Ever since my first visit to Japan in 2007 I fell in love with the country and its culture. An important part of that culture is fragrance. Anyone who has visited Japan, its  many temples and palaces has smelled the incense or  cherry blossoms in spring.

I decided to do some research on perfumery in Japan and I noticed that although the fragrancing of rooms and using fragrance during ceremonies is quite common, there aren’t many japanese perfume brands that work with japanese perfumers.Popular japanese fashion brands such as Comme des Garcons and Issey Miyake mostly work with non-japanese perfumers.


A year ago I discovered the “PARFUM SATORI”  brand by Japanese independent perfumer Satori Osawa, member of la Société Française des Parfumeurs. At that time I was making a trip through Kyoto with my brothers and I ordered my first perfume from Satori, a woody oriental simply called “Satori”.

I was impressed by the subtle yet seductive quality of the perfume. So it was a true delight when Last october I was able to visit Satori perfumes in Tokyo. Right in the centre of the Shinjuku area Satori is a true perfume paradise.

Tokyo-born Satori received me in her shop in Shinjuku and served me cups of tea while letting me sample her collection of perfumes and she explained me about the various perfumes in the SATORI collection. Her beautiful creations are based on Japanese cultural tradition such as  Sado (Tea Ceremony), Kado (Flower Arrangement), and Kodo (Japanese Art of Fragrance) that she has practiced ever since her childhood.


A lot of perfumes we find in  shops in the west by western perfume Houses have been inspired  by Japan, or perhaps the romantic and nostalgic concept of the country ( and Asia in general) as perceived by western noses. The concept behind independent perfumer Satori Osawa’s “PARFUM SATORI”, is to  entrust her perfumes with a message, a wish: to introduce real Japanese spirit, real oriental fragrances.

The Japanese are very conscious when it comes to fragrance, Satori explained. Many perfumes I know and own are quite present scent-wise, they project a lot and I’ve gotten used to perfumes being a bit ‘loud’. Satori’s perfumes are elegantly quiet, complex yet refined.They do not need many words to speak.They do not need to raise their voices to be heard.

After a tour through her atelier where she explained me the process of making her fragrances I bought a bottle of a perfume from her premium collection, called “Sakura”.

After my visit my partner and I travelled up to the mountainous region of northern Honshu. I wore “Sakura” nearly every day. “Sakura” means ‘cherry blossom’ and the perfume features cherry blossom, jasmine, rose, moss, incense and woody notes. It’s a  powdery floral turning woody. A lovely companion !


Whenever you find yourself in Tokyo, do not hesitate to contact Satori Osawa and visit her shop and atelier in Shinjuku.You may just find yourself the perfect perfume souvenir! You can find out more about SATORI here!

Update: Since April 2016 some of Satori’s beautiful and masterfully crafted perfumes are available in Europe, exclusively at the Annindriya Perfume Lounge in Amsterdam.

Click here for more information!