“Senkoh” is a word I learned from David Oller (Baieido’s US representative) way back in the day. I used to have these phone conversations with him where he’d explain how they identified kinam, the molecular structure vs normal agarwood, the definitions of “jinkoh” and “senkoh” etc. According to Dave, “senkoh” is one level up from regular “jinkoh” which means highly resinous wood. Senkoh is wood of the highest caliber.
In my interpretation of the word, what I’m trying to say when naming an oil “Senkoh” is that it possesses the following characteristics:
1 – A true-to-life representation of the scent of the resin found in the wood the oil was extracted from, as in the case of Suriranka Senkoh – if not a direct transmutation of that resin into the oil itself, as in the case of Chugoku and Assamugo Senkoh.
2 – Addictiveness above and beyond normal agarwood oil; a quality that makes you crave more and more of the scent, repeat swipes and incessant inhalations of the spot it was swiped on.
If an oil possesses both characteristics, it qualifies for inclusion in the “Senkoh Series”. Senkoh oils cannot smell different to the scent of the raw resin on a kyara heater (high heat not an option), though that is not the only prerequisite. The oil must be positively addictive to me personally and be an oil I find myself swiping obsessively. If that “obsession” element is lacking, it won’t get the “Senkoh” moniker.
Get my latest Senkoh Series oud here.