As I wrote earlier, I am a huge fan of Tatcha’s aburatorigami papers, so heading to their online shop last week to stock up, I discovered… this piece of art!
It was a coup de foudre.
Because: fan! Because: mastery! Because: incense! Because: shimmery washi paper!
Seriously, is there a more sophisticated way to indulge in a sweet, lightweight scent and to get a whiff of cooled air all in the same movement on a sizzling summer day?
I don’t think so.
I kid you not, Adventurers, after I took the pictures, admired the fan that arrived the day before, and did a little research about it yesterday I have dreamt this night that I went to Japan.
Have you been in Japan?
I’ve been fascinated by the country and its culture since very early childhood – we had a lot of books with Japanese fairy tales, and several books by Japanese authors, as well as one totally random English-language travel magazine about Japan. I think I have not just loved it to bits – I’ve read it to bits 😀
And while my life hasn’t been a dull ride so far, the cards it handed me never send me to Japan. Yet. (Being optimistic.)
Now, Tatcha explores the Geisha beauty secrets, and the brand now carries a rather wide range of products. I adore the imagery, Vicki’s – the founder’s – research, and her blog with exciting travel notes. The brand’s probably cleanest product are my beloved blotting papers that are in the same time the cleanest blotting papers I’ve ever found. Traditional Japanese accessories (the shop section is called “curated gifts”, a very trendy thing to do) are added to the shop every now and then as limited collections.
A FAN OF THE FAN
The Ryofu (=cool breeze) fan is presented as a limited offer, and comes from a fan maker to the Imperial family of Japan since 1823. The packaging is simple but elegant, the fan is made of polished bamboo wood and shimmery paper in a light turquoise and sandy gold.
The fine, mild sandalwood and agarwood perfume it sends into the air has subtle cherry-like notes of sweetness and freshness – a familiar scent since a friend has given me Japanese incense as a gift – and is much softer than the balmy notes we are used to in Europe; it’s really not the same. Since I’m a lover of all balmy, woody notes in perfumes, the Ryofu fan comes as a welcome perfume alternative on hot days.
And we’re yet to face 42°C days here in Berlin.
I am prepared.
Japanese incense is widely used in traditional Japanese cultural rituals such as the tea ceremony and meditation.
It’s usually made from wood resins, frankincense, and several spicy and sweet essential oils (Wikipedia backs me up here) which, like almost all natural products, are soothing in small doses and can be irritant and/or toxic in large doses (frankincense, camphor). Yet unlike perfumes that tend to actually hit you in the face in summer, this is by far the most wonderful option to surround yourself with a breeze of refined air.
So, now I know what perfume I’ll be wearing when the heatwave comes back!
(Olfactoria Travels asked earlier, but I have replied something different because I’m yet to wear this fan.)