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Fragrance to Enrich the Quality of Life for People With Dementia
Using “fragrances”, we enrich the quality of life of senior citizens including those with dementia. Fragrances have the power to  call back emotions connected to past memories, and has the potential to uplift the mood.  People with dementia, may benefit by enjoying fragrances in everyday life.
The History of Incense
The history of incense began when people started cooking with fire. In every civilization, there was a custom of burning incense. Perfume (parfum in French) originally meant “to permeate with smoke.”  Incense can therefore be said to be the origin of perfume. The incense culture is shared worldwide, and the sophisticated culture  of incense spread from the Eurasian West to the East through the Silk Road.  Then in the Asuka period (6th century), it was introduced to Japan along with Buddhism. During the Muromachi period (15th century), incense ceremony was regarded as one of the three traditional cultures of Japan, along with tea ceremony and flower arrangement.
Actual Case of How Incense Was Utilized
Since the Incense Research Institute founded in January of 2011, we have been conducting regular workshops utilizing incense at senior citizens facilities in Setagaya ward, a residential area in Tokyo. It has proven to be quite popular.
New Project “A Walk Through the Aromatic Seasonal Flowers and Trees”
“A Walk Through the Aromatic Seasonal Flowers and Trees,” is planned to start from the spring of 2015. At various locations throughout Japan (such as the “Lotus Scent” in Gyoda shi ,Saitama prefecture, or in the cypress and cedar forests in Aomori), people with or without dementia and children will be matched up in trans-generational groups, and will go on walks together to experience the fragrances in nature unique to the location, and encouraged to freely express their impressions artistically. The image each person receives upon encountering the fragrances of flowers and plants is unique. In the future, we would like to expand the events to every prefecture of Japan and organize art contests inspired by fragrance at museums every year.

Workshop of the Fragrance Project (Photos)

Photos of the Fragrance Project at the Dementia Friendly Japan Summit 2014 (DFJS2014) . Fragrance Project held a workshop at the DFJS2014, the 3331 Arts Chiyoda in Tokyo, July 6th.