Scent, emotion, and memory are inextricably intertwined - so what finer way to mark a sojourn in Tokyo than visiting the atelier of a globally-acclaimed perfumer. Aromas that capture the very essence of Japan await.
Japan's fragrance culture dates back to the 6th century when fragrant wood was introduced along with Buddhism. Around the 8th century, it is said that a mixture of aromatic substances such as cloves or cinnamon was used to perfume robes and fans, leaving traces of natural aromas in the air when worn or used. The custom of incense burning further developed when senkō incense sticks became widely available, and became a part of daily life. Although Western perfume was introduced to Japan only 150 years ago and is still relatively new, the Japanese have appreciated natural plant-based aromas for many centuries.
Explore the city of Tokyo, and you will be intrigued by the variety of sights and scents offered. From the distinctive aromas of incense lit in a Buddhist temple and spring cherry blossoms to the variety of elements used in Japanese cuisine, there is a scent of the culture on every corner. Japan is one of the world's largest luxury markets, and Tokyo is its epicenter. With an array of high-fashion brands, avant-garde boutiques, and style mavens who set global trends, there is plenty of inspiration and always a demand for high-quality, cutting-edge products. It is only here that you will find artists breaking new grounds with their craft infused with Japan's essences. One globally acclaimed perfume artist does this with her signature fragrances. Born and raised in Tokyo, and an expert in Japanese culture, she has been taking the industry by storm with her niche luxury perfumes. As our sense of smell is closely tied to our memory, bringing home a Japan-inspired fragrance may be the ideal keepsake of your time in Tokyo.
Tucked behind the busy streets of Roppongi, an area known for its art galleries and animated nightlife, is the shop/atelier of Parfum Satori. Alongside an impressive collection of vintage perfumes, 1,000 bottles of ingredients are beautifully showcased. The Japanese perfumer behind the brand and member of the French Society of Perfumers, Satori Osawa, delicately blends these fine fragrances - in some cases using just a tiny drop - to create her truly distinctive aromas. Osawa explains, "The fragrances are light and have a harmonious element, as Japanese culture is rather reserved and favors subtlety".
Her current collection is made up of 17 fragrances, five of which she is the first and only independent perfumer in Japan received four stars in Perfumes the Guide 2018 - some people say the Michelin guide in the world of perfume - and one named Hana Hiraku ranked in the top 10 of New Accords. Her artisanal collection based on traditional Japanese culture interprets the wood of whiskey barrels, delicate floral green tea, and sweet melon with unexpected hints of miso and soy sauce into composed fragrances that will delight you.
Book an appointment at her atelier, and you will be invited on a pleasurable journey of discovering new aromas. Why not find out your next-favorite fragrance from her creative collection, often inspired by Japanese nature or reminiscent of Tokyo's intricacies and the symphony of fragrance notes that change nuances after being applied on your skin. Whether you choose to wear it or gift it to someone special, there is an exciting world to uncover at Parfum Satori.