August 26, 2022

Listening to Yamadatmatsu Oju

The Japanese concept of "Ma" 間 emphasizes emptiness as powerful and filled with endless possibilities from which all things spring into existence. Whereas in the West space is often seen as empty and devoid of substance, the Japanese see Ma as necessary, filled with potential, and giving life to all that is created, like the silence between notes that make music a melody rather than noise. With Oju, Yamadamatsu presents a fragrance that is so full of depth and nuance, alluding to endless possibilities and inner peace found in powerful emptiness.

Yamadamatsu describes Oju as "deep and subtle" with "plenty of luxurious Kalimantan aloeswood." Deeply tranquil, opulent, and profound, Oju highlights Yamadamatsu’s selection of Kalimantan Aloeswood in a softly sweet and serene fragrance idea for meditation and contemplation.

Oju's unlit stick is soft, with a slight green sweetness like fresh grass in the springtime. Honey notes mixed with a maple quality rise to awareness above a soft semi-sweet earthiness of Aloeswood that presents a sort of soap stone quality. Oju's stick is clear, clean, unburdened, and light with a reservedness that displays a depth lying hidden within the unlit stick like unexplored potential.

Oju's initial note once lit begins with a rich earthy Aloeswood tone. In time a subtle soft fruity sweetness develops, barely perceptible, but yet strongly present. A soft green minty note blends with a woody melon tone that is refreshing and welcoming. Warm, soft, and filled with a wonderfully enticing sweetness, as the burn continues a rich Aloeswood notes rise and fall with a gentle ease that is smooth and penetrating, filling the burn with purpose and direction.

A wonderfully deep rich woodiness infuses Oju, like fine aged raw hardwood that displays the depth and beauty of nature's artwork through its tone and grain pattern. Yamadamatsu has earned a reputation for the quality of their fragrant woods, and in Oju this reputation is on full display, with a depth and richness that is quite extraordinary. Soft, warm, eloquent, and resonant, Oju's Aloeswood note is superb.

But there is a significant quality that transcends fragrance. A powerful nature fills Oju in a still and peaceful way, much like a visit to the Grand Canyon, where the size of the vista has the ability to mute sound, producing a powerful quiet that is omnipresent. Oju presents this type of depth, going beyond fragrance to create an atmosphere that is quiet and serene. Like fresh water from a pure mountain spring, there is a clarity to Oju, with a transcendence that is as illusive as it is omnipresent. Notes are present, yet not; just out of grasp. Like a Zen master fully awakened, Oju has no need to be showy or prideful; its peaceful confidence on display quietly, powerfully, and with a subtle confidence that is reassuring and calming.

Oju's after-note turns almost immediately softly sweet, with a floral quality that is unexpected. In time a deep rich Aloeswood note adds a savory quality with a balanced lightly salty tone. Filled with a clear sweetness, Oju's afternote has a softness that continues the calming and reassuring nature experienced while alight. Long lasting with superb 100-paces reach, Oju's after-note is salty and rich, filling a space with a wonderful Aloeswood tone long after it has been extinguished.

Oju is a magnificent example of Yamadamatsu's ability to showcase the potential of superior Aloeswood in a deep, tranquil, and peaceful fragrance. Softly sweet, serene, and filled with a pleasing depth, Oju is full of possibilities.

Don't say thank you
As that brings an end to it.
Let's remember this for a lifetime instead.

Yamadamatsu Oju is available in the following sizes: