Jinko literally “sunken incense” or specifically known as kyara, a wood incense found in the jungles of South-East Asia. Said to be found in logs buried for hundreds if not thousands or years, kyara and its types have been treasured since before Tang times. [The overwhelming number of incense woods used in Japan are known under the name jinko, “sinking/sunken” incense. This name comes from the facrt that the incense sinks when put into water.] Recently, it has been revealed that kyara can also be gotten from living trees but just which ones and how remains a closely guarded secret of the local collectors.
ALOES WOOD, Aquilara Malaccensis Lam.
(Chi)： Chen xiang. (Jap)： Jin-ko; Kyara.(Skt)： Agaru; Tagara; Kalaguru Common names： Aguru, Ch’En Hsiang, Ch’Ing Kuei Hsiang, Chan Hsiang, Chi Ku Hsiang, Huang, Shu Hsiang, Eagle wood, Agila wood, Agar wood, Oud, Ude, Ud, Ood, Oode, Alosewood, Agarwood, Jinkoh,
Preferred Name： Aquilaria malaccensis Lam.
Synonym： Aquilaria Agallocha Robx. Taxonomic Position Kingdom： Plantae Phylum： Spermatophyta Subphylum： Angiospermae Class： Dicotyledonae Order： Thymelaeales Family： Thymelaeaceae
This by far is the most prized of all incenses. In its purest form; it is worth more than its weight in gold! It is an evergreen tree growing up to 40 meters high and 60 centimeters in diameter. It bears snow-white flowers, sweetly scented. These trees are native to Northern India, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Vietnam. These trees frequently become infected with a fungus and begin to produce an aromatic resin commonly called Aloeswood, Agarwood, or Oud. This resin is used by Traditional Chinese, Unanai, Ayuravedic, and Tibetan physicians. The resin is created in response to an attack from Phialophora parasitica, which is a parasite fungus or mold. The fungul attack creates an immunal response in the tree. The wood is extremely rare and often very difficult to obtain, as well as being quite expensive. The best quality is Kyara. Kyara comes in four types： Green, Iron, Purple, and Black. There are many stories about aloeswood being buried under the ground for hundreds of years. This legend comes from an old Chinese book on incense, but today most aloeswood comes from infected trees that, although in the process of decaying and dying, are indeed still standing.