Perfumes and Japanese People | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

Perfumes and Japanese People

By Guidable Writers Feb 11, 2017

Are You Using Perfumes?

Do you like using perfumes? They have already been kind of fashion, and you would use them for different situations. Japanese people who like perfumes have been also increasing lately, however, lots of people are still resistant to them. It might be caused by a climate of Japan, their taste in fragrance or lifestyle. To be had a favorable impression, you need to know how Japanese people think about perfumes.

“Smell Harassment” – A New Kind of Harassment

Have you heard of “smell harassment” or “sume-hara”? It is Japanese-made English word which means to make people unpleasant due to smell. It is said that because of body odor or halitosis, but it also contains smell of perfume, imported fabric softener, etc. which used to be thought nice smell these days. Though it depends on the individual, however, when they smell that smell for minutes, some of them have a headache, or get nauseous especially when they feel sick. You might feel upset, but it is also fact that there are still many people who dislike artificial smell here in Japan. Some of them might endure its smell, but if someone complain about your perfume or fabric softener, you might need to pay attention to amount of it.

Why Do Japanese Avoid Perfumes?

You might think it is a shame that lots of Japanese people still dislike using perfume though it smells so nice and creates each person’s own smell. The biggest reason they don’t like it could be it smells quite strong and lasting. Originally, western people don’t used to take a shower every day and had to use perfume to cover their odor. However, Japanese people’s body odor is less than western people, and they traditionally take a shower/bath every day because they are originally cleanly people, and a climate has a high humidity. Moreover, lots of Japanese people think the scent of the soap after bathing is the best, and using or buying perfume is quite affected. On the other hand, it is also fact that some people who have sweat odor cause annoyance in others especially inside that train/bus because they don’t use neither perfume nor deodorant. Some people also believe that no smell is good smell, and you can choose deodorizing, not adding other scent.

Fragrance Which Is Liked by Japanese

Because Japanese people like light and natural scent; soap, citrus, green tea, etc., and it might be okay if you choose fragrance which has that scent. Not only Japanese brand, some imported fragrances also have pleasant smell, and they are popular among Japanese, too. Therefore, Japanese people also like subtle scent, and it is important that you put any perfume in moderation. In any case, you should keep in mind that you put fragrance to make comfortable people and yourself.