Aloeswood is used in Incense in Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic traditional ceremonies. Also as a significant component of traditional Ayurvedic (Indian), Tibetan and Far Eastern medicine and Middle Eastern perfumes.
Noting that all natural and genuine Aloeswood is an excellent aromatic ingredient, the 'best of the best' is considered to be Kyara from Vietnam and the border region with Cambodia. This has a gentle and dignified/aristocratic aroma with top notes of Bitterness. The answer to 'what is the best?' is further complicated by the various grades Kyara comes in - known as Green, Iron, Purple and Black. In Sankrit, Kyara means Black, and is thus considered the most superior grade.
You'll also see the term 'Jinkoh' associated with Aloeswood based Japanese Incense. Jinkoh translates as 'sinking wood' - referring to a characteristic of superior grade Aloeswood - unlike 'normal' wood that floats. It does not relate to any particular country source or aromatic type.
Lastly, given the high price, Aloeswood has attracted some fraudulant activity and criminal attention - whereby 'fake Aloeswood' is made. This has nothing like the high quality aromatic nature of genuine Aloeswood - but fortunately, its use is extremely rare in Incense products. You can be assured that brands such as Nippon Kodo, Baieido, Les Encens du Monde and Sacred Elephant only use genuine and responsibly sourced Aloeswood.
Aloeswood Incense from Nippon Kodo (1) - items starting from £4.95
Aloeswood Incense from Nippon Kodo (2) - items starting from £21.99
Koh-Do Japanese Incense - boxes of 20 Sticks for £3.50, each related to a larger box of the same incense.
This allows customers to try a new fragrance before making a commitment to purchasing a larger box. These larger boxes are higher in price, but offer a lower per stick cost. 3 in particular feature Aloeswood and are listed below alongside their matching larger boxes:
Note: Discover here the full range of 26 items in the Koh-Do range (and their associated larger boxes)
The best of the rest of Aloeswood Incense stocked by Vectis Karma: