Strolling down a road I have never been down before (how can it have taken me so long to go in the opposite direction?) I not only discovered a – today closed but – very beckoning, curious looking recycle shop, but also an entire temple complex – complete with miniature ukiyo-o-e museum, to which I will inevitably return.
Sometimes on these extended lunch breaks I feel lonely. Not so today : in the blissfully warm, autumnal sunshine I sat on a stone ledge beneath a tall cypress tree and just felt the air.
In front of this wooden sliding screen window, before a house in the grounds, was a beautiful yuzu tree; with thick, crinkly skin; just a graze of its tight, crenellated surface enough to release some of its scent; the sacrosanct atmosphere forbidding all theft ( I am terrible when it comes to citrus ).
Even the cold pressed yuzu oil somehow doesn’t render the unique beauty of this long prized natural essence. The Muji essential oil I bought recently worked nicely in an iyokan, grapefruit lip balm/ vaseline hand cream I have given to some students ( for optimism and positivity ), some friends and myself called The Magic Orange, but it was more likely the iyokan-bright eye opener that starred there; the yuzu more a cameo background.
A drop on my toothpaste in the afternoon was quite enjoyable (deliciously cleansing and gum-clean), but still, I have never really found anything yuzu inspired that comes close to the natural peel. There are countless Japanese made solid perfumes, hand creams, body sprays that feature yuzu; some quite nice but usually with that synthetic unwanted undertow that you always hone in on.
In perfume the yuzu it is often too sweet (Oyedo by Diptyque; a real toothacher); brash ( Heeley Note De Yuzu; nice but a bit too late 90’s gay club); odd (Parfumerie Generale’s minty Yuzu Ab Irato); flouncy yet drab (Yuzu by J-Scent, Yuzu Fou) or even non-existent (Caron’s rubbish Yuzu Homme, which seems not to contain even a single drop).
No. It is best in the fruit.
Just picked from the branch with its prickled twig; rubbed on the skin..