What are some distinct Japanese smells?

My favorite Japanese scent

Eat and DrinkKnowledge


When I first arrived in Japan many years ago, there happened to be a certain shrub in bloom. I didn't know what it was, but it smelled so outrageously great! I later found out that it is called "Kinmokusei" (金木犀). The latin name for this shrub is "Osmanthus fragrans var. aurantiacus", but we don't have anything like this in the United States.

Trying to describe the smell is difficult, other than a very sweet but exotic floral scent. It's best if you smell it yourself!

The Kinmokusei plant usually blooms in mid-October. You can find it in many people's personal gardens. The shrub itself is rather nondescipt, but when in bloom it looks like this:

by Andrea Miyata

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