Fragrant Shopping: Aromatic Cinnamon Bark Boxes From Vietnam


I was offered some time ago a wonderful fragrant present. Quê is the name for cinnamon in Vietnamese and in this case it designates boxes handcrafted out of cinnamon bark from the cassia tree. These scented boxes, I was told, are popularly used as tea boxes so that the sweet, spicy, and woody aroma of cinnamon will penetrate the tea leaves left there to macerate in protected obscurity....

I was even offered a companion box of Vietnamese green jasmine tea which is very fragrant and delicious with an invitation to put it into my new box. So I did, but I must say that after a few days I decided to take out the tea again as I thought that the jasmine was too beautiful and delicate to be covered in part by the smell of cassia. This is not to say that you might not love the combination of both perfumes yourself. Now I just use the box for decoration and I open it from time to time to plunge my nose in it and inhale its invigorating an exotic scent.

Thinking forward, I think that this would make a lovely present for the holidays, for example, for people who love nature, scents, tea and travel. 

You can purchase similar boxes on One World Projects (the largest selection I saw there). Prices range from $8.00 to $ 29.The store also offers toothpick holders and cinnamon shakers made out of cinnamon bark. I would be tempted myself to put sugar in the shaker and maybe add a grain of musk to imitate an ancient recipe I read about in a 17th century book. The Freer and Sackler Galleries also carry these boxes, as well as Ten Thousand Villages.

Photo is from One World Projects. 

Filed in Fragrant Shopping and Fragrant Recipes 

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4 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Ooohhh !

    Thanks !

  2. Chaya,

    My reaction exactly.

    May our lives be full of fragrant things!

    I think I just need to try a different sort of tea to put in the box to make it correspond better to my own taste.

  3. This looks marvelous! What a great idea for gifts. Thanks a lot for the tip.

  4. Dear Cait,

    It is a marvelous charming gift. If they could make large flat boxes, one could also put one's stationary in those and send fragrant wishes as well, hmmmmm.


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