You might have seen uniquely packaged snacks such as “zawawa”, “pirinparan” or “gomafukurou” at the airport or souvenir shops. A company called Okineshia (established in 1996) in Shuri, Naha City created them. Their merchandises, called Faburesu are produced collaboratively with other companies. Many of their items have been big hits so far.
“We would like to put wide range of merchandise to market. We at Faburesu can do things like using local products effectively to reflect Okinawan onto our products,” said CEO Yukitaka Kinjo CEO.
Kinjo thought that there weren’t a lot of great souvenirs made from gettou (shell ginger), shikuwasa or other fragrant local ingredients so he came up with an idea of creating Okinawan perfume.
The kaabuchi perfume UTAKI gained attention by perfume specialists overseas during advance sales. The scent was appreciated for being fresh and elegant. However, a Japanese perfumer living in France oversaw the whole process and UTAKI entered the market as a made in France product. Later, Okineshia obtained the license and started producing it locally as an Okinawan product. That is how Kinjo’s dream of a “made in Okinawa” perfume was born.
Since childhood, kaabuchi has been Kinjo’s favorite fruit and that’s why he wanted to use it to establish an Okinawan signature scent. Kaabuchi is endemic to Okinawa and it has been grown in Motobu Town since Ryukyu Kingdom period. The resembles the well-known local citrus fruit, shikuwasa, but it’s got mild sourness, great citrusy flavor and mild sweetness.
The very first Okinawan eau de colognes has three types: URU Green (very citrusy and fresh), URU Blue (aromatic with mint and cedar scent added) and URU Red (with water lily essential oil). The main essential oil in all types is kaabuchi. The scent is refreshing. While other citrus scented perfumes are 99 percent artificial, URU is made completely from natural oil.
URU Green received first prize at the 18th Shoukoukai Tokusanhin Contest. This scent is popular among both men and women. My favorite one is URU Red. I am mesmerized by the sweet refreshing scent. I decided to buy one because I really thought the scent would be nice at bedtime.
A perfume’s scent changes with time. “There are three degrees after it’s applied,” Kinjo explains. “Top note (the first five to ten minutes), middle note (30 – 60 minutes) and last note (the last three hours). The subtle changes of the scent during each period are really enjoyable.”
I purchased my perfume and applied it after my shower that night. The moment I put it on, the refreshing citrus scent spread through the room. I enjoyed the sweet scent when I got into bed. Sleeping with a favorite scent is such a wonderful experience. Perfume before sleep is supposed to be good for beauty. Please give it a try.
There is one more thing I would like to introduce to you. “Hoshisuzumi” is a 100 percent natural aromatic oil from the peel of the kaabuchi. A study at Kitazato University revealed that the scent has medical benefits as a sedative effect or a sleep inducer. Besides using it in an aroma pot, you can add some to your bath or to a cup of hot water. Or, you can put a drop onto your handkerchief when you go out.
The incense is called Gettou Ko Herb, made from powdered gettou ginger leaves. It can be placed at your home’s entryway or used as aromatherapy for relaxation.
Great effects can be expected from great scents. You may want to relax, feel happy, release stress or cheer up with the help of your favorite scent. If you like to look for your favorite scents, feel great or just to enjoy being around great smells, please visit this unique shop in Shuri.
Address: 4-71-12 Kinjo-cho, Shuri, Naha City, Okinawa
Tel: 0120-86-5646, 098-884-2444
Closed: Saturday, Sunday and Holidays
Shop online: http://ryukyufragrance.jp/