The more you listen to Fleur Japonais’s fragrant expression, the more it draws you in – it feels at moments very spiritual, like you’re watching a ritual in an ancient temple.

The incense is never overwhelming or dense, it feels so…light and clean. Nor does it get too smokey or too sweet anytime! The almost transparent layers of light florals are framing gently the image of a temple, gaining momentum and vibrating in soothing and comforting amber-glowing leathery tones much later,  in the drydown.

This is the seventh perfume in the collection, and is fascinating again: Fleur Japonais is Maurice Roucel’s interpretation of Sakura for Shalini Parfum.

What a strange thing!

to be alive
beneath cherry blossoms.

Kobayashi Issa

Ah, the exquisite moments of beauty, the tiny slots of time when you become utterly aware of sudden beauty surrounding you, and its temporary nature! Yet these moments, sometimes lasting only for seconds, may feel like a lifetime.

cherry tree blossoms

Moments you wish to keep repeating, missing them once they are over and at the same time feeling alive and hopeful because there’s always a thin line of hope, there’s a promise in the air that more beautiful moments are ahead of you,  days filled with tiny and passing miracles of life  which can only be fully appreciated if you stop, take time and fully immerse in the experience.

Here and now, here and now.  To BE alive, beneath cherry blossoms, beneath all things that shall pass, beneath the perfume you are wearing, beneath the greatness of the Universe!

Almost all the most famous cherry blossom Haiku poems revolve around acceptance of the passage of time, death, rebirth,  the bittersweet awareness of strength in fragility, and the ever so fleeting beauty of life.

It’s more than merely observing delicate pastel flowers on a tree, petals flying through the air and falling down to the ground in swirling movement.  The complex beauty of Sakura lies inside the observer – it is intellectual, serene, and mindful.

A soul-fulfilling experience that inspired the creation of Fleur Japonais, as described by Shalini:

“Following the Sakura all over Japan is a cherished dream of mine… moving from town to town as the flowering season of cherry blossoms continues for a few weeks.

Clouds of pink caressing your face. The delicate fragrance of cherry blossoms scents the air.

The temple bells chime softly as the soft scent of the fragrance floats like pink petals caressing the earth.” 

Perfume is poetry.  Silent poetry, using fragrant notes and accords instead of words and rhymes!

And Fleur Japonais is truly a fragrant poem, quite touching in its delicate and fine construction – a haiku composed by Maurice Roucel, as usual.  This is the 7th perfume in Shalini Parfum’s carefully curated collection and yet another high-quality, graceful composition.

Fleur Japonais Shalini Parfums Bottle With Flowers

What M. Roucel does to blooming cherry blossoms in Fleur Japonais goes well beyond the concept of pink, delicate, floral-smelling interpretation of blossoms per se.  This cherry blossom viewing smells more like a recalled, distant memory of Spring bloom, an introspective contemplation, a feeling of inner harmony and hope.

Sakura viewed from a temple

The beginning of this fragrant poem is a soft but steady stream of frankincense and resins with a tender and very graceful expression.

Only when you dive inside the stream you are able to feel pink petals swirling upwards, until you are surrounded by layers of soft florals upon woods, clouds of tenderness fluttering over the creamy thickness of  Magnolia.

Come to think about it, this Magnolia interpretation alone is wonderful if you long for an opulent, elegant, thick, and grand flower strategically well-placed in a perfume.

The more you listen to Fleur Japonais’ fragrant expression, the more it draws you in – it feels at moments very spiritual like you’re watching a ritual in an ancient temple, and yet again the incense is never overstepping its boundaries, it feels so…clean.

Nor does it get too smokey or too sweet anytime, the scented image of light florals is framing gently the image of a temple, vibrating in soothing and comforting amber-leathery tones much later,  in the drydown.  Beautiful.

Fleur Japonais feels to me like a cloud of kindness: encompassing and eliciting hope in humanity.  I do have an urge to get lost in it. For some reason, it makes me feel comfortable in my skin.

Notes (as stated by the brand): Frankincense, Labdanum, Sandalwood, Cherry Blossoms, Magnolia

Fleur Japonais is a Pure Parfum available in different formats on Shalini Parfums’ website.

P.S. Japonais, Japonaise, if you’re wondering about the grammar: with all due respect, maybe this poetic freedom of the name reflects inspiration behind the perfume, revolving also around The Man (Samurai) and The Flower (Sakura).  Both die too soon, with or without an -e.  The perfume doesn’t.

The Plum Girl

Elena Cvjetkovic

Photos: Elena Cvjetkovic, Shalini Parfum, Unsplash / Tomoko Uji / Masaaki Komori

A 7,5 ml PR sample of Fleur Japonais was kindly sent to me by Shalini. Opinions are – as always, of my own.  Test before you buy! 

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