Scent Diary : 72 Seasons

“Bush warblers start singing in the mountains.” This is the name of the current season, according to the traditional Japanese calendar. The calendar is divided into 24 parts, called sekki, from Risshun (Beginning of spring) in early February until Daikan (Greater cold).  The 24 sekki are each split into three making up a total of 72 kō. Each kō is about five days and it has a poetic name adapted to Japanese climate.

To read through the calendar is to travel through the Japanese year, tracing the changes in nature and observing our surroundings in their minute detail. The names of the seasons are concise and yet descriptive, evoking perfectly the transformation as winter fades, spring undulates into summer and fall smolders into winter. As Murasaki Shikibu, the 11th-century author of the marvelous Tale of Genji noted, “It is nature that gives me the most pleasure, the changes through the seasons, the blossoms and leaves of autumn and spring, the shifting patterns of the skies.” If you’re curious to learn about 72 seasons, I invite you to read this article in Kyoto Journal.

Scent Diary is a place to write your observations about the scents around you–and about scents in your environment. Whether you write down 1 recollection or 10 matters less than simply reminding yourself to smell. You can add as many comments as you wish. You can comment today or over the course of the week; this thread will always be open. Of course, do share what perfume you’re wearing or what particularly good scented products you’ve discovered.

While looking through my articles, I found this article that I wrote a few years ago but that still remains popular and often-read: A to Z Tips for Enjoyable, Affordable and Rewarding Perfume Hobby. If you have any tips to add, I’d love to hear them.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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