Nanban by ARQUISTE Parfumeur

In stock
Article code ARQ005
A woody oriental fragrance evoking the dark hull of a galleon full of exotic cargo. With notes of: Malabar black pepper, Persian saffron, Chinese osmanthus, coffee absolute, Spanish leather, myrrh, frankincense, sandalwood and cade.
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January 1618, a Japanese galleon, the Pacific ocean.

Following a diplomatic mission to the West, a galleon carrying a delegation of samurai charges through dark ocean currents. Loaded with a rare and precious cargo, the ship’s hull is redolent of sweet-smelling tropical woods, heady Spanish leather, frankincense, fine black pepper and other exotic ground spices—the intoxicating spirit of a singular, extraordinary voyage of discovery.

Developed with Rodrigo Flores-Roux.




Malabar black pepper

Persian saffron

Black tea accord

Chinese osmanthus



Coffee absolute

Spanish leather







Copaiba balsam



An intoxicating, woody oriental based on the ancient commercial trade between Asia, Europe and the Americas, with a spicy, sensual opening and a lush, robust incense base.

Eau de Parfum. Large 100 ml / 3.4 fl oz. bottle of the highest Italian quality with our signature ‘A’ engraved  metal cap, as well as the newest technology for an invisible spray tube.


- The precise time and place that NANBAN centers on is the last leg in the transoceanic voyage of a Japanese delegation returning home, after having spent seven years abroad visiting Europe, Mexico and lastly, the Phillipines. After failed negotiations with the West, Ambassador Hasekura Tsunenaga organized for the ship to be loaded in the Manila one more time before returning to Japan.

- The pitch black hull of the galleon carried exotic goods like European leather, fine oil paintings and carved woodwork, rich spices from South East Asia and silver, cacao and coffee from Mexico. It was the last commercial and diplomatic excursion to the West until the 19th century. After this epic mission, Japan closed its borders to foreign influence, due to its mistrust of Catholic missionaries. Hasekura Tsunenaga’s journey represents a unique and almost forgotten moment in history, one never to be repeated.

- Nanban (南蛮, “southern barbarian”) is a Sino-Japanese word, originally referring to foreigners arriving to Japan from the south sea. In Japan, the word took on a new meaning when it came to designate the Portuguese and Spanish, who first arrived in 1543, and later other Europeans.  Today it’s used more as a historic designation, referring especially to 16th and 17th century art and decorative objects with a European influence.

- The fragrance of NANBAN represents a Japanese story outside of the traditional vision of the country. It’s not Japanese in style because it composed of ingredients from Europe, South East Asia and Mexico alien to Japanese culture, but that were brought into the country by the 17th century delegation. A ‘foreign-style’ (i.e. Nanban style) fragrance representing an oriental view of the West, and vice-versa.