Japan is one of the very few countries in the world that is blessed with four distinct seasons. The Japanese people have long sought the meaning of life in the rhythms of nature. The four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter have always played a very important role in Japanese culture and spirituality.
In understanding the importance of the four seasons in Japanese culture, Salvatore Battaglia (owner of Perfect Potion) discovered the haiku. The four seasons are beautifully articulated in the haiku poetry of the 17th century Master poet – Matsuo Basho.
As the haiku poet bears his soul through the words that he writes to describe the beauty of nature, so too, the aromatherapist blend essential oils to recreate the spirit of nature. Basho’s haiku awakens our soul to appreciate the beauty of nature. Just as Basho embarked on his pilgrimage around Japan to write some of his finest haiku to reflect on the feelings of each season, Salvatore’s journey to Japan has inspired him to create the most beautiful blends that imitate the quintessence of each season.
Basho admired scent. He was all too aware of scent’s divine presence. In this poem, he reflected on the mystical qualities of scent;
From which tree’s bloom
It comes, I do not know
The Essence of Haiku
In early times, most Japanese lived very close to nature. The timing of seasonal events was common knowledge. Poets wrote of what they experienced and everyone reading their work understood the implied season without thinking too much about it.
Although there have been poems similar to haiku for a long time, it was only in the 17th century that the most famous of the haiku poets, Matsuo Basho, formally established the seventeen syllable, three line structure of the haiku.
The traditional Japanese haiku often expresses a Kisetsu – season feeling, to show the season, often right down to the month or even the day, in which it is written. Each haiku has its kigo, a word that, by referring to a particular season, triggers a series of personal associations in the mind of the reader.
Under the trees
Soups, fish salad, and everywhere
This haiku, written in the spring of 1690 depicts a scene of a picnic under cherry trees in bloom. Sakura petals are falling on people, picnic dishes, rice wine and everything that happens to be there. There is an implication of nature benignly enveloping all things, including man, within itself. All man has to do is give himself up to this embrace.
The haiku is said to represent a moment of heightened aware to our surroundings. It epitomizes that fleeting moment that occurs in our lives that we often miss because we are too busy to slow down and to appreciate the simple things around us.
The haiku can increase our awareness to slow down and tune into this fleeting moment, to appreciate what is right in front of us. We pause not only with our body but also with our mind. The haiku forces you to “be in the moment”.
The haiku makes us rely on what our senses are telling us, not what we have been taught is true or think we believe is true. The haiku is written from experience, not from knowledge or belief or idea.
Spring – Haru
Spring is when the cherry blossoms burst open with life. Nature is invigorated and rejuvenated. Spring is the time to be inspired and energised. This is the time to embark on new projects.
Allow the fresh vibrant aromas of bergamot, grapefruit and petitgrain to invoke warm sunny spring days, while the herbaceous scents of basil, rosemary and geranium will allow your spirits to soar. Infuse this with the intoxicating rich green note of galbanum to perfectly capture the essence of spring.
Summer – Natsu
Summer is when the sun unleashes its vitality upon nature. Summer is a time when our senses are heightened and our passions are aroused.
Arouse your senses with the playful fruity aromas of orange and mandarin that will conjure up childhood memories. These oils have been blended with the intoxicating and sensual floral fragrances of rose and ylang ylang. A dash of aniseed adds a spicy note, the sweet vanilla-like aroma of benzoin warms the heart while lemon myrtle and palmarosa add a wonderful zest to this blend that perfectly captures the spirit of summer.
Autumn – Aki
Autumn is a time when the cool, crisp air and morning chills begin to surround us. This is the time to reflect on our destiny and our purpose.
Let the aromas of fir and lime sweep you away to the tranquility of a pine forest so that you can reflect on your life in harmony. Allow the warm spicy dry notes of nutmeg, hyssop and coriander seed to help you find purpose in what you do while the woody warm aromas of frankincense and cedarwood provide you with courage. This is the spirit of autumn.
Winter – Fuyu
Winter is the time that the gardens begin to wither away and the trees have lost their leaves to bear their soul. This is the time to find solace, inner peace and strength.
Allow the embracing herbaceous scents of lavender, clary sage and sweet marjoram to fill your heart with warmth and help you find inner peace. The delicate woody aroma of sandalwood and the buoyant fresh scent of orange and bergamot gracefully balance this blend to perfectly capture the essence of winter.
Four Seasons Range
Perfect Potion’s Four Seasons products include essential oil blends, handmade Japanese incense, pure vegetable soaps and gift cards. Perfect Potion hope you can take the time to reconnect to the seasons of nature with our exquisite range of Four Seasons products.
Essential oil blends
The Four Seasons essential oil blends carefully convey the mood of each season. They will expand your consciousness and help gain a new appreciation for the seasons of nature. These blends can be enjoyed in a vaporizer, added to a massage base oil or a few drops can be used in a bath.
Koh-do, the art of incense, has been known for thousands of years in Japan. It is an important part of Japanese spiritual culture and classical literature. Incense is perfect for those of us who seek quiet reflection and peace of mind. Incense is said to purify the mind, bring moments of peace and tranquility and is often used to attain a state of spirituality and sense of oneness with nature.
Perfect Potion’s four seasons incense are made in Japan according to the traditional and ancient practice of incense making incorporating the finest incense raw materials from around the world with Perfect Potion’s certified organic essential oils.