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Incense Journal

Natural incense info from music to listen to while burning incense to incense history

Filtering by Tag: incense

New SUNOL incense blend with Oakmoss

Mike Pare



Oakmoss is one of my favorite natural incense ingredients. It is a lichen, Evernia Prunastri, and it grows on oak trees in many parts of the world. It has historically been used in perfumery for hundreds of years, and was mixed with talc to fragrance powdered wigs. Ha. While not technically a moss, it's a trade name, (and fragrance note) that has stuck around for centuries.  It is a key ingredient in traditional french chypre and fougère perfumes.  Further complicating matters,  synthetic "Oakmoss" fragrance has grown in popularity to the point where today the majority of products labeled "oakmoss" are made in a lab.

I like oakmoss as an incense ingredient because it evokes campfire smells, rolling hills, and peaceful feelings. Its a fragrance that stays around for a while after burning. To me it is an immediately recognizable fragrance, and a welcoming one! 

I named this blend Sunol (pronounced sun-OL), after a local village near where I grew up in Northern California.  For a time in the 1980s and 90s, a black lab rottweiler mix named Bosco was the Mayor. 

Oakmoss and Eucalyptus collected in Winter

Oakmoss and Eucalyptus collected in Winter

Oakmoss (and eucalyptus in the background) - Gilroy, California

Oakmoss (and eucalyptus in the background) - Gilroy, California

Sunol is a fantastic new seasonal blend with it's own unique character:

Base: Oakmoss

Middle note: Lavender

Top notes: Bay / Citrus


Click here to purchase Sunol 

5 Tree Resins That Smell Amazing

Mike Pare

Tree resins only reveal their true aroma profile when burned. They are often the secret ingredient in many incense blends, lending a level of complexity unequaled by artificial fragrances. 

  1. Frankincense - This tree resin is known to have many chemical components, some unique only to it's species. It is so complex that it's fragrance can not be duplicated in a lab.  It's timeless fragrance can be described as clean, piney, and lemony. Some of the ancient species of Frankincense are extinct at this point, but today the finest product comes from Oman. 
  2. Dragons Blood - In Sumatra, the berries of the Daemonorops Draco tree exude a red resinous sap that drips to the floor of the forest.  It is wild harvested by locals and formed into fist sized balls for trade. The fragrance is sensual, earthy, and sweet. It blends well with Patchouli, Thyme, or Red Sandalwood. Dragons Blood is one of the key ingredients in the Zouz Bacchus Blend
  3. Copal - Native to the Americas, Copal is a clean smelling, fast burning resin that comes in varieties of white, gold and black. It blends well with most incense ingredients especially Cedar, Juniper, or Palo Santo. It is considered sacred in many native cultures. 
  4. Guggul - This relative of Myrrh from the Indian Bdellium Tree is especially sweet, sensual and clean smelling. In it's natural form it is very soft and gooey. It blends well with Sandalwood, Aloeswood, Calmus, Orris Root or Benzoin. It is widely used in ayurvedic medicine.
  5. Sal - Another tree resin from India with complex notes of Spice, Musk, and evergreen terpenoids. It is said that Buddha died between two sacred Sal trees. It mixes well with Juniper, Pine, Spruce and Cedar.