Oct 17, 2012
It turns out that it is used as a fragrance, but not very often. And this is not without reason—from the 70's to the mid-90's, kinmokusei was the only game in town when it came to toilet deodorizers. For the majority of Japanese people old enough to remember, the smell is too closely associated with bathrooms to be repurposed. Way to ruin nature!
It seems like this may be changing, though, as other scents like lavender and soap take over bathroom duty. I bought some hand cream the other day, a fall-only limited fragrance called Osmanthus. It smelled nice, but not familiar. I gave some to a coworker to try, and she looked up the name and said "Ohhhh, of course! Kinmokusei! You know that tree, right? Everyone knows that tree!"