If you have never made incense before, you would most likely not know the existence of this ingredient in Japanese incense. “Tabu” is a type of sacred tree that is grown in many parts of Japan and Southeast Asia. It is an evergreen tree called Machilus thunbergia, which is also called the Japanese Bay Tree (Tabunoki).
The tree grows as tall as 65 feet with the trunk’s diameter reaching approximately 3 feet. The grand size of the tree makes itself a sacred tree that is used in temples and shrines that symbolizes protection. A powder form of Tabu is used as a base for most of Nippon Kodo’s incense.
The high-versatility traits of Tabu:
1. The Tabu powder serves as the binder of incense for sticks, coils, and cone. When mixed with water (and fragrance ingredient) with lots of kneading, it becomes thick like dough, a form of incense before being molded by an extruder machine.
2. The tabu ingredient helps make the drying incense keep its shape.
3. Tabu has very little scent when burnt, allowing the intended fragrance(s) of the incense to stand out.
Tabu is a key component that is the backbone for Japanese incense that play behind the scenes. Thanks to the binder, we can enjoy the elegant and long-lasting fragrances in different shapes.
Recommended Nippon Kodo incense in sticks, cone, and coil.