My friend Yoko has surprised me yet again with a collection of Japanese olfactory items. In the one pictured above are sachets by Kousaido decorated with children-story illustrations that are especially made for scenting stationary.
In the past, scent played in important role in match-making in Japan. A woman would pick her mate judging her suitor’s personality by his words and the scent of the letter that carried them. This is before cameras, not to mention internet - and these two factors alone could either mean marriage or - never meeting the man at all.
Letters would be scented either with sachets, or more commonly - by waving the letter in front of the burning incense before sending it off. These particular sachets that Yoko sent me are not only pretty but also smell lovely. In an attempt to describe them I’ll say the smell like KenzoAmour Le Parfum but without the synthetic overpowering presence. If it was a perfume I would wear it now.
The notion of this romantic correspondence surely makes me want to go back to sending letters again - real ones with ink on paper. But I must admit: these beautiful stationary sachets are too pretty for my stationary (I have a strange interest in Asian stationary - from both Korea and Japan - but they are all way too juvenile for this scent).
Tune in tomorrow for more about the content of the package and other Japanese olfactory traditions.