“Roubai” is a small beautiful yellow flower in a tree and the flower tells that Spring is coming soon. It is about 2-4m high with a yellow flower blooming January and February. “Bai” means “plum” but it is Chimonanthus of the family Calycanthaceae. “Rou” means wax because the flower’s color and luster look like beeswax. The flower is straw-yellow pale and if you touch it, it feels as if you have touched wax. “Roubai” is a Chinese name; Roubai’s English name is Chimonanthus praecox and people call it Winter Sweet, too, or Japanese allspice.
Robai is famous as the “Sweet aroma of Dismay”. The flower has a strong but not heavily sweet fragrance and it is made into several different essential oil components. People use dismay for relaxation and it is material for some perfumes. This special Roubai’s essential oil is also used as medication oil for many kinds of sickness like antipyretic and antitussive and has been used for pain in Japan for a long time.
You can find the word “Roubai” in the Japanese poetry form, “Haiku”. Japanese poets imagined from the scent feeling dismayed because they were missing someone they loved . The flower language of Roubai is Compassion, Leader, visionary and Tender heart and if you have the chance to smell that fragrance, you will have calm, peaceful feelings and be very relaxed.
One garden where Roubai is found is “Houtouzan” in Nagatoro. This garden is close to Tokyo and you can enjoy Roubai’s fragrance in the Winter. The scent is a promissory to residents, a true sign of the season.
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