10 June 2017
Shopping for incense is definitely one of my favourite things to do in Japan. Last visit I went to lisn which has been around a while but I didn't know about it.
lisn is an offshoot of Shoyeido, whose Horin and Xiang Do lines I really like.
This is the lisn store in Kyoto. It was so lovely shopping there.
There are eight major ranges: floral, citrus, spice, fruit, classical, green, musk and oriental. I chose mainly from the spice, classical and oriental lines.
You can smell each of them before choosing how many sticks you want. The price per stick ranges from ¥32 to ¥432. The most common price is ¥54.
Picking names from a list, the sales assistant was able to identify it from each range using memory and hand it over straight away. Each stick has the name printed on the side in tiny writing too.
Some of the names are curious, for example: MONSTER TREE (green woody), PASSING BY A LADY (graceful flower), FIRMAMENT ISLAND (spicy mint) and HEART OF 'F' (golden-banded lily). There are 150 scents.
You can get pre-packaged packs of 10 in some scents.
Otherwise, they do gift packs or you choose the packaging for your loose sticks.
I also checked out Yamada-Matsu. They have all the makings you can smell and buy if that's your thing, like ambergris for ¥12,000 a gram! It's really close to the Shoyeido store in Kyoto so worth a look if you go there.
lisn is in Tokyo as well as Kyoto - it will cover all your incense needs.