Join us as we explore a line of fine fragrances created from a rather unexpected ingredient: Japanese wood.

Sushi, tea ceremonies, forest bathing, kawaii culture – the world is truly obsessed with anything that comes out of Japan, and for good reason. There’s something fascinating about a tiny archipelago made up of almost 7,000 islands that manages to dominate the worlds of fashion, pop culture, technology, automobiles, and more. What we never expected, however, was to discover a Japanese fragrance brand available right here in Bahrain during a mindless scroll through Instagram, but we’re glad we did.

Named Kitowa, it was founded in 2018 and develops its products using natural oils extracted from precious Japanese woods. It is centred around incense manufacturing as Japan has a 450-year-old incense heritage that the company is perpetuating, and utilises the essence of naturally grown wood to create the likes of incense sticks, perfumes, and even bath essences. And if the appearance of bath essences in its portfolio feels odd, it’s because onsen is not only the Japanese name for a hot spring, but also a term that covers the bathing facilities and traditional inns frequently situated around a hot spring.

As a country with no shortage of volcanic activity, Japan is known for its countless hot springs that contain healing properties. At Kitowa, there are three different bath essences to choose from: Hiba (aomori cypress), Hinoki (Japanese cypress), and Kusunoki (camphor tree). The brand turns to these tree varieties for their excellent durability – they’ve long been used for the construction of wooden buildings. We’re told that these trees are very rarely introduced abroad, and are therefore unfamiliar to people who do not live in Japan. Sharing the same names are Kitowa’s luxe, unique fragrances that are housed in sleek and minimalist bottles topped with – you guessed it – wooden caps. The scents of these comforting, woody formulas have a noble presence and are deeply rooted in the life of the Japanese. And with Kitowa now offering same-day delivery in Bahrain, what are you waiting for? ✤