Invitation to the World of Mysterious Fragrances
"Oita Fragrance Museum"
An extensive collection of fragrance and perfume bottles is exhibited in the museum, ranging from bottles from the ancient Egyptian era to the beginning of the twenty-first century. Other perfume related instruments, incense utensils from the East, and copper distillers are also on display.
The diversity of the exhibits holds its own with full-scale fragrance museums, even when it comes to Grasse from the home of fragrances, southern France.
* Establishment of the "Oita Fragrance Museum"
Under the sponsorship of Morihiko Hiramatsu, the former governor of Oita Prefecture (term of office: 1979-2003), and Yoshio Maruta, the former chairman of Kao Corporation (term of office: 1971-1990), the fragrance-themed "Oita Fragrance and Woods Museum" was opened in Notsuharu-machi in July, 1996 after 20 years of preparation. Its purpose was to revitalize the central region of Oita Prefecture.
As a project to commemorate 100 years since the establishment of Beppu University, the current "Oita Fragrance Museum" was opened in November, 2007 to contribute to prefectural development through vigorous community-building. It is a three-story building with a total floor area of 1,637m2, and is home to more than 3,600 valuable items loaned from the former "Oita Fragrance and Woods Museum".
Motivation behind opening the Museum in the University campus was a desire to advance o specialized education, such as cultivating curators.
1st Floor A vast collection of perfume bottles are brought together here and exhibited
2nd Floor The relationship between fragrance and history / people is exhibited.
3rd Floor Visitors can try their hand at creating original fragrances
Core glass scented oil bottle (Phoenicia :BC.200〜AD.100)
* Exhibition of Fragrances
At this Museum, visitors can enjoy a large collection of fragrances by trapping them in a special device and then smelling them directly or by transferring them to a mouillette (fragrance testing paper).
Here, visitors can enjoy the same fragrances as those loved by famous people who have sealed their places in history down the years.
The discovery of fragrance started with the use of fire, and mankind has pursued romantic and sweet fragrances since primeval times. A certain writer once said "smells are surer than sights and sounds to pluck the heartstrings."
Smells can even evoke memories of the past, and the utility of fragrance has not changed even today.
The world of fragrances from ancient Egypt to the current time has evolved through approximately 300 generations. Looking back now at the history of these people, we can see that the fragrances(ambergris,castoreum,civet and musk) once produced many years ago from the bodies of mammals continue to be used today in a kind of unbroken dynasty.
In the current era, artificial materials are often used as perfume ingredients. The rose, which people of ancient times associated with the goddess, Venus, is called the "The Queen of Fragrances". However, of all its aromatic components, it is said that around 5% of these components cannot be artificially produced. Chanel cultivates roses in order to produce the extract of roses. They harvest about 60 tons of centifolia roses every year, all of which are used for its "No5" product (first released in 1921).
* FiFi Award-winning Perfumes
Perfume bottles on show in this museum include FiFi award-winning bottles from the 1st (1973) to the 37th (2009) awards, and bottles designed by the so-called "bottle magician", Pierre Dinand, are on show. There are also many fragrances displayed that are familiar to us all.
Receiving the FiFi award, the "Oscars" of the fragrance world, bestows a great honor on fragrances. The awards are held every June in New York City, where winners from all categories are decided. Visitors can experience firsthand the changing tastes in fragrances over the passage of time as well as innovations in container design. It is said that natural and unobtrusive "soft fragrances" are becoming more dominant than intense and individual "vigorous fragrances".
This trend, which started from the previous decade, is because users have been favoring softer, fruity fragrances.
Containers are all made from glass, and all bottles are as clear and brilliant as crystal.
* Fragrance Blending Corner
Visitors can make a totally unique perfume to suit their own taste.
Visitors can select personalized top, middle and base notes, achieve the right blend ratio, and enjoy their own personal fragrance.
When you come to Oita, please be sure to visit the museum and pluck your heartstrings