One of my followers had a question: At what point does description become too much?
It is definitely a balancing act when determining how much description one needs or should include. I try to intersperse description throughout a scene and prefer to only use a few paragraphs at a time before breaking it up. Also, if your description has some element of "action" (as in the examples for the sense of sight), the reader will cruise through it without being bogged down. But, again, you have to use your instincts to find the appropriate place so it won't sound as if you just threw it in there, and also so it won't slow the action. Pacing is important, as is rhythm. Fiction, like poetry, has a rhythm.
A friend of mine used to say that "not all our words are pearls." This is something we need to remember and be heavy with the edit. Only include what is necessary to the scene and to the story, and tighten it as much as possible, choosing one strong word that will replace several weak words. Nowadays, readers won't tolerate lengthy descriptions. We live in a fast-paced world and they want their fiction fast-paced as well. As for Tolkien, I don't read much fantasy, but the genre is about "world building" and therefore lengthier descriptions are not only accepted, but expected.