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‘The Way of Incense’

Fornasetti incense boxes. Picture: Courtesy of Fornasetti


Today we focus on Fornasetti and welcome the rare chance to indulge in an olfactory voyage of scent and sense exploration.  The Conran Shop has teamed up with scent enthusiast Odette Toilette and Fornasetti, to host a Kōdō ceremony in the Chelsea store on Wednesday 17th April and we urge you to book your place now!  Promising a scratch & sniff soiree, this Japanese incense ceremony dates back 1500 years and is a rare treat for the senses.  Led by one of the only remaining Kōdō masters in the world, Souhitsu Isshikenn Hachiya, the ceremony involves burning a series of fragrant woods and observing the complex blend of characteristics, whilst ‘listening’ to the fragrance in a state of pure concentration and calm.  The ceremony is at 4pm, tickets cost £30 and include a 75 minute incense ceremony, a glass of champagne and an incense set worth £30 from Fornasetti.  With only 20 places available, make sure you book now to join us in our journey of fragrance discovery.

The Japanese art of Kōdō, (The Way of Incense) has a long history but rose to its peak of popularity during the Edo period (1603-1869).  This ritual of burning incense was practiced by wealthy commoners, aristocrats and warriors and was designed to enhance aesthetic senses through an appreciation of incense.  Kōdō came to be a popular art taught by masters in specialist schools but the end of the 19th century witnessed the decline of many traditional Japanese arts.  The 1960's saw Kōdō Masters from the most prominent schools revive the art, which led to a coining of the term 'Kaori Buumu' or 'fragrance boom'.

Fornasetti Flora Candle, £99



The Fornasetti legacy is not the longest but it is certainly admirable.  Formed by Piero Fornasetti, (10 November 1913 - 9 October 1988) the story is one of handcrafted objects, unique works of art and signature motifs.  Employing the skills of expert craftsmen and women, the production techniques and quality remain the same today under the watchful eye of Piero’s son, Barnaba Fornasetti.  From cabinets and mirrors, to tables and chairs, the majority of the items are re-editions of original designs whilst collections of ‘re-inventions’ are new concepts using decorative elements and imagery found in the Fornasetti archive.

Much of Piero Fornasetti’s original work was based on infinite variations of the same ideas.  The sun, playing cards and harlequins all featured regularly, in addition to the opera singer Lina Cavalieri who was the muse and motif found on a host of Fornasetti designs.

Fornasetti Archive. Picture: Courtsey of Fornasetti


The core collection of Fornasetti Profumi per La Casa, respects the Fornasetti ceramic heritage with a host of decorative images on scented candles and incense boxes.  The fragrances are the work of world renowned perfumer Olivier Polge who has worked alongside Barnaba Fornasetti to create a heady mix of scents that have personal significance.

Fornasetti Incense Box - Pistola


Combining herbs from the family home with iconic archival imagery, the collection of home fragrance pieces deeply resonates with the earliest Fornasetti principles.    All Fornasetti incense is created by renowned Japanese manufacturer Nippon Kodo using traditions learned throughout their 430 year history.  Artisans in their field, Nippon Kodo are the perfect partner to bring their rare and exquisite aromas to the Fornasetti collections.  The Conran Shop is proud to stock a selection of home fragrance ranging from candles to incense.

Fornasetti Studio. Picture: Courtesy of Fornasetti


The Fornasetti house lies in the Città Studi region of Milan and is a testament to the creativity of Piero Fornasetti.  Built by his parents but now home to Barnaba, the house is a living archive of rich artwork and inspiration.  Bursting with unique designs, original furniture and found objects, this canvas is a labyrinth of creativity.

Fornasetti Kitchen. Picture: Courtesy of Fornasetti