Umami - A Savory Blend
What does umami mean?
Umami is one of the core five tastes including sweet, sour, bitter, and salty. Umami means “essence of deliciousness” in Japanese, and its taste is often described as the savory, yummy, deliciousness that deepens flavor.
To get technical, umami is the taste of glutamate, an amino acid that is one of the building blocks of protein. Glutamate occurs naturally in the human body and in many delicious foods we eat every day, including, but certainly not limited to, aged cheeses, meats, tomatoes, mushrooms, salmon, miso, green tea—and the list goes on.
But what about an Umami scent? This blend name came about while trying to describe some of my favorite incense ingredients, such as Myrrh, Kua Myrrh, and Mossoia wood. They are all rather “umami -like” Not sweet or terrpy or spicy, but protein-like, milky, woody, and deeply balsamic. To me, when blended together the scent could be described as “Umami”.
I find this blend very soothing, indescribable, and perfectly savory.
It has a gourmand type of scent that I think enhances the appetite.
Massoia (Cryptocarya massoy) bark - The bark has a distinctive smell for wood of coconut, caramel, milk, and peach with components found in cane sugar molasses, and cured tobacco. In ancient Indonesia, Massoia bark was highly valued and considered to be one of the traditional “Holy Woods” used in incense, perfumed oils, and medicine. It is very hard to find here. As incense, Massoia was also considered to be an aphrodisiac. Early Portuguese and Dutch traders noted that massoia was extremely popular among “the Javanese, who value it as a medicine. They grind it and rub their bodies with it, as an ointment, even when in good health; and they spend a lot of money on it each year”. The Javanese women still make a warming ointment known as “Bobary” from the bark that they use during the cool, rainy season.
Yemeni Myrrh - The ancient classic myrrh. Deeply fragrant and sacred.
Kua Myrrh - Commiphora Kua - (Commiphora abyssinica) From the Island of Socotra off the coast of Yemen
Kua is a beautiful and rare resin we feel very lucky to have obtained. It is a Myrrh (Commiphora ) in the Burseraceae family, but it has a scent that is very unique. I was very moved the first time I experienced it, the color and feel are like Cherry Amber and the smell is soft and balsamic with notes that are incredibly wonderful but hard to describe. Some describe it as a "sweet coffee" aroma with a buttery creaminess.