Creative Incense Immersion

Experience scent through connection past and present

By Serena Ogawa    - 4 min read

Kneading scents together to create incense—it’s almost like cooking: you have the recipe, tools, and ingredients. However, the connections we make to various scents make the experience of mixing incense a much more personal and even evocative one. Scent can trigger memories or feelings inside of us, even more vivid than those while looking at photographs. Explore that connection with Project Felicia's Creative Incense Workshop. Project Felicia founder and scent communicator Hiro Nakayama can take you through an interactive experience with scents unlike any you’ve experienced.

Admire the colors and textures of the scents together
Admire the colors and textures of the scents together

Incense arrived in Japan in 552, when Buddhism was introduced from China. Blending scents together for enjoyment became popular during the Heian period (9th to 12th centuries). Nowadays, incense is making a global comeback with every country and region having their own scent preferences. Hiro focuses mainly on focuses mainly on the traditional scent palette of Japan and although naturally produced scents and synthetic scents both have their place, the incense-blending workshop focuses on natural scents.

Getting ready to mix the incense powders
Getting ready to mix the incense powders

The creative Incense experience begins with talk and explanation on the various scents and kinds of incense. You’ll learn about what pre-measured six natural ingredients you’ll be using. After mixing the incense powders—adding them in whatever order your heart desires—it’s time to add water. Eventually, you end up with a dough-like mixture you can shape into anything you want: traditional sticks, balls, or even cats or flowers! It’s a therapeutic experience, rolling and shaping the scented dough.

Make any sort of shape!
Make any sort of shape!

It might sound straightforward—but you’re in for a surprise if you smell any of the other participants’ mixing bowls. Despite being the exact same measurements of the exact same ingredients, each person is likely to have created a slightly different scent. This scent experience is a truly fascinating interaction between nature, fragrances, and your emotions. It’s made for anyone who enjoys the connection to past and present that incense allows us to experience. At the end of the workshop, pack up your creations and admire them for years to come—or use them, of course.

Hiro Nakayama founded Project Felicia to engage in projects that bring out “happy things”. In 2008, after discovering that her sense of smell was weakening due to stress, she became involved in the fragrance world. Project Felicia was founded in 2013 in New York; and from 2014, Hiro has held fragrance events from New York to Singapore. In August 2017, she relocated her activity base to Japan. Her experiential events propose balancing your lifestyle with scent in everyday life.

Hiro Nakayama, scent coordinator and founder of Project Felicia
Hiro Nakayama, scent coordinator and founder of Project Felicia

Project Felicia organizes creative incense workshops through their homepage, Facebook, website, or by phone. Whether you’d like instruction in English or Japanese, Hiro has you covered. In late 2019, Project Felicia hopes to offer its own pre-measured incense creation kits for personal use. But why not contact Hiro Nakayama and explore for yourself the connection that scent has to our own bodies and how our everyday life affects our sense of smell. You’ll be amazed by memories and thoughts that come to you while you experience incense.

Getting there

Project Felicia is ready to meet you wherever and whenever you have the need to experience a creative incense workshop. Contact Hiro Nakayama through Facebook, website, or by phone.

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Serena Ogawa

Serena Ogawa @serena.ogawa

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Kim B 2 months ago
What an awesome find. I definitely want to give this a try!
Serena Ogawa Author 2 months ago
It is definitely worth it!