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Incense has a long history in Japan. At the ancient court, men and women alike scented their kimono, their rooms, and even their writing paper with signature blends of incense that admirers were sure to mention later in their love poems. Even today, Japanese incense is highly regarded for its subtlety and beauty.
The Book of Incense is the first book available in English that focuses on the incense traditions of Japan. Its approach is broad and eclectic. Morita encourages readers to choose from among the elements of Japanese olfactory history, and to borrow the parts they like and use them as they see fit. She describes the different ingredients, explaining how to mix blends and sample various mixtures, and discusses how to play traditional literary games involving incense. She also introduces Koh-do, or the incense ceremony, which enthusiasts still perform today.
With the current popularity of aromatherapy and other uses of scent for relaxation and pleasure, this new trade paperback edition of The Book of Incense comes at a most opportune time. It is must reading for anyone who wants to gain a new awareness of the importance of scent, and learn how to make optimal use of the sense of smell in our everyday lives.