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It’s no coincidence that Hong Kong is Cantonese for fragrant harbor. The city was the epicenter of the incense trade in ancient times. Agarwood incense is a treasured commodity today. Harvested from aquilaria trees, it smells like a cross between nutty wood and sweet vanilla. It’s pricey. Customers pay more than $60,000 for roughly a pound of quality agarwood, according to Wah Yuen. He has been selling incense for 70 years and hand rolls each stick in his shop. It’s a tradition that is at risk of being lost as older people die and incense is produced in factories.
This Great Big Story was inspired by Genesis.
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