MONTH OF :
Uncover the Olfactory Plant Through a Single Feature
This series aims to celebrate the beauty of nature's scents by highlighting a specific olfactory plant each month.
With careful selection, we have curated a collection that showcases the unique scents and characteristics of these plants, offering an authentic experience that fosters a deeper appreciation for natural scents.
Let's explore the true essences that nature has to offer, and uncover the wisdom and wonders hidden within them. Please note that this is a casual monthly feature at our boutique, so no reservation is needed. Please just pop in during our regular opening hours which are on Fridays & Saturdays 13:00-18:00. Some related products will be also available on sale!
MONTH OF : S H I S O
A journey from Japan to Berlin, from the seed to the plant
Shiso (Perilla frutescens) is an edible herb in the mint family, Lamiaceae, native to East Asia, with a long history dating back thousands of years: it was found planted in Japan already during the Jōmon period (14,000 - 300 BC). Its leaves are popular both for culinary as well as medicinal use.
Shiso 紫蘇 is written 'reviving' , due to the myth about a man severely suffering from food poisoning, who was brought back to life after eating this herb. Shiso leaves are rich in antioxidants and contain compounds with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. In the traditional medicine, they are used for its anti-nausea effect and potential digestive benefit, thus it has been indispensable in Japanese food culture, particularly in dishes with raw fish like sushi and sashimi.
Green shiso known as oba (大葉) is mainly available on the market as a culinary herb, used to accompany or wrap for the daily kitchen, while red shiso that you might have seen in Germany has a beautiful vibrant red colour, and is basically used in Japan to make umeboshi or umezu as a natural food colouring and preservative.
Regarding the scent, you may notice layers of freshness and refinement with a basil-like delightful greenness, an elegant complexity and an uplifting bergamot resemblant note. Its precious essential oil works great for refreshing by bringing concentration, helping with motion sickness, balancing and recharging your energy especially after being sick or depressed and supporting your emotion.
At our boutique during this monthly curation, we are happy to offer our own grown edible organic shiso herbs, both: the freshly cut leaves and shrubs in pot. The seeds are sown in May in our community garden, and we carefully looked after them for four months! The herb can be used for your fine culinary experience simply by being added to your dishes such as salad, sauté, pasta etc.
Our Berlin-born and raised shiso plants are the babies from the seeds which were collected by Ryoko’s father at his organic garden in Kobe in 2022. We find it is a beautiful cross-cultural connection as well as the preservation of traditions. The care taken to nurture these plants from seed to maturity is a testament to the dedication and appreciation for this plant.
[ Schedule ]
The Month of SHISO starts on Friday 1st of September 13:00-18:00
and continues to the following Fridays and Saturdays till the 30th of September.
JULY + AUGUST 2023
To kick off this olfactory series, we will be presenting the Japanese Hiba tree which is a genus of conifers in the cypress family. Hiba has a long history of use in Japanese culture for its scent and practical applications, and its essential oil is cherished in aromatherapy to help reduce stress and anxiety, as well as to promote relaxation. It has also antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
MONTH OF : H I B A
Hiba (Thujopsis dolabrata) is native to Japan, a medium to large evergreen tree that can grow up to 40 meters tall with a trunk diameter of 1,5 meters.
It is notable for its fresh woody scent, which is attributed to the presence of a compound called Hinokitiol which it contains in high amounts, interestingly even more than in the actual Hinoki tree.
It is known for its calming and relaxing effect and has a soothing quality that can promote a sense of tranquility and grounding.
In addition to its aromatic qualities, the Hiba tree is also valued for its durable wood, which is resistant to decay and insect damage. The wood is used in traditional Japanese construction, including the making of temples, shrines, and other wooden structures.
[ Schedule ]
The Month of HIBA starts on Saturday 1st of July 13:00-18:00
and continues to the following Fridays and Saturdays till the 26th of August
Olfactory Journey With Us
Lately, there has been a growing interest in scent and an increased understanding of the science behind it. This has led to more awareness about the different types of scent molecules and their effects on our emotions and memories.
However, the marketing and strategies used in the fragrance industry can sometimes be misleading and confusing, making it difficult to differentiate between natural and artificial scents. Many scented products claim to be "natural" or use names and images that evoke a sense of nature, even if they contain synthetic chemicals.
When it comes to scents, natural ones are derived from plant extracts, flowers, fruits, and other natural sources. These scents are obtained through various processes such as distillation, expression, or extraction. On the other hand, artificial scents, also known as 'fragrance oils', are created in a laboratory using synthetic chemicals.
The challenge lies in identifying whether a product contains completely natural scents or a combination of natural and synthetic ingredients. Fragrances, including candles, perfumes, and cosmetics, often contain complex blends of various olfactory elements. Even if a product is named after a single plant, it doesn't necessarily mean that it only contains scents from that particular source.
We cordially invite you to embark on this captivating olfactory journey with us! By immersing yourself in the olfactory world of these remarkable plants, you'll have the opportunity to enhance your understanding of individual plants and natural scents.
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