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This Is the Price You Pay for Good Incense in Hong Kong

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.

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