Green Shiso. You are the faithful companion and shroud of the fish in the sashimi dish. Your elegant herbaceous savor complements so well the delicate flavor of the raw fish. The popularity of this Japanese dish made you famous overseas and raised the curiosity of the best noses in perfumery.
Shiso is a relative of the mint, growing in North East Asia. The Japanese have found many uses for this beloved herb, as it has also powerful bactericidal and preservative properties. Red Shiso is used to preserve, color and flavor “umeboshi”, the Japanese sour and salty plums found in every lunchbox or “bentou”. Freshly chopped Shiso on the top of spicy cod roe spaghetti, “wafu” style, is one the very best combination of Shiso in a fusion Japanese cuisine, highly recommended!
In perfumery, Shiso is a minor component in l’Eau Parfumée au Thé Bleu de Bulgari, and giving perhaps the light herbal note in the fresh Mandarino di Amalfi of Tom Ford. There are however some niche perfumes dedicated to Shiso, and I can’t wait to try a few of them such as Shiso from Comme-des-Garcons or Shiso of Roger Gallet. Shiso has still a great potential in cuisine and perfumery.