Wednesday, 24 April 2013

#WishlistWednesday: Fornasetti incense boxes from The Conran Shop

00O00 Lifestyle Menswear Blog #WishlistWednesday: Fornasetti incense boxes from The Conran Shop (@SmellFornasetti / @TheConranShop)00O00 Lifestyle Menswear Blog #WishlistWednesday: Fornasetti incense boxes from The Conran Shop (@SmellFornasetti / @TheConranShop)
Fornasetti incense boxes / The Conran Shop

Last Thursday I took some time off work to attend a workshop called "The Art Of Kodo", a session about incense appreciation. I am so glad to have attended the event, it was a world away from my usual spreadsheets and pivot tables (and menswear red carpet), and into a moment of calm and zen-ness.

00O00 Lifestyle Menswear Blog #WishlistWednesday: Fornasetti incense boxes from The Conran Shop (@SmellFornasetti / @TheConranShop)
Kodo incense master Souhitsu Isshikenn Hachiya flew in specially from Japan to conduct the workshop, held at the beautiful surroundings of The Conran Shop in Chelsea. To be honest, I had doubts before the event. You stick the incense into the holder, what is there to talk about? Perhaps like wine tasting, we don't just drink it but we learn about the depth of the wine glass, the swirls, the smell, the vineyards etc. We could cut to the chase but as things and people evolve, we don't have time to appreciate the intricacies anymore. According to the master, most people in modern day Japan are well versed with the art of tea making and flowers arrangement, both of which featured heavily within their culture and history. Incense dates back a long time, but somehow the art and appreciation just slowly faded. He went on to add that from next year onwards, kids in schools in Japan will no longer learn calligraphy as part of their core curriculum. And it is a little sad, it will be about English and maths and business and technology and the world becoming ever so homogeneous.

A little sad but I understand the need to evolve and move on. So a little appreciation and time off to learn things like that is really wonderful, at least for me.

00O00 Lifestyle Menswear Blog #WishlistWednesday: Fornasetti incense boxes from The Conran Shop (@SmellFornasetti / @TheConranShop)
The master gave a demonstration on the rituals and steps involved in preparing the little pot, before placing a small piece of incense/wood in the middle. The pot was heated beforehand, and the heat brings out the amazing scent from the incense. One of the reasons why I was so keen on the workshop, was that I wanted incense around my flat to make it smell better. Scent evokes memories and emotions, and in modern open plan living it also masks all sorts of smells.

00O00 Lifestyle Menswear Blog #WishlistWednesday: Fornasetti incense boxes from The Conran Shop (@SmellFornasetti / @TheConranShop)
In modern day living, I think we can be excused for not partaking in the whole rituals of the art of Kodo daily. The Conran shop stocks these beautiful Fornasetti incense boxes, with the most strategic "holes" to slot in the incense for a dose of humour. The boxes come with gorgeous ceramic lids and 80 incense sticks. The box with the gun design comes with incense that is crafted by master perfumer Olivier Polge, the nose behind many iconic fragrances. So this week's #WishlistWednesday is a little about cultural appreciation, and a little about home improvements. You can shop the Fornasetti incense boxes online from The Conran Shop.

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2 comments:

what's he wearing?