Amber Kiso


A ritual in the holy Kiso forest: ceremonial katana unguent of rare woods, temple incense, leather bushi armor.

Top Notes

  • japanese cedar
  • incense
  • sawara cypress

Heart Notes

  • asahi zuru maple
  • patchouli
  • iris

Base Notes

  • hinoki
  • leather
  • treemoss

Japanese forests contain numerous trees with wood that is sacred in traditional religious ceremonies. The connection to the forest is realized in ritual offerings that include incense made from these rare woods.

Hinoki wood’s strong timber has been used for temples, Noh theaters, baths, and masu. Hinoki from the Kiso forest was sourced for the holy Ise shrine in Mie Prefecture. Sawara Cypress is a sturdy lemon scented “false” cypress with red stringy bark. The timber is also used for temples and shrines. It grows wild on the is- lands of Kyushu and Honshu.

Asahi zuru maple is an ancient variety of maple native to Japan with beautifully ornate pink, white, and green leaves. Its name means “swan at dawn.”-D.S.



Alcohol denat, parfum (fragrance), aqua (water), alpha-isomethyl ionone, benzyl alcohol, benzl benzoate, benzyl salicylate, citral, citro- nellol, eugenol, farnesol, geraniol, isoeugenol, limonene, linalool


Listen to Amber Kiso

Holy forest music gives way to ’60s Japanese garage


  • When our fume master David creates our fragrances, he sees them in color. The throw of a particular aroma can be described in the colors it implies in the mind of one with synethesia. Vetyer can smell straw like yellow, patchouli, deep red, and so on. David is very enthusiastic about translating an idea from one discipline to another—so music, words, and ultimately color become aromas to wear on skin and in sanctuary.

  • A dirty straw-like aroma over cypress. Recalls conifer forests and choice Japanese baths.

  • A catch all term for tree resins that smell vanillic-balsamic. Most have been with us for thousands of years partly because they can be used with very minimal processing (i.e., pick off tree, light on fire).

  • Animalic and timeless. These days we use synthetic vegan reconstructions. Leather can be versatile as it ranges from clean butterscotch, to horses, to stinky animalics.