The Kodo way of scent, “listening to the soul” while smelling perfumes, is the way to translate into words the smell itself.
In fact in the Japanese Way of scents the participant should recognize and voice not only the names of the components but also describe the emotions that the fragrance produces on him and the memories it awakens.
The Japanese Kodo is a very civilized olfactory education method.
In fact the base of olfactory education is to be able to name the smells by their name.
One is surprised by the number of persons who smell absolute of coffee or lemon essence and who smile with pleasure over the bottle, recognizing only happy memories associated to the smell, without being able to name these most familiar smells. Part of this first step is to recognize the different ingredients of a composition.
The second step is to listen to the soul and to become aware of the emotions and memories the smell produces, describing them.
The third step is to learn the very special language of perfumers in order to be able to describe a smell as you can describe a scene.
If you never were taught the words “round” or “fresh” or “deep” together with experiencing the specific smells which are typical of these descriptions, how can you describe fragrances or smells of any kind.
The Kodo way of listening to the soul is also the right way of naming of a new fragrance for the perfumer. In fact everything that exists has it’s name, the name of a new perfume is not to be invented (by marketing staff) but rather discovered (unveiled) by adepts of Kodo.
Sometimes, just because the birth of a perfume is like the birth of a song, the perfumer’s starting point is the name of the perfume, for instance “Holy water”.
In that case he will use his ability of Kodo (again “listening to the soul”) to compose a scent who bears that name.