Home   >   TRAVEL&Culture > Craft >   Content

Every incense stick mirrors the spirit of its maker

Updated:2019-08-09 13:38:43   Xinhua

On the east bank of the Ninghu Lake, Anning city of Yunnan province, there is an incense store named Defangji. It belongs to Mr. Wu Jianyun, a professional incense maker. 

Growing up in a family of incense makers, Mr. Wu has developed an interest in knowing, appreciating and making traditional Chinese incense since a young age. He made his very first incense stick in 2005, although it didn’t smell as much pleasing as he expected. 

Since the year of 2009, Wu Jianyuan has invented over 30 kinds of incense sticks with some unique aromatic odors. Plants, food ingredients, poems and natural landscapes are all his sources of inspiration. 

“China has a long history of producing and using incense, and the smells praised by people vary from one time to another,” he said. “While in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), incenses with strong scents were highly recommended, scholar-officials of the following Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) rather preferred to burn milder and more meditative incenses.”

“For modern consumers, sweet and elegant incense sticks are the better choices,” he added.

Mr. Wu once created an aroma which resembles the smell of roses very much, after more than a thousand times of experiments. This formula has been applied to the making of a range of cosmetic products, including hand cream, balm and body lotion. 

Apart from incense sticks, now he also makes things like essential oils, brine soaps and sachets out of fragrant substances.  

Although incenses made from chemicals are very common on today’s market, Wu Jianyun still persists in hand-making every stick of his incenses by natural materials.

“Incense making involves over ten different precedures, and each one of them requires a great deal of professional knowledge, experience as well as patience,” said Mr. Wu. “But I never get tired or bored of my job.”

“Incense is something that can always evoke people’s nostalgia, and I believe every incense stick mirrors the spirit of its maker,” he concluded. 

Reporting by Fan Fangjue and Pan Yue (Xinhua); Trans-editing by Wang Jingzhong 

Keywords:   incense craft