Tokyo Kodo Chinatsuko Perez JoffreTokyo Kodo Chinatsuko Perez Joffre



Tokyo Kodo: Two people who create scents (Part 1)


Create a life with incense. The beginning of Tokyo Kodo’s fragrant story

Tokyo Kodo is a unit formed by a couple named Chinatsuko Perez and Perez Joffre. An interior aroma incense brand that proposes a lifestyle that incorporates incense.


Light the incense called LOVE CARROT. The moment it lights up, the smoke and aroma that rises. This is the first incense that Chinatsuko created. She was inspired by the scent of carrot seed, which she encountered while studying fragrance in Grasse, France.


Scents appear one after another, tickling my nostrils. This is the scene that came to mind. The sweetness of carrots, the rich soil that has been exposed to the sun, and the blue color of carrot leaves... Freshly picked carrots dug out of a vast potager under the warm sunshine. It is a harvest scene from a carrot field in the south of France. The scent of incense beckoned me to the simple feeling of happiness that the scenery evoked. I think Tokyo Kodo's incense has a similar effect to the scent of madeleines steeped in black tea in ``In Search of Lost Time.''

LOVE CARROT. The photo shows a gift set of 6,500 yen *Prices listed on the left will be effective from April 2021, 4 (Thursday) LOVE CARROT. The photo shows a gift set of 6,500 yen *Prices listed on the left will be effective from April 2021, 4 (Thursday)

LOVE CARROT is the first incense created by Chinatsuko. The photo shows a gift set of 6,500 yen *Prices listed on the left will be effective from April 2021, 4 (Thursday)

Tokyo Kodo's incense is designed to emit multiple scents, just like a fragrance. Traditional incense, so-called incense sticks, such as sandalwood and agarwood, are often blended with Chinese medicine. Do you understand the uniqueness of Tokyo Kodo, which uses natural perfume oils from France and creates incense products based on fragrance ideas and ideas? It has attracted attention due to its novel design and beautiful packaging, and many people may have seen it through art exhibitions and brand collaborations.

Determination to take over the family business
That too in my own way


Chinatsuko's birthplace is an incense stick shop specializing in temples that has been around since her grandfather's generation. Chinatsuko's generation makes it the third generation. However, she had no intention of taking over the family business, and after graduating from Tama Art University, she worked at a textile company. 2011 was a turning point for her. After the Great East Japan Earthquake, orders from her temple had drastically decreased due to the effects of the earthquake. Having watched the backs of her grandfather and father since she was a child, I wondered if things were okay as they were, and how I could express the invisible world of fragrance from the visible world of textile design. It's okay, I had a conflict within myself. Since she took over the business, she decided to fall in love with the world of fragrance, and she set out for Grasse, France, the home of fragrance, with only her thoughts of wanting to create something from scratch that she had vaguely envisioned in her head.

The streets of Grasse. The streets of Grasse.

The cute streets of Grasse.

Rose fields in Grasse, southern France Rose fields in Grasse, southern France

The sweetness of rose flowers and the vivid blue scent of stems and leaves. The southern French sun shines down on the fields of Grasse.

She entered the Grasse Institute of Perfumery and began learning about fragrances from the basics. Chinatsuko's class is a one-year course in which students learn from the basics and aim to become a fragrance professional. It is a narrow class with only 1 students allowed to enroll. She faces so many scents every day that she overworks her nose, to the point where it hurts. However, Chinatsuko says that her studies in Grasse were suitable for her.


``Not only did I get to learn closely from top-notch teachers, but I was also able to learn first-hand how the flowers and plants that are used as raw materials for fragrances are grown in the land of Grasse, which was an irreplaceable environment. What surprised me most, when I first visited a fragrance farm, was that there was no hierarchy between the people who grew the plants and the perfumers of the house. However, it can sometimes take several years for a single fragrance to be released into the world.It was great for me to learn about the process by which everyone works together to create a fragrance. It was a harvest.”

Experience the culture of fragrance
Grasse, the place where I met my partner

However, the more I learned about the depth of the world of fragrances, the more I learned about the cultural differences between scents and how they differ from incense. "You can see the landscape that appears in the scent, and beyond that you can see the background and identity of their culture. I thought it couldn't compete with the perfumes created by the French."


At that time, there was a teacher who encouraged me. ``Chinatsuko encouraged her to create incense. She told her to create the scent of the culture that Chinatsuko carries. That's something we can't do.'' It was a shout out to fellow scent creators with different backgrounds in the West and East, fragrances and incense. Originally, she was training in Grasse in order to fulfill her wish of making her own incense, but there was a learning experience that made her desire even stronger.

Twilight in the city of Grasse. I spent days learning about scents to the point that my nose hurt.

After finishing school in 2013, Chinatsuko remained in Grasse, looking for a stage (training) position at a fragrance company. Grasse is home to more than 100 fragrance and manufacturing companies, including the surrounding area. She wanted to stay in Grasse because she was exposed to wonderful raw materials and to search for the raw materials for the incense she creates. Then she got a chance to train as a natural assistant perfumer at a fragrance company. It was easier for her to understand English than French, so when she didn't understand something, she went to one of her colleagues, one of the few in the company who spoke English. Her colleague who carefully explained to Chinatsuko's questions was Perez and her partner, Jofre, who would become her life partner and Tokyo Kodo's partner. We will leave the story of the path the two take to create incense in the second part.



→Tokyo Kodo Continue to the two who create scents (Part 2)


(Titles omitted)


It is a unit of Chikako Perez, who was born in Tokyo as the third generation of a family that runs an incense stick sales company specializing in temples, and Perez Joffre, a former professional tennis player who worked at a fragrance company.The unit combines Japanese and Western traditions. An interior aroma incense brand that combines technology. We procure raw materials in Grasse, France, the home of fragrances. Based on the concept of coexistence with nature, we are particular about creating incense using the highest quality natural fragrances possible.

Photography by Natsuko Okada (Studio Mug)

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