Vietnamese Wild Signature Agarwood Chips - Nha Trang Khanh Hoa
$29.00 - $1,942.00
Why are these particular agarwood chips from Nha Trang loved by many people?
Mysterious, addictive, and divine woody aroma are some of the words used to describe this aroma. However, words alone could not describe the experience of this icon agarwood chip, which is an exclusive local specialty.
It all starts with a folk song (ca dao)
There is a folk song about Khanh Hoa; I shall begin with the original in Vietnamese.
"Khánh Hòa là xứ Trầm Hương Non cao biển rộng, người thương đi về."
Literally, it means
"Khanh Hoa is the Oud Society (land of agarwood)
With High Mountain, Wide Sea where the merchants return."
In the land of "Agarwood", the local government built an "Incense Tower" or "Agarwood Tower" in 2008.
It is a popular tourist site, and inside this tower, the scent of agarwood will be present most of the time. The tower staff is heating Agarwood chips and agarwood incense so the visitors could enjoy them.
The top of the building represents the tip of a calligraphy pen. It implies the scenery of Nha Trang is as beautiful as drawn.
Around 4km from the Agarwood Tower is the Po Nagar Tower (the locals called it Lady Tower or Thien Y Thanh MauTower). It has an interesting legend related to agarwood.
According to legend, once upon a time, there was a Cham couple: a husband and a wife who farmed watermelon for a living.
One day, they found a girl played with their melons. So out of curiosity, the couple asked the little girl about her family. They learnt that she had no relatives, so they decided to adopt her. Little did they know she was a fairy.
Many years passed by, the little girl had grown up to be a beautiful lady.
One day, she turned some leaves and rocks into a penjing (also known as bonsai). The husband did not know where she got it from, so he questioned her.
Before answering, the lady turned herself into a log of agarwood and floated away.
Whenever this log went, its scent attracts many people, but no one could carry it. The locals talked about it, and the news eventually reached the Prince.
So he decided to give it ago. To his surprise, he lifted the agarwood log up without trying.
The prince brought the wood to his room and put it in the corner to enjoy the fragrance daily. Since then, every night, he saw a lady.
But every time he came close, the lady disappeared.
So he decided to hide and quietly hugged her from behind when she appeared.
They married after that.
After many years, the lady missed her adopted parents, so she went back to where she was raised. Unfortunately, her parents were no longer there.
With a feeling of reciprocation, she decided to help the villagers by teaching them agriculture. After that, the village prospered.
To remember her, the Cham people built the Po Nagar Tower.
"Agarwood" is the local specialty of Nha Trang because of the complexity and the unique "spice" it emits when heated. However, you can only experience it only if you know where to get them.
Just like many tourist sites, many unscrupulous vendors try to make a quick buck by selling ingenuine products. Agarwood is just one of these.
For example, they fill the wood with sand to increase the weight. Consumers would not know until they heat the agarwood. The appearance looks the same as the genuine one. So, trust is a big issue in this industry.
What can you expect from this Nha Trang, local specialties agarwood?
Excellent quality. A picture speaks a thousand words. Musky, woody and vanillic with some unique spicy notes from Nha Trang, the capital of Khanh Hoa Province.
If you burn this oud chip under the naked flame, you will experience an intense note of sweet woody note within seconds. Unfortunately, it will not last, and you will feel you are wasting this precious raw incense material.
So if you would like to have a better experience with it, I recommend using Mica Plate.
Shoyeido Mica Plate has a metal frame outside. It has all the functionality of the standard one has. PLUS the square cut with the metal frame outside. It is produced by one of the oldest Japanese Incense houses: Shoyeido.
How to set up a scent station to enjoy agarwood chips
The Middle East Way
This is a way for people to enjoy intense agarwood scents in the shortest time. All you need is an incense burner, light the charcoal and put the agarwood on top.
Just like how you barbecue, the advantage of this method is easy to set up. It is fast.
It also produces the scent quickly
The disadvantage: Due to high heat:
The agarwood chips do not last long
You will experience some burning notes
The Japanese Kodo Way
Although it takes a longer time to set up, I found it lasted extremely long. The scent will be lingering around for hours.
But it requires patience which could be a challenge to many people
Take an incense heater cup
Pour white ash into the cup
Light up a small piece of charcoal
Place it inside an incense heater cup. IT IS HOT, and please be careful
Using a tool (thong or pincer). to bury the lighted charcoal under the white ash
Cut a small piece of the agarwood chip into a smaller size (0.5cm to 1cm).
Place it on top of a mica plate.
Let us know what you think?
Feeling overwhelmed? Don't feel like doing this setup?
If you feel this set-up is too much for you, try Grandawood specialty, the "Holy Aura" Premium incense using Nha Trang Oud chip as the main ingredient.