Firstly what is Yuzu? We have recently begun to hear a lot more about this fruit from the East, appearing not just in recipes for meals but also popping up as an ingredient in perfume.
Well, it is a citrus fruit found in East Asia and is a type of a sour Mandarin. Growing on small thorny trees the Yuzu fruit which is green before they ripen that then turns to a yellow hue, resembles small Grapefruits that are extremely aromatic. The fruit originated from central China and Tibet and was eventually introduced to Japan and Korea. It has a unique and complex flavour but is often described as tasting like a cross between Grapefruit, Lemon, and Mandarin.
In Japan, it is used at the turn of the season (from the first day of the winter solstice) as an ingredient for a Yuzu bath in public hot baths; or hot springs, or at home in a traditional wooden bath. Sometimes encased in a cloth bag, whole fruit or cut into halves to release the juice, float in the water that will release a bright aroma. The substance Nomilin, found in the oil of the Yuzu rinds promotes better circulation. Bathing with this vitamin C-rich fruit, that contains 3 times as much as a lemon, is also said to ward off colds and viruses. After a Yuzu bath, the skin is left feeling silky and soft whilst it relaxes the body and mind.
An irresistible, eclectic mix which seems like a natural addition for a zesty bright and sparkling fragrance, which James Heely agrees on as seen in his latest fragrance with Yuzu being a key ingredient. In fact, the Englishman (born in Yorkshire) has collaborated with the French/Japanese store Maison Kitsuné, celebrating this most Eastern of elements with an exclusive perfume and natural spray for the store (and for Heely stockists). A top hit of bright and sharp Yuzu and Mandarin is followed by Sea Salt set against the base of Vetiver d’Haiti and White Musk. This unisex perfume follows on from an earlier candle collaboration between the two brands.
James Heeley is one of the few truly independent perfumers left in the niche fragrance market. He has 21 fragrances in his collection which he started in 2010 with 5 exact Eau de Parfums in the range. There are several standouts, with one of them being his take on the classic Chypre. His Chypre 21 is outstandingly good and in a world with many of these fragrances on offer is quite a remarkable feat.
Find Heeley fragrance here