The scent of nostalgia

Scent is like music to the sense of smell; evoking emotions, memories and imagery. It is the most abstract of the senses: we are often lost for words when trying to describe a particular scent. At best, we might compare it with other scents or associate it with a feeling, mood or with a fond memory.

Since we opened our first shop in Kyoto, Japan in 2008, I have become a frequent traveller to this amazing country. I am often in awe of the culture and traditions of Japan, and the authentic hospitality of the people. This year, COVID-19 travel restrictions have evoked my natsukashii feelings for Japan.

Natsukashii is a beautiful Japanese word that can simply be translated as ‘nostalgia’. However, the Japanese language is so rich and nuanced and its meaning not only denotes the evocation of a fond memory, but also indicates joy and gratitude for the past, rather than a desire to return to it. It also enkindles an appreciation of the connections made with the people.   

There is always a background story to each of the products I create at Perfect Potion. The new Hinoki Wood Room Spray and Yuzu and Lime Room Spray are a reflection of my natsukashii feelings for Japan.

Scent has always triggered strong memories for me. The smell of hinoki wood essential oil takes me back to the temples in Kyoto and reminds me of the beautiful wooden homes and stunning Japanese forests. When I first went to Japan, I also discovered yuzu fruit. It is a luscious, sweet, citrus fruit with such a unique and beautiful aroma and flavour profile. It reminds me so much of Japan: sitting in my favourite café in Kyoto, drinking a beautiful infusion of yuzu tea made from the peel of the fruit. How I long to travel back to Japan…

However, knowing this may not be possible this year, I have found ways to surround myself with memories of Japan for which I am so grateful for. It is a sincere honour to share with you my natsukashii for Japan with these two beautiful room sprays.

What is your natsukashii scent?

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