The Japanese Influence of Yuzu
Yuzu in Perfume
Yuzu is a small yellow fruit native to Asia, specifically China and Tibet. It arrived in Japan during the Tang Dynasty and is now an integral part of the Japanese culinary culture. Used on sashimi, in cooking and in teas, and of course now in perfume. It can also be found in ryokans, traditional Japanese inns, in stone baths and in Japanese bath houses, with half a dozen halved yuku segments floating on the water. On the winter solstice, the longest night of the year, there is a tradition to take a yuzu bath to avoid catching a cold for a year.
Yuku is a cross between a wild mandarin and a lemon, found in the Japanese mountains, mainly in Kochi. The yuku fruits and leaves are highly fragrant and their scent can reach for miles. The Yuku tree is slow to bear fruit, harvested between October to December and is therefore very expensive. The essential oil is harvested from the fruit through a cold extraction process. Its fragrance is multi-faceted, giving the impression of a mixture of citrus fruits – mandarin as the dominant scent, with accents of lemon, grapefruit, green notes, and floral facets. It is used as a top note because it is a striking citrus fruit.
Yuzu is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, helping to support the immune system, reduce inflammation and heal wounds. It’s also used in the beauty world to strengthen the hair and skin.