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We have spoken previously about Japanese literature , architecture and children illustration. Today we return to Japan, a fascinating country, to discover  Colors Japonica.

I hope you join me in this subtle and exquisite travel thanks to Aoiro Airdesign in which we will learn more about the unique Japanese aesthetics, the philosophy of the Japanese ‘art of packaging’,  the distinctive culture of ‘gift giving’ and the ceremony of appreciating a fragance.



Aoiro Airdesign  is an atelier of olfactory design in Berlin & Tokyo, founded by the Japanese – Austrian duo Shizuko Yoshikuni & Manuel Kuschnig.  They are the creative and talented duo behind Color Japonica.

The concept of Colors Japonica derives from the Japanese mindful approach to discover beauty in your everyday life. Inspired by traditional Japanese colors that portray a wide spectrum of color palette found in nature and its plants, Aoiro reinterpreted these color associations into three distinctive scent compositions that will revive each memory of these unique colors:

  • Yanagi Iro: the color of the willow leaves
  • Daidai Iro: the color of the citrus fruit
  • Sora Iro: the color of the sky


The finest fragrant raw materials were selected by both their ‘unique scent profiles’ and ‘therapeutic qualities of each plant’ to compose the scents of Colors Japonica, and carefully gathered from a different part of the world.

Aoiro has been innately following the philosophy which derives from “Kohdo“, the Japanese classical art & ceremony of appreciating a  fragrance.

As explained by Manuel: “we wanted to create our fragrance product series to be as natural as something like you would feel the changes of the weather or seasons in the air. For that reason, we wanted to keep the materials themselves (woodbox and washi) to stand out as a visual appearance and to keep a plenty of space for customer to sense and feel, when they take our product on hands.”


Shizuko shared with World Kids this touching memory of her chilldhood that helps understand the exquisite philosophy of Colors Japonica:

The rituals of appreciating the scent comes from my childhood, a special moment in front of the family Buddhist altar offering an incense stick. I spent a lot of time with my grandparents and this was a daily morning ritual before breakfast. We also prepared a small ball of freshly cooked rice and a freshly brewed tea to place it on the shelf, sit in front with a straight back and light an incense stick. Then we made one or two signals with the small singing bowl and closed our eyes to pray for a minute. It was in total a very short moment and done in our daily environment of home, but this one minute always gave me such a fulfillment and a sense of peace. 

Japan is very special for me as not only it is my home country but I was surrounded in many mindful non-verbal signs in my growing up and felt it would be beautiful to be able to communicate these qualities through our products.”



Some of the products of Colors Japonica include the scented candle that brings you a tranquil state of mind, Airmist room perfume and wood diffusor. It also includes the original fragance card: a honeycomb card that is infused with fragance and comes in a smart resealable bag. You can simply place it in your closet or take it with you in your bag, wallet of further destination of your journey.


All the products are beautifully presented. The packaging concept of Colors Japonica was developed with the use of authentic materials and techniques combined with a modern interpretation. It reflects the elements and philosophy of the Japanese ‘art of packaging’, and at the same time the distinctive culture of ‘gift giving’. In order to implement these qualities, Aoiro carefully selected authentic materials from different regions of Japan, which enabled them to work closely with skilled artisans who still follow the traditional approach and technique of creations.




Each of the Paulownia wooden boxes (Paulownia imperialis) is tailor-made, individually assembled, and branded by the hands of a master craftsman. This precious wood has been traditionally used as a chest of drawers for kimono or as a box to store acclaimed art objects and antiquities. Several types of textured washi (traditional Japanese paper) were selected as product labels,  and manually embossed in gold or colors to accompany different materials of wood, glass, and porcelain.



Finally, delicately-thin handmade washi paper gently wraps the product and it is closed by a colorful knot of Mizuhiki (decorative strings made from washi) which are being used as artistic ornaments at various occasions and ceremonies.


Photos courtesy of Colors Japonica


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