By Yelena Moroz
Kyoto is a magical city; a city of five senses. Thousand year old temples co-exist with tall buildings; fashionably dressed women hurry to their office jobs, while glimpses of geishas still can be seen strolling down the back street of Gion. Art, music, commerce, traffic… yet the scent of cherry blossoms linger in the air.
(If one should ask you concerning the heart of a true Kyoto, point to the wild cherry flower glowing in the sun.)
– Norinaga Motoori (1730-1801)
Kyoto would not be Kyoto without the legendary district of Gion, the heart of Kyoto’s past and present magic. Gian is the district where Geishas still preside in teahouses (where as young children they still learn the centuries old arts of the geisha- dance, music and conversation). Likewise, our journey wouldn’t be complete without Geisha Marron by Aroma M. A medley of essential oils, the subtle but provocative fragrance rolls on smoothly, grazing the skin like a silk kimono. Dab it on wrists and behind ears, where you skin is warmest and the scent diffuses more rapidly. Your companion draws closer to its irresistible blend of succulent white magnolia, mandarin, bergamot, grapefruit and chestnut blossoms. Available at www.beautyexclusive.com
Just like Kyoto’s Prefectural Botanical Garden, Shimogamo, Santa Maria Novella’s Città¡ Di Kyoto is a treasure lush with floral notes and greenery. The garden contains over 12,000 plants and trees – making it a perfect place to appreciate Kyoto’s changing seasons. The scent of Città¡ Di Kyoto will take you through the Japanese and European set gardens filled with roses and plum trees. Hawthorn, iris, jasmine and citrus notes make this fragrance mild, yet vibrant at the same time. The scent captures the spirit of Florence and Kyoto, two sensual places that have been sister cities for over 40 years. Available at www.lafcony.com
With over four hundred varieties of cherry trees in Japan, it’s no surprise that Sakura, or cherry blossom, is the national flower. Cherry Blossom festivals and “hanami” (cherry blossom viewing) are a springtime ritual in Kyoto since the Seventh century. The mist of L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Eau de Bienvenue Home Perfume can fill the room with a whirlwind of cherry blossom petals any time of the year. The light, sweet floral scent is subtle, yet lingering and fresh. If you love the scent, L’Occitane created an entire collection with cherry blossom notes including: eau de toilette, lotion, shower gel, body powder and lip gloss.
Available at www.loccitane.com
As the center of Shingon Buddhism, Mount Koya (Koyasan) is home to over one hundred temples. Also called the “Eight Petalled Peak” and “Parent Mountain”, Koyasan exudes spirituality and calm, much like Cinq Mondes Kyoto Aromatic Candle, with its revitalizing properties of Rose Absolute and Ginger Essential oils. Light this candle when you seek serenity or want to add positive energy to any living space. Before you know it, you’ll be packing for a “sukubo” (an overnight stay for tourist at the temples, where they interact with the monks.) Available at www.beautyhabit.com
Sake has been brewed in Japan for centuries, especially in the Kyoto area known as Fushimi. The rice wine plays an important part in Japanese modern and ancient culture, at bars and at temple and festival celebrations. Thanks to Sake Eau de Parfum by Fresh, your senses might reel with pleasure when dabbing on this intriguing blend of ripe peaches, lotus and osmanthus flowers with grapefruit and ginger. Warning: wearing this fragrance is intoxicating. Available at www.fresh.com