Noticed: Olfactory Artist Yosh Han

By Cara Kagan.

Call it fate. Call it destiny.  But the Chinese character for perfumer Yosh Han’s first name actually means “fragrant.”

Yosh Han at her blending desk

Of course it’s entirely possible that this phenomenon stems from the fact that Han’s mother is a Japanese flower arranger. But be that as it may, the San Francisco-based artisanal perfumer professes to have always felt an almost supernatural attraction to the aromatic arts. And given that she is also a clairvoyant, aura healer and reiki practioner, she should know all about intuition.

Perfumer Yosh Han

Han officially started her perfuming career in 1994, when she walked into a boutique in Aspen, Colorado with hundreds of bottles lining the walls and felt this crazy urge that she absolutely had to work there, even though she wasn’t quite sure what kind of shop it was. She asked the manager for a job but was told they weren’t hiring. Han held her ground and insisted that she was destined to work there. At last, the owner herself relented. Han apprenticed as a perfumer for two years, mastering the exquisite art of combining healing essential oils with sensuous perfume essences.

Yosh Han's Evanescent Collection

These days, her sublime, ready-to-wear Evanescent fragrance collection, which blends the art of perfumery with the benefits of aromachology, (the therapeutic usage of essential oils), is available at Barney’s and Henri Bendel, chic boutiques and websites internationally.

The goal of each creation isn’t to merely scent the wearer, Han notes, but to also “Entice the senses, fascinate the mind, and enchant the soul,” a process she calls, “Trans-aromation.” Each Yosh fragrance is vibrationally attuned and designed to resonate with the principles of Chakra energy and numerology.

Yosh Han-Workshop

The Evansecent collection includes Sottile 1.6, a sheer floral; White Flowers 1.41, a complex floral; U4EAHH! 2.43, a tart, watery infusion; Ginger Ciao 2.27, a gourmand floral and Han’s signature scent; Stargazer 7.71, a green, tropical floral and another personal favorite; and Omniscient 0.96, a woody, Oriental, powdery blend. (The numbers correspond to each scent’s fragrance family, such as “floral,” “fruity,” “green,” “woody” and “spicy”.)

Yosh Han Sombre Negra

In 2011 Han introduced Sombre Negro, or black shadow, the debut fragrance in her new “M” series. This collection represents a departure from Han’s signature ethereal potions in that its raison d’etre is to explore fragrances that evoke “our primal natures.” Han calls Sombre Negro “the smoking gun” fragrance; its brooding blend of vetiver, patchouli, cedar, olibanum, pink pepperberry, black peppercorn, clove, juniper, citrus, nutmeg, cumin, tonka and orris root evokes mystery, excitement and elusiveness.

For a couture fragrance experience, Han creates individualized signature scents in her Pacific Heights studio. Each custom brew is based on the wearer’s personality, skin type and fragrance preferences. For a scent that will truly resonate with each client, she encourages them to allow their intuition and emotions, rather than simply their nose, to select each ingredient.

And true to Yosh Han form, a custom-blending session just may kick off with an aura reading.


All images by Sven Wiederholt,

Cara Kagan is a freelance beauty and lifestyles writer who has contributed to many national magazines, including Self, Shape, Fitness, Glamour, Real Simple, Town & Country and Harper’s Bazaar. She now writes a monthly health, beauty and fashion blog, Notorious NYCK at

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