The purist & the M16
Since I first ventured into tea Back in 2014 I’ve always had a minimalist approach to what I enjoy and what I offer, although I didn’t realise it at the time. There is something special about appreciating raw materials for what they are. For me this is true in the tea world, incense world and as you’ll soon find via our store the oil fragrance world also. Blended concoctions will have their own beauty and the alchemist who performs such tasks are truly masters of their craft but what amazes me is the isolated brilliance of nature for what it is.
I guess we can let the Dan Cong roasters, Ripe Puerh blenders, big factory sheng pressers, citrus shou stuffers and jasmine pluckers off the hook but anything further away from this is just sacrilege to the leaf if you ask me. Mainstream looseleaf culture is full of weird and wonderful additions to the brew to create something that.. well isn’t really tea anymore. I mean look at the vast spectrum of character that separate regions of sheng offers, the subtle nuances from mountain to Mountain in Taiwan or the articulate roasts of Da Hong Pao. This is the beauty that I see in tea.
Fragrance and incense:
Without realising it I’ve also stumbled across into my same habits as in the tea world. I never gravitated towards Japanese incense and artisanal blends. Again hats off to the houses and single artisans making these products with all the many years of perfection and dedication that goes into them. I have always been interested in understanding and appreciating the notes and nuances of regional materials be it all the sub regions of Indonesian agarwood or sandalwood scents from island to island, I find this truly interesting. However… I am now making my foray into the amazing world of fragrances, essential oils and Oud! Of course I started at the top of the pyramid with oils from some of the most expensive materials in perfumery (Agarwood, sandalwood, musk, vetiver). Again I enjoyed testing out single origin oils, all very nice.
Now, sandalwood oil, although great on its own can be ‘dependent on origin and batch distilled’ quite discreet. It’s actually used as a base for many attars. Deer musk pellets I can tell you is a very shouty, animalic and quite off putting scent in its raw form but….blended with sandalwood + a little time = pure magic! The raw animal, farm yard scent withdraws and it couples with the sandalwood like a marriage made in heaven. I know this because I was lucky enough to receive a single drop of ‘M16’ 16 year old blended Mysore sandalwood musk to test.
My purist foundations are starting to crack, what will I discover around the next corner that will rupture the fault lines to rubble?!
The journey through taste and smell is a very pleasant, interesting, educational and sometimes transitory one, enjoy and reflect on each step!
As always, the Kremlin‘s auto spam bots are eager to pounce on our Mr G’s precious blog, if you have any replies you wish to make I would make them fast as I will need to close comments when my inbox starts to melt under the torrent of spams,😜, much X’s