Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
Only the travails of copyrighting a fragrance name can explain why Issey Miyake chose a nondescript a Scent by Issey Miyake to identify its most recent launch. Or perhaps the reason is really the “poetry of minimalism” mentioned in the press release. At any rate, a Scent by Issey Miyake disappointed me. Purportedly inspired by the smell of Japanese mountains, a Scent most strongly reminded me of Chanel Cristalle, albeit in its most attenuated form….
Created by the talented Firmenich perfumer Daphné Bugey, whose work for Le Labo has delighted me in the past, a Scent is a green floral, anchored by a transparent chypre base. The overall impression is of transparent verdancy, green citrus peel and sheer jasmine notes. The wet green floral accord is set against the base of white musk and limpid moss. The whole thing is perfectly pleasant, reminding me of a lighter, gauzier version of Cristalle. Indeed, there is a long tradition in perfumery of building on a venerated classic, one such example being Coty Chypre–> Guerlain Mitsouko; Guerlain Mitsouko–> Rochas Femme; Rochas Femme–> Yves Saint Laurent Yvress, etc. However, a successor should offer some interesting twist, while in the case of a Scent, each time I wear it, I wish I would have simply reached for Cristalle instead.
While I would much more readily wear a Scent if given a choice between it and a handful of other new launches, I have come to expect something more exciting from a company that gave us the groundbreaking L’Eau d’Issey and the intriguing Le Feu d’Issey (despite the fact that Le Feu d’Issey was a flop.) A scent that makes me think of a pale version of Cristalle does not enthrall me in the least.
A Scent by Issey Miyake includes note of jasmine, galbanum, lemon verbena, hyacinth, musk, cedarwood and crystal moss. It is available from Saks5thAvenue and other major retailers.