The incense spirals of Man Mo temple, Hong Kong

In our discovery of Hong Kong’s perfumed places, it is a small Taoist temple that truly fits like an olfactory destination not to be missed. Located on the slopes of Victoria Peak, among the huge buildings of the city stands the traditional and discrete Man Mo Temple 文武庙.

Built in 1847 in colonial times by the Taoists, the Man Mo temple is the oldest in the city. Despite having been renovated several times, it still retains its original appearance and reminds visitors of Hong Kong from another time. Two deities are worshiped there: Man, the god of literature and Mo, the god of war.

Continue reading

Hong Kong, the fragrant harbour

Situer HK sur une carteOn the South coast of China, between the Pearl River and the South China Sea, lies the island of Hong Kong. Nicknamed the “fragrant harbor”, Hong Kong certainly does not actually lack flavor. This vibrant city of 7 million inhabitants, is surprising and sharpens the senses.

The perfume found in Hong Kong, is not necessarily that of flowers, spices or even opium. Let’s face it, it is more of a perfume of concrete, exhaust fumes and light sea aromas, much less salty and somewhat foul at the hottest hours of the day. As in many Asian cities, we can nevertheless feel a mix of tasty scents of all kinds: soup vapors, freshly cooked meat and dried fish… expertly mixed with the burning incense that smokes on small doorstep altars. A well existing Hong Kong olfactory environment, but much less charming than the Cantonese translation lets imagine.

Continue reading

scent-corner-asia-incense-0

Incense, the perfume of Asian temples

There are smells that are ubiquitous throughout Asia, and which are detected regardless of the country where you are. The language and writing may be different; sometimes even the religion or skin color, but some scents always remain the same. Incense, this mystical fragrance used in religious rites, is one of them. When you approach a temple in Asia, regardless of allegiance, the same smell of incense, warm and comforting, is always there to help awaken your senses.

Originally, incense is a resin produced by a small tree, Boswelia sacra, which grows wild in the Arabian Desert. The resinoid from the natural sap of this bush forms small stones when it comes into contact with the air. But also, the name incense extends to other pure resins commonly found today, such as myrrh and benzoin.

Continue reading