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Joy


Joy comes in many shapes and sizes every day.  Sometimes it is just a delight in seeing a friend or hearing favorite music.  Whatever brings you joy, do it and do it often.  When you are happy and joyful, others are more inclined to be so too!  Joy is a gift you give to yourself and to others around you…

Scent helps to bring joy and change perspective.  Try taking an incense break or smelling a favorite perfume or essential oil.  Keep a little bit of resin in your desk at work or your car and do some scent therapy whenever needed.  It can really make a difference in your day!

Photo of joyful boy

Photo by Vinoth Chandar

Enjoy our Christmas sale-10% off everything through 12/25


Kyara Deluxe Incense by Nippon Kodo

Enjoy 10% off every order until Black Friday


Don’t forget to get your incense and candles at 10% off by shopping at Violet and Company before Black Friday!  Low shipping and 10% off means big savings on your Nag Champa, India Temple incense, Dragon’s Blood resin and anything else you have been meaning to get!

Burning Incense courtesy of WikiCommons

What is Agarwood, Aloeswood, Jinko, Kyara, Oud?


“Gold is just dust when still in the ground, and oud

in its country of origin, is just another kind of firewood.”

~Muhammad Ibn Idris al-Shafi’i  767-820 C.E.

Agarwood bowl, 1786, commissioned by the Qianlong emperor of China. Carved with the 7 Buddhas and inscribed with poems

If we look back in history, we can connect this quote to the stated first discovery of Oud or agarwood in Japan.  It is said that a large log washed up on the beach and was gathered and burnt for firewood.  When the wood was burnt, it was discovered that this wood was very special indeed as it let off a perfume only the gods could have created. Agarwood has been a prized wood and scent for many centuries.

The Japanese made incense from this wood and called it Jinko, or “sinking wood”  because it was heavier than other wood and did not float well.   Agarwood is also called Aloeswood, Oud and Eagle-Wood around the world.

Agarwood is used in traditional Tibetan medicinal preparations and is called Eaglewood (unique, yellow, light & black).  Agarwood also has special uses in Chinese medicine.

The scent of Agarwood is musky, woodsy, rich and always original.  It has been all but impossible to correctly mimic this scent in synthetic preparations.

Agarwood comes from the center or “heartwood” of the Aquilara tree from Southeast Asia that has been infected by a fungus.  The tree is infected at the roots and in response, creates a thick, dark resin to protect itself from the infection.  This resin, and the wood that holds it is Agarwood.  The older the tree and the longer the infection has flourished within the tree, the more precious and fragrant the Agarwood.  There is no way to tell which trees in the wild have been infected with this fungus, so the practice is to randomly cut down trees or open their bark, looking for the dark resinous wood.  This practice has meant that Aquilara species trees in the wild in some countries are endangered.

Many countries have now created tree farms, in which Aquilara trees are specially grown, inoculated with fungus and then harvested after a minimum of seven years to get Agarwood.  It is said that these farmed trees don’t produce the same fragrance in their Agarwood as do trees in the wild, and the reason for this is not known at this time.

Most incenses found in the market contain a lower grade agarwood and are usually grown on a farm, because the cost of wild agarwood is formidable.  2.2 pounds of high quality agarwood sold for over $500 just 20 years ago and the price has only gone up since then. Using first quality agarwood would make the price of incense unaffordable for most people, so lower quality agarwoods are used.

Incenses that Violet and Company Incense carries that are inspired by or contain Agarwood are:  Balaji Nadal Oodh, Ramakrishnanada’s Rasa Lila Agarwood and Nippon Kodo’s Kyara Deluxe.

Nippon Kodo’s Kyara Deluxe 300 stick box

A Little Quiet Time


Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.”

Norton Juster, The Phantom Tollbooth

Without rests, music would not be music, it would just be a continual stream of noise. Without quiet time, we would not be able to regroup and relax. Silence is a very important and sometimes lacking thing in our lives.

I recently had to visit San Francisco, and was overwhelmed by the noise, activity and busyness of the city. Everywhere I went there was a car running, a person talking, a bus stopping with a loud hiss of hydraulic brakes. At night, the BART blew its whistle every 15 minutes until midnight, when either it stopped or I fell asleep. When I got back to my home in a small town, I was thankful to sit down on my back porch and hear absolutely nothing but the beating of my heart and the soft padding of my cats paws as she walked across the deck. If you live in a city like San Francisco, there is always some sort of noise that breaks through and disturbs quiet moments. If you live with others there may always be someone asking a question or talking to you about something. No matter what your situation today, there is almost always something or someone who fills the quiet time with noise.

Sometimes we don’t realize how inundated we are by sound. It is nice, once in awhile, to just go into a quiet place where you can be alone, and sit. Think whatever thoughts there are to be thought, listen to your own breathing and the comforting beat of your heart. It is nice to burn a nice, subtle incense during these times. I prefer VIVA Mainichi-Koh by Nippon Kodo. Koh means Sandalwood and Mainichi means “everyday”. This is just a subtle, everyday scent that inspires relaxation and joy and is perfect for enjoying quiet times.

Sandalwood


Sandalwood.  It is a basic scent that most people know, even if they can’t put their finger on the exact scent.  Sandalwood is in many things from incense, to cosmetics to perfume.  Sandalwood inspires unity with the Divine, imposes a masculinity, blends well with other scents such as Patchouli or Rose and is a base scent for many incenses.  It provides a solid wood base note that many other scents can climb up and ring off of.  Many things can be said about sandalwood and it is a favorite scent here at Violet and Company.

Sandalwood is a type of tree from the genus Santalum.  Popular sandalwood trees are Indian sandalwood and Australian sandalwood.  Sandalwood is called Chandan in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

Precious Chandan by HEM is a wonderful Indian sandalwood fragrance-very sweet.  You can find it at Violet and Company by clicking on the link above.  Sandalwood  is known as Koh in Japanese.  Mainichikoh is a favorite sandalwood incense by Nippon Kodo-very woody and spicy.  Mainichikoh is a beautiful Japanese incense; the fragrance is perfectly placed with authentic oils and woods used to really capture the woody, hearty aroma of sandalwood.

sandalwood tree in Australia courtesy of waratahsoftware.com.au

Sandalwood plays large parts in the great religions of the world.  Buddhism and Hinduism use sandalwood extensively.  Neo-pagans also use sandalwood in rituals and meditation.  Sandalwood resins are rubbed on the skin to scent the body or burnt on charcoal as a pure form of sandalwood incense.  Sandalwood oil is used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat mental health issues and by others to beautify skin.  As always, if the oil is to be used, it should only be advised and controlled by someone educated in the uses of essential oils, as essential oils are potent distillations of plant matter and are very concentrated.

Violet and Company has the sandalwood for you-whether it is Mainichikoh, Yoga Sandalwood, Precious Chandan, Sandalwood resins, Suvarna Dhara or Mysore Sandalwood.  If you don’t find what you want on the website, just email us at sales@violetandcompany.com and we will find what you want.

References:  Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandalwood#Fragrance

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