Yuzu is a citrus fruit native to East Asian countries, primarily China, Japan, and Korea. The fruit looks like a small lemon or grapefruit, covered in yellow skin dotted with ridges. Though rarely eaten whole, yuzu is revered in Asian cultures for its medicinal, aromatherapeutic as well as culinary applications. You can find it in vinegars, marmalades, teas as well as in onsen (natural Japanese hot spring baths) and more.
Tangy, sweet, and slightly bitter, yuzu feels right at home with the zestier side of scents. Most people will instantly be drawn to the scent’s combination of sweet mandarin orange and citrusy grapefruit. By itself, yuzu is less pungent and tangy than both these citruses, however, making it an excellent alternative for those who don’t fancy the often-overwhelming zesty characters of most citrus perfumes.
Yuzu’s perfume oil is extracted from essential oils in its skin. It plays an important role in perfumery, where it’s often used as a top note or middle note since it prolongs the life of other citrus scents. Yuzu creates long-lasting, wonderful scents when combined with its citrusy cousins, such as clementine, verbena, bergamot, and the aforementioned mandarin and grapefruit. It also goes well with more oriental, floral, musky, or chypre scents.