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Here are 7 unique Japanese essential oils that will take you on a journey through Japan’s beautiful and fragrant landscapes.

Japan, a land rich in both history and natural beauty, offers a unique bouquet of aromas that tell stories of ancient forests, expertly grown fruit, seasonal changes, and the deep connection between nature and everyday life.

This blog post explores some of Japan’s most enchanting but lesser-known essential oils, offering a sensory journey through the scents that make up its landscapes.

7 Unique Japanese Essential Oils

Hinoki — Woody, Minty, Resinous

Derived from the Japanese cypress, Hinoki essential oil encapsulates the serene and majestic essence of Japan’s sacred forests.

The wood, highly valued for its durability and beauty, is often used in bath products such a wooden bath tubs, shower stools, wash buckets, and floor mats. If you’ve been to a Japanese onsen, you’ve smelled and seen beautiful hinoki wood.

With a scent that is both lemony and woodsy, Hinoki brings you a sense of tranquility and renewal.

Try this recipe for a Hinoki Forest Bathing Bath Salt for an at home experience of Shinrin-yoku.

Yuzu — Invigorating, Citrus, Fruity

Japanese yuzu essential oil

Yuzu, a unique Japanese citrus, is cherished for its delightful and refreshing scent, which is more complex than that of its citrus cousins.

The essential oil extracted from yuzu peel offers a tangy, uplifting aroma that can invigorate the senses and brighten the mood.

During winter months, whole yuzu fruits are dropped in bath tubs for an uplifting winter bath.

Use this recipe to make your very own Winter Solstice Yuzu Scrub.

Hakka — Cooling, Minty, Crisp

Japanese mint essential oil

Hakka, or Japanese mint, offers a cool, crisp fragrance reminiscent of a clear, breezy day.

The essential oil is know for its invigorating and cooling properties.

While both hakka and other mints share a fresh, invigorating scent, hakka’s aroma is sharper and can be more cooling than spearmint, with a more intense menthol profile.

It’s especially favored during Japan’s humid summers, for a refreshing escape from the heat.

Try this hakka mint recipe for a Cooling Summer Hair Mist.

Shiso — Herbaceous, Anise, Fresh

Japanese Shiso essential oil

Shiso is a leafy herb that plays a large role in Japanese cuisine and medicine.

The essential oil of shiso is prized for its unique, herbaceous aroma.

Perillaldehyde, in particular, gives shiso its characteristic minty and anise-like aroma. It is believed to have antimicrobial properties.

Kuromoji — Spicy, Woody, Sweet

Japanese Kuromoji essential oil

Kuromoji is a type of Japanese laurel whose aromatic wood yields an essential oil with a sweet, spicy, and woodsy scent.

This makes sense, give that the tree is related to cinnamon, camphor, and bar laurel.

It is deeply soothing and has been used in traditional Japanese aromatherapy to promote emotional balance and relaxation.

Here’s a recipe for a Soothing Kuromoji Pillow Mist.

Hiba — Woody, Citrus, Earthy

Japanese Hiba essential oil

Extracted from the Hiba cedar, this essential oil offers a rich, woody aroma with subtle citrus notes.

A Japanese saying is that “In a house made of hiba, mosquitos do not come for 3 years.

Hiba wood contains potent antimicrobial compounds, notably hinokitiol (β-thujaplicin), which give it a strong resistance against bacteria, fungi, and insects.

It has been used for centuries, particularly in sacred buildings, temples, and shrines.

Try Hiba essential oil with this recipe for Hiba Infused Body Massage Oil.

Gettou — Floral, Citrus, Spicy

shell ginger Japanese gettou essential oil

Gettou, or shell ginger, grows in the warmer regions of Japan, like Okinawa, and provides an essential oil with a refreshing, uplifting aroma.

The scent is a harmonious blend of floral, citrus, and herbaceous notes.

Try this recipe for Tropical Hair Perfume With Gettou Essential Oil.

Conclusion: A Scented Voyage through Japanese Essential Oils

Each of these essential oils offers a unique window into the diverse and rich botanical landscape of Japan, inviting us on a scented voyage to explore the country’s natural wonders.

Whether used in aromatherapy, personal care, or simply to bring a piece of Japan into your home, these oils connect us to the enduring beauty and traditions of a culture deeply intertwined with nature.


Check out these popular Japan beauty recipes & wellness blog posts:

DIY Piña Colada Scrub

> DIY Lavender Vanilla Body Oil

> Ayurvedic Hibiscus Hair Oil

If you love Japan or you enjoy international beauty secrets and travel, then sign up for my newsletter where I explore and test different beauty and wellness rituals from around the world.

Leiohu Cosmetics owner Emma

Japanese Essential Oils You Need to Know



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