burn first thing in the morning as it smudges negativity, and instills a sense of anchored calm. I definitely recommend to folks who enjoy sandalwood (on the sweeter side) or any of the other two scents with a background of bonfire in autumn which in my opinion makes it a very masculine scent too.

  • 5
    Totally unique

    Posted by Nicolas on 21st Jun 2012

    I think this incense has a totally unique and special scent. It doesn't have the same scent to me as the traditional 'sandalwood' incense. It seems softer and the best way that I can describe it is 'nutty'! I have some French shea butter soap called 'L'Occitane - Chataigne' which translates as Chestnut. I knew instantly I had smelt this scent somewhere before but couldn't place it at first. Infact it took me some weeks to finally track it down. I also have some Figue soap and so I would say that this incense is reminiscent of Chestnut with hints of Fig and Vanilla. Definitely soft, sweet and floaty, bit like a toasted marshmallow but more sophisticated!(very moreish!) It's not sickly, heavy or overpowering either, infact it's wonderfully well-balanced. Obviously made by artisans. I think one could even light this in the bathroom area or eat your fave dessert with it or drink a dessert wine/liquer - cocktail!(strawberry/banana/lychee etc)Experiment and see?!(I think Turkish Delight would go well!)Lastly it is not too smokey, infact it has about a third of the smoke of say Indian incense. Incense continues to amaze me with it's infinite variety of scents! Try it and see what you think. I hope this has been of some help. Many thanks (perhaps the Nutcracker Suite would go well with it too?!)