Thursday, November 9, 2017

Frankincense & Myrrh Nerikoh Balls

Traditional handcrafted incense is the nurturing and cultivation of nature’s scent.

After spending most of the year doing groundwork and building up my stock of base material this is the 1st batch of incense I made to enjoy. High quality frankincense combined with myrrh brings this classic to life. The opening provides whiffs of citrus and lemon as the top notes of the frankincense is first to make its presence felt. This gives way to the warm spicy notes of myrrh and sweet honey. The background of pine and sandalwood form the base material, adding pleasant wood tones and structure to the aroma. One small incense ball can last for hours, emitting enough scent to fill a small room.

On a personal level the most striking aspect of natural incense is that it offers a deeper level of appreciation. Utilizing low temperatures to gently heat and coax the delicate layers of aroma from an incense is the best way to enjoy high quality incense. Without the smoke you will be able to get close and personal with the scent and feel the effects of its more profound qualities. Deeply inhaling the scent (as practiced in Kodo) is wonderfully uplifting and clears the mind. The effects of the frankincense and myrrh nerikoh is noticeable within the first few times that I inhale. The scent strikes a cord at the back of my brain and I can feel my mood changing, the cobweb in my mind dissolving,  my tiredness and anxiety drifting away. Aroma therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine, meditation, Zen they all have a connection to natural incense and utilizing our olfactory receptors as a pathway to cure and focus the mind.

Nerikoh incense evolves with time and the scent will gradually develop and transform as the incense matures. 
Heating with higher temperatures will produce more smoke. In this way the smoke can be used for fumigation and scenting clothes.
High quality handcrafted incense using traditional methods is a labor of love. It requires great effort and patience. This small lot of base material consists of pine and sandalwood pounded into a paste and cured in honey. It is one year's work.

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