Japanese Plum Blossom Perfumes

Sweet Scents to Welcome Early Spring

By Elizabeth Sok
February 14, 2024

Update your scent wardrobe with the fragrance of plum blossoms this spring.

With the weather still cold many of us are looking around for the first signs of spring: a daffodil, a bird song and maybe a flowering ume (Japanese plum) tree. In Japan, plum trees blossom between January and March, making them an early bearer of good news that warmer weather is on the horizon. Nowadays, spring hanami (flower viewing) undeniably revolves around sakura (cherry blossom) trees. But, in Japan’s storied Nara period (710-794), when waka (Japanese poems) first began being penned, ume blossoms were the center of spring’s flower festivities instead. So, this spring why not bring the exquisite beauty of ume into your scent wardrobe with Japanese plum blossom perfumes?

In recent years, perfumers have been tapping into this sensual note to designate both Japan itself and the springtime. Said to have a sweet and bright floral fragrance rather akin to jasmine flowers, plum blossom perfumes are a unique, yet lovely scent to add to your collection. Below are six Japanese plum blossom perfumes that use ume as the main olfactory note. Read on to find your perfect early spring fragrance!

Hakubai by Musashino Works

Hakubai by Musashino Works: Japanese Plum Blossom Perfumes

This fragrance by Tokyo’s Musashino Works is an homage to the white plum trees growing in the Musashino Plateau. At once fruity, floral and spicy, this intriguing perfume is a Japan-only gem. The core of Hakubai is sweet and flowery. It has top notes of strawberry and plum and middle notes of jasmine, rose and geranium. To match the blossoms’ true scent, carnation is added to the middle notes, while the bottom one is balsam fir. A spritz of this spring fragrance will keep you wanting more!

Price: ¥3,900 (25mL)

Yoru no Ume (Night Plum) by Parfum Satori

Yoru no Ume (Night Plum) by Parfum Satori

This floral and woody perfume by Japanese perfumer Osawa Satori was inspired by one of the many classic waka (Japanese poems) about plum blossoms in the ancient text, the Manyoshu (a collection of Japanese waka poems). While its top notes of clove and apricot and middle notes of red plum, rose and lily-of-the-valley ring in as a sweet floral, the bottom notes of sandalwood, musk, balsam fir and cinnamon impart a clean woodsy scent at the end. This mysterious dichotomy makes Yoru no Ume a sensual fragrance. Since Parfum Satori focuses on making perfumes that harmonize well with Japan’s temperature environment, this is a must-try in the country itself!

Price: ¥15,840 (50mL)

Love Story Eau de Toilette by Chloe

Love Story Eau de Toilette by Chloe: Japanese Plum Blossom Perfumes

A newer version of the original Love Story, this Eau de Toilette, produced by the brand’s perfumer, Alice Flipo, represents a lovers’ meeting in the morning. The fragrance is primarily floral with a slightly seductive edge. Its top note is bergamot paired with middle notes of orange blossom, plum blossom, lily-of-the-valley, rose and nasturtium. The fresh and clean aspects of the scent are derived from its white musk base. With its soft and sweet scent, Love Story is perfect for everyday wear.     

Price: ¥12,100 (50 mL)

Bright Red Plum Tree Eau de Toilette by Chaya Cosme

Chaya Cosme’s Bright Red Plum Tree draws direct inspiration from the fruits and flowers around Kanazawa in Ishikawa prefecture, where the company is based. This fragrance has the sweetness of ume flowers, but a lightness unlike other perfumers’ spicy/sweet take on plum. As such, this elegant scent is recommended as a lovely gift as a first or signature fragrance for someone looking for a gentle smell. If perfumes aren’t for you, there is also a hand cream in the same scent available for purchase!

Price: ¥3,520 (50mL) eau de toilette. ¥1,650 (50g) hand cream.

Ume (Plum) by The Perfume Oil Factory

Ume (Plum) by The Perfume Oil Factory: Japanese Plum Blossom Perfumes

This delicious Japan-based fragrance is based on the refinement of plum blossoms in the cold, calling forth their history as a symbol of social status when blooming in local gardens. When the elegant plum combines with the juiciness of pear, it produces a sweet scent while retaining its delicateness. The top notes for Ume are plum, pear and freesia while the middle notes lean fruity and bright with loganberry, lime basil and passion fruit. Grounding it all is the base note of marine minerals. As the Perfume Oil Factory’s specialty, they suggest that this scent be layered with others in their collection, such as sakura (cherry blossom) or red apple lemon zest.

Price: ¥5,940 (8mL)

Kimono Rin by Decorte

This perfume by the Japanese cosmetics brand Decorte is a woody floral with a sweet ending. With the beloved ume as a central player, this fragrance plays on the duality of elegance and strength. The top notes are the fresh and fruity bergamot, candied plum, mandarin, grapefruit and cassis. They meld with the heady and strong florals, jasmine, magnolia and rose in the middle notes. Then, the gentle bottom notes of patchouli, vetiver and vanilla almost catch you off guard with their earthy sweetness. Kimono Rin thus offers a refined sweetness akin to the elegant plum blossoms.

Price: ¥9,130 (50mL)

Have you tried any Japanese plum blossom perfumes? Let us know which ones!

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