Tobali Spring Snow ~ New Perfume Review

Originally Published on  5 March 2019



Spring Snow via Tobali & Blossoms in the Snow via 123rf.


In melted snow, On the branch of the cherry tree, a white flower. – A.Dabac

Taking inspiration from traditional Japanese Kabuki and the concept of “hidden beauty”, Tokyo based perfume company Tobali has created a mysterious and haunting perfume called Spring Snow. Tobali is a Japanese word created over 1000 years ago to mean “…a cloth used to hide something, or hanging silk used to divide a space and offer concealment. Being hidden by a veil, allowing only glimpses to be seen, both increases the appeal of what lies on the other side and sublimates that attraction. Therefore the name “TOBALI” was chosen.” -Tobali Perfumes

Nakamura Utaemon VI in and out of costume via wiki apped by Robert H

In Kabuki tradition female roles were almost always portrayed by men. The hidden beauty in Tobali Spring Snow alludes to Nakamura Utaemon VI, arguably one of the most famous Kabuki actors whose female characters were thought to be the ultimate expression of femininity.

Nakamura Utaemon VI via Kabuki21

He was devoted to an image of beauty transcending that of gender, and when he passed away, it was on an illusory day very much befitting the life he had led; with the spring cherry blossom in the full bloom in the garden amid a powdered scattering of unseasonable snow. Tobali Spring Snow is described as “Calm concealed in grace” and is a perfect metaphor for this allusive and compelling fragrance. It’s what you don’t immediately see, but rather glimpse through gentle snowfall that creates the beautiful aura surrounding this scent. Categorized as an incense and woody perfume, it is so much more than that. Spring Snow is the iron fist in the velvet glove; presenting a perfect feeling of yin and yang, strength and tranquility.

Still from Rashoman 1950 © Machiko Kyo in Rashomon

Created in 2017 and presented in an all-white bottle shaped like a Japanese Mino-ware alter-offering container, Tobali’s Spring Snow presents like the wafting breeze lifting the wife’s veil in Kurosawa’s classic film Rashomon. The gentle spray of Spring Snow on my arm feels light and airy; a puff of powder from a lover’s boudoir, but cool as snow drifting; a gauzy layer of soft cherry blossom enrobed in a late spring snow. A woody incense is lightly burning in the background, hinoki, cedar-like notes, and precious sandalwood drift and mingle with the tranquil mix of dancing snowflakes and yellow blossoms. It’s an addictive complicity, this mix of Ukon Sakura, reminiscent of cherry blossom trees laced with the rich sandalwood and musky amber. It brings to mind strength and softness at the same time. The cashmere wood wraps the fragrance in the quiet still of meditation, and the presence of the oudh adds a scented umami that creates the beautiful and untroubled depth of Tobali Spring Snow leaving the wearer with a wondrous and other-worldly perfume.

Notes: Ukon Sakura (Turmeric-Colored Cherry Blossom), Creamy Powdery Snow, White Sandalwood, Cashmere Wood, Vetiver, Musk, Amber, Hidden Japonism 834 (Oudh-Centered Notes).

Disclosure: Thanks so much to Europerfumes  the US distributor for Tobali for Spring Snow. The opinions are my own.

Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor

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