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Heian-kyo

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Heian-era Kyoto took its perfuming seriously. As the imperial capital, and the focus of power and wealth for the whole country, the arts in general were no joke. It was a matter of social life and death to have beautiful handwriting, to layer the perfect colors for juni-hitoe, and boy howdy, especially considering the state of the privies, it was absolutely non-optional to have a gorgeous perfume. 

Courtiers competed with each other to mix the finest scents and to identify the scents others had mixed--the Tale of Genji has a bit on this, and Genji himself is a fine compounder (and a fine everything else, but that's Genji for you). 

We took a few recipes and mooshed what we thought were the most perfectly elegant parts into this, our own ZOMG takimono. Cedarwood, aloes, pine and cinnamon barks, sandalwood, clove, and lilacs.


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Product Reviews

  1. nom. lovely. 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 11th Jun 2015

    Out of the bottle it's- a strange blend of undefinable spicey-woodsy-sweet. at first, I'm not sure I have any opinion on it at all- it smells kinda the same as the rest of my smokey-spicey squees, and unremarkable.

    But now, oh now, it's cinnamon and a little clove and perhaps pine on my skin, warming, lightly so with the tiniest kick of spice-aftertaste. More similar to Nuee Ardente in its sweet cinnamon heat (minus the fragrance of roses) than Elder Spicecake with its almost bitter, dark bite. A tiny bit of darkness, but it's mostly sweet and warm and spicy (cinnamon tends to kick up on me, which I like). Lovely.


  2. It's my grandparents' place! 4 Star Review

    Posted by on 15th Aug 2014

    Upon first application, it smells exactly like the traditional Japanese rooms of my grandparents' place in Shizuoka: the cedarwood is most prominent, with incense in the background. However, the wood fades quickly (a little too quickly) in the hour. Afterwards, there is a feint spiciness that reminds me of traditional Japanese incense, after it has been done burning (which is not surprising, as traditional Japanese incense includes aloeswood, sandalwood, cinnamon, and clove). Still not sure if I want to buy a full bottle, since the strongest smell of nostalgia is when it's first applied and faded too quickly, but I will definitely keep the squee.


  3. Too cinnamony! 2 Star Review

    Posted by on 2nd May 2013

    This was one that I was really excited to smell, because I'm interested in Japanese history, but it didn't turn out very well on my skin. In the bottle (or Squee, in my case), it smells very complex and spicy, with a lot of the woodsy stuff coming to the front, and a hint of cinnamon. Unfortunately, as soon as I put it on, it gets COMPLETELY taken over by the cinnamon! Even after it's faded a bit, there's nothing else to the scent on me except the cinnamon. I'm not the biggest fan of cinnamon, and since it's so strong in this, I got sick of it pretty quickly... I'm sorry it didn't work out for me, though!


  4. Surprisingly sweet and spicy... 5 Star Review

    Posted by on 3rd Nov 2012

    In the bottle, Spicy warm woodsy notes, no floral. On me, Spicy, and warm, warm, warm Cinnamon(it reminds me of my spice bottle of roasted Saigon Cinnamon, and not that sharp red-hot candy cinnamon) and Cloves. I definitely smell the woodsy notes, with Cedarwood top note, Sandalwood in the center, and the Pine less prominent.
    It cools off to have a hint of Lilac peeking through, making it an almost baked apple sweetness. Very earthy, yet sweet and feminine. A power scent for the confident woman. You knocked this one right out of the ballpark ladies!



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