Scandinavia and Japan have more in common than it might appear at first glance. They share a similar minimalist aesthetic, ranging from Muji and Ikea to Marimekko and Moomins. There is a compatible attitude in how best to enjoy life as well. From 2016 onwards, the Danish concept of hygge became a global buzzword, meaning an ability to be present and enjoy it. It’s not hard to see why this is compatible with Zen and Japanese mindfulness. The English duo behind home fragrance brand S K A N D I N A V I S K, Shaun and Gerry–having already won the hearts and minds of their adopted home of Copenhagen–have their sights set on Tokyo. With the aim of pampering the senses to communicate the “absolute essence of Scandinavian lifestyle” through their products, S K A N D I N A V I S K are speaking a language Japanese audiences can understand.
Scandinavians use more candles than anyone else in the world and this is the depth of experience S K A N D I N A V I S K offer. With names such as Fjord, Koto and, indeed, Hygge, their candles and diffusers focus on the light, intriguing aromas of Scandinavia. The brand has recently expanded into hand lotion and hand cream to keep Japanese hands soft and moisturized during the chilly winter months.
SKANDINAVISK goodies have been available in selected Tomorrowland stores in Tokyo for around two years now and from last year can be found in both Isetan and Mitsukoshi.
SKANDINAVISK explains its inspiration from its source in the Scandinavian region and the almost devotional importance of candles:
“Candles were borne from the region’s exposure to extended cold and darkness and the need for people to come together, over centuries, around a source of heat and light.
But it’s their ability to then turn this rather functional need into an almost spiritual experience that sets Scandinavia apart – the magic of turning any situation into a moment of cosiness, especially those shared with friends and family around the illuminating glow of a flickering candle flame.
Each nation has their own name to describe it and all will proudly tell you there is no direct international translation. ‘Hygge’ is Danish DNA, the Swedes like to ‘mys’, the Norwegians ‘kose’ while the Finns – ever different – find their own warmth in ‘lӓmpöӓ’. But each word reflects the same cosy, snuggly Scandinavian feeling and, perhaps, the secret to the happiest nations on earth.”