Persimmon was once to geishas what mascara is to women today: a beauty essential.
The Japanese entertainers washed red kimonos with extracts of the fruit to help them retain their vibrant colour; laid dried persimmon leaves in their clean, folded kimonos, to protect them from bugs; and added persimmon to their bath water, for its antiseptic qualities. And the geishas used persimmon juice as a deodorant; its high tannin content means it absorbs odours well.
Now an American skincare firm has revived the geishas' beauty secrets with a line of soaps, spritzers and serums, which the brand claims is the first to use persimmon powder as its main ingredient.
"In Japan, everyone knows persimmon is a great natural remedy for [dealing with] odour, but outside of Japan few people do," says Koko Hayashi, the chief executive of Mirai Clinical .
This isn't the first time a geisha beauty trick has taken off abroad.
Tatcha, a San Francisco-based skincare company, draws on a 200-year-old book of geisha beauty secrets, which divulges tricks such as applying green tea to acne, using rice bran to soften the skin and hair, and using steamed camellia petals as face masks.
And it doesn't end there. Sea salt in your body scrub? That's a geisha method to beat cellulite (they mixed the salt with whipped cream, not oil). A green tea face mask? Yup, the geishas were there first, adding avocado and lemon juice to the mix. In recent years, even the anti-ageing nightingale poop facial (aka the geisha facial) has found wings.
To buy and learn more about Mirai Clinical's products, visit www.miraiclinical.com.