Topic: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Hi all,

I'm interested to know if there is such a thing as traditional Japanese perfume.  Is there?

I'd highly appreciate it if anyone can tell me.

Many thanks in advance xx

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Hi....SHISEIDO is a Japanese cosmetic/fragrance company!

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

avonman wrote:

Hi....SHISEIDO is a Japanese cosmetic/fragrance company!

and serge lutens is shiseido's brand.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Really serge lutens is made by the Japanese? I thought it was French? Although that might explain why everything has that peculiar clean vibe that I'm not crazy about. Like I'm not sure exactly how to word it, it just kind of smells like a hint of musky body cleaning wipes in a lot of their stuff.

Last edited by cake n' cuddles (2014-06-12 15:40:51)

Stop and smell the roses!

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

(Rant warning tongue)

I think incense can be considered a "traditional Japanese fragrance" but they don't use it specifically to scent themselves... Like, it smells really good, but it's used for ritual purposes??? I'm Chinese and Chinese people burn incense in the house mostly for religious/ spiritual/ tradition purposes nowadays, so incense for us isn't really "home fragrance" even though it fragrances the home lol... It smells good but most Chinese people connect that incense smell specifically to traditional practices.  I'm not 100% sure but it's probably similar in Japan. On this wiki there's a list of what ingredients are used in the incense, maybe you can find something with these notes? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_incense

I am not sure about traditional Japanese perfumes, but here is an article about the role/ perception/ use of fragrance in modern Japan. I think it's pretty interesting. http://www.kafkaesqueblog.com/2014/05/2 … s-culture/

TL;DR: According to the article, in Japan perfume is perceived to be worn by "very important" people and "women who work at night".  So spraying perfume is not a casual practice like it is in the US or Europe.  The perfume market is rather small in Japan because not as many people regularly use it.  But interestingly, because there is stigma around wearing perfume, laundry detergent and softeners are the go-to scents that they wear.  They have lots of heavily scented detergents.

I am Chinese American and I can relate to what is said in the article about Chinese and Japanese use of perfume/ scented things.  A lot of people have the mindset that perfume is a special luxury that is used for special occasions only.  I noticed that I never see many Japanese or Chinese perfumes, but there are a lot of scented Japanese skincare/ cosmetic products.  The Japanese lotions at the Chinese supermarket smell really nice, and there are also body sprays.  But most of the time, the scents are fruity-florals, florals, or something soft and inoffensive.  Soft fruity florals also seem to be the most popular choice for perfume, too.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

one of my favourite beautiful,woody incense fume is this gem :

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.9440.jpg  Hiroko Koshino Hiroko Koshino : from Japanese designer, unfortunately it is discontinued, extremely difficult to find

the other one is this discontined vintage

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.4837.jpg  Shiseido Zen Original

Last edited by Lily2911 (2014-06-12 17:43:07)

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Actually I think you could get some Japanese incense and put them in satchels and leave them in your closet/ drawers and your clothes would smell amazing.  I think using satchels was the way to do fragrance once upon a time anyway XD.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

I'd assume the scent of sakura (Japanese Cherry Blossom flower) would be very popular there?

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

rosesaredead wrote:

(Rant warning  tongue )

I think incense can be considered a "traditional Japanese fragrance" but they don't use it specifically to scent themselves... Like, it smells really good, but it's used for ritual purposes??? I'm Chinese and Chinese people burn incense in the house mostly for religious/ spiritual/ tradition purposes nowadays, so incense for us isn't really "home fragrance" even though it fragrances the home lol... It smells good but most Chinese people connect that incense smell specifically to traditional practices. I'm not 100% sure but it's probably similar in Japan. On this wiki there's a list of what ingredients are used in the incense, maybe you can find something with these notes? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_incense

I am not sure about traditional Japanese perfumes, but here is an article about the role/ perception/ use of fragrance in modern Japan. I think it's pretty interesting. http://www.kafkaesqueblog.com/2014/05/2 … s-culture/

TL;DR: According to the article, in Japan perfume is perceived to be worn by "very important" people and "women who work at night". So spraying perfume is not a casual practice like it is in the US or Europe. The perfume market is rather small in Japan because not as many people regularly use it. But interestingly, because there is stigma around wearing perfume, laundry detergent and softeners are the go-to scents that they wear. They have lots of heavily scented detergents.

I am Chinese American and I can relate to what is said in the article about Chinese and Japanese use of perfume/ scented things. A lot of people have the mindset that perfume is a special luxury that is used for special occasions only. I noticed that I never see many Japanese or Chinese perfumes, but there are a lot of scented Japanese skincare/ cosmetic products. The Japanese lotions at the Chinese supermarket smell really nice, and there are also body sprays. But most of the time, the scents are fruity-florals, florals, or something soft and inoffensive. Soft fruity florals also seem to be the most popular choice for perfume, too.

Thank you for the education!

Comparison is the thief of joy.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

The Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji by Murasaki Shikibu from around 1000 C.E.) mentions that incense was used to scent clothing. So, here you have something historical.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Issey Miyake fragrances...or Kenzo.

Last edited by astamm62 (2014-06-12 18:42:28)

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Issey Miyake is also a Japanese brand  and they have some nice perfumes but most of them are florals, nothing with an oriental vibe as far as I know.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.84.jpg Elizabeth Arden Provocative woman  hinoki wood

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Kenzo.... I agree that this is a good representation of what would be perceived as acceptable and enjoyable in the cities of Japan.  Not perhaps very historic, but probably accurate for today!

A hug is when you come wearing a fragrance and leave with two.  Arabic saying <3

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

These answers are all very helpful.  Thank you xx

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

I agree with Issey Miyaki  and Kenzo being modern Japanese

.Also https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.25316.jpg Guerlain Mitsouko Eau de Parfum was made to represent a Japanese Love story

Live in the beautiful

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Hinoki (Japanese cypress) is a very traditional Japanese scent used in incense, furniture etc. and CdG are uniquely Japanese (via France).

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.2558.jpg Comme des Garcons Hinoki

Many CdG perfumes contain Japanese inspired notes like shiso, calligraphy ink etc.

I expect cherry blossom is a more relatively recent, mostly Western idea of a Japanese scent and that before the Meiji Period they didn't use oils, perfumes etc. as personal fragrance in the Arabic or European tradition.

Of course, the Japanese were (and still are) very appreciative and revering of nature including fragrant flowers, fruits, leaves, woods etc.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

rosesaredead wrote:

(Rant warning  tongue )

I think incense can be considered a "traditional Japanese fragrance" but they don't use it specifically to scent themselves... Like, it smells really good, but it's used for ritual purposes??? I'm Chinese and Chinese people burn incense in the house mostly for religious/ spiritual/ tradition purposes nowadays, so incense for us isn't really "home fragrance" even though it fragrances the home lol... It smells good but most Chinese people connect that incense smell specifically to traditional practices. I'm not 100% sure but it's probably similar in Japan. On this wiki there's a list of what ingredients are used in the incense, maybe you can find something with these notes? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_incense

I am not sure about traditional Japanese perfumes, but here is an article about the role/ perception/ use of fragrance in modern Japan. I think it's pretty interesting. http://www.kafkaesqueblog.com/2014/05/2 … s-culture/

TL;DR: According to the article, in Japan perfume is perceived to be worn by "very important" people and "women who work at night". So spraying perfume is not a casual practice like it is in the US or Europe. The perfume market is rather small in Japan because not as many people regularly use it. But interestingly, because there is stigma around wearing perfume, laundry detergent and softeners are the go-to scents that they wear. They have lots of heavily scented detergents.

I am Chinese American and I can relate to what is said in the article about Chinese and Japanese use of perfume/ scented things. A lot of people have the mindset that perfume is a special luxury that is used for special occasions only. I noticed that I never see many Japanese or Chinese perfumes, but there are a lot of scented Japanese skincare/ cosmetic products. The Japanese lotions at the Chinese supermarket smell really nice, and there are also body sprays. But most of the time, the scents are fruity-florals, florals, or something soft and inoffensive. Soft fruity florals also seem to be the most popular choice for perfume, too.

Very interesting knowledge! Thank you!!

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

veda wrote:

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.597.jpg  Annayake Miyako

Miyako is a Japanese female name, and the fragrance Myako is very Japanese. This fragrance was inspired by traditional Japanese ritual Kodo, or 'way of the fragrance'. Kodo is one of the three classical Japanese arts, which besides kodo include the art of creation of Ikebana, and the tea ceremony, Sado. Kodo is a tradition of paying respect to incense. Incense is placed on a plate placed over the smoldering coals. The incense does not burn but slowly releases its fragrance.



The meaning of kodo is not in smelling, but in 'listening' to the fragrance. For the kodo ceremony Japanese use the verb kiku, 'listen', meaning to try to get to know the fragrance with the heart and soul and travel with it through the time and space.



The tradition of kodo dates back in the time of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1443-1490), who ordered a monk, Sanjonishi Sanetaka to list and classify all kinds of incense that were used in that time. Thus Sanjonishi is considered to be the father of kodo.



The scents of incense used in the kodo ceremony are divided in six types with five tastes – sweet, spicy hot, bitter, salty and sour. These qualities are the base for the traditional Japanese game, kumiko or genjiko, the meaning of which is in proper classification of incenses according to these categories, what requires excellent olfactive abilities.



In the heart of Miyako is frankincense, and floral, balsamic and woodsy notes make it a good company. The outer box opens like the door of a Japanese temple. This limited fragrance was launched in 2005.



I very much enjoyed reading this. Thank you so much Veda for your beautiful words.

Liebe ist für alle da

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

Try https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.6114.jpg Guerlain Les Voyages Olfactifs 03 Paris-Tokyo. It has delicate jasmine, violet, hinoki wood and green tea -- very evocative of perfect Zen-like balance and purity.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.2937.jpg Masaki Matsushima Cherryhttps://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.1673.jpg Kenzo Tokyo by Kenzhttps://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.11639.jpg Jo Malone Sakura Cherry Blossom https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.14318.jpg Issey Miyake L'eau d'Issey Eau de Parfum https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.3247.jpg Shiseido Relaxing Fragrance </a>

"Rise through the lost ages, hope they will bring, free forever more and the dream will never die."

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.14478.jpg Masaki Matsushima Tokyo Smilehttps://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.1499.jpg Shiseido Zen https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.17697.jpg Shiseido Zen Sun https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.5991.jpg Kenzo L`Eau Par Kenzo Eau Indigo Pour Femme https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.5430.jpg Miya Shinma Sakura https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.9306.jpg TerraNova Sakura and Green Tea </a>

"Rise through the lost ages, hope they will bring, free forever more and the dream will never die."

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

veda wrote:

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.597.jpg  Annayake Miyako

Miyako is a Japanese female name, and the fragrance Myako is very Japanese. This fragrance was inspired by traditional Japanese ritual Kodo, or 'way of the fragrance'. Kodo is one of the three classical Japanese arts, which besides kodo include the art of creation of Ikebana, and the tea ceremony, Sado. Kodo is a tradition of paying respect to incense. Incense is placed on a plate placed over the smoldering coals. The incense does not burn but slowly releases its fragrance.



The meaning of kodo is not in smelling, but in 'listening' to the fragrance. For the kodo ceremony Japanese use the verb kiku, 'listen', meaning to try to get to know the fragrance with the heart and soul and travel with it through the time and space.



The tradition of kodo dates back in the time of the Shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa (1443-1490), who ordered a monk, Sanjonishi Sanetaka to list and classify all kinds of incense that were used in that time. Thus Sanjonishi is considered to be the father of kodo.



The scents of incense used in the kodo ceremony are divided in six types with five tastes – sweet, spicy hot, bitter, salty and sour. These qualities are the base for the traditional Japanese game, kumiko or genjiko, the meaning of which is in proper classification of incenses according to these categories, what requires excellent olfactive abilities.



In the heart of Miyako is frankincense, and floral, balsamic and woodsy notes make it a good company. The outer box opens like the door of a Japanese temple. This limited fragrance was launched in 2005.

Thank you Veda, it was a great pleasure to read your post.

I think Menard pefumes which are extremely good, are among the best ones ever made in Japan. I was very lucky to find a vintage bottle for a very nice price so I recently add this gem

https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.4530.jpg Menard L'eau de Kasaneka  to my collection.

It is exquisite, long lasting, discreet, complex, subtle, unusual and unforgettable.

And I now dream of getting to https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.4534.jpg Menard Merefame which was designed by my adored Guy Robert for this brand and the japanese women the very same year he did https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.225.jpg Dior Dioressence 1979. I imagine it must be like the japanese chypre stepsister of the older sister https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.23.jpg Hermes Caleche 1961 and the younger https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.917.jpg Amouage Amouage Gold pour Femme 1983.

So I highly recommend trying out some Menard fragrances.

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

I think Shiseido have it spot on  glad https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.4837.jpg  Shiseido Zen Original for traditional. Incense was traditionally used to fragrance oneself, mainly hair and clothes, not the skin.

i find "clean and subtle" scents are very much the Japanese aesthetic.

Nothing loud, bombastic, bold, indolic...a no-no in general.

Last edited by rosecat (2014-06-14 06:14:42)

Re: Traditional Japanese Perfume

rosecat wrote:

I think Shiseido have it spot on  glad https://fimgs.net/images/perfume/m.4837.jpg  Shiseido Zen Original for traditional. Incense was traditionally used to fragrance oneself, mainly hair and clothes, not the skin.

i find "clean and subtle" scents are very much the Japanese aesthetic.

Nothing loud, bombastic, bold, indolic...a no-no in general.

+1, This!  stolt