Most perfumery output today can be divided roughly into the children of Angel and the children of Light Blue: Angel, as in Thierry Mugler and Light Blue, as in Dolce & Gabbana. On the fringes of the Angel and Light Blue families, you have an ever popular white floral clan that once upon a time was sultry and dark like Hermès 24 Faubourg and is now pretty and coy in the manner of Juicy Couture and Elie Saab. Issey Miyake’s Pleats Please belongs with that group, even though it speaks with a Light Blue accent and also has Angel’s patchouli. It’s a cosmopolitan perfume counter citizen.
Pleats Please was created by Aurélien Guichard, the same perfumer who interpreted peach as a decadent dessert in Bond no 9 Chinatown and made lilac modern in Gucci Guilty. The opening is a mix of juicy apple and orange. Imagine chilling apples in the fridge near the freezer compartment and then taking a bite out of the icy, crunchy fruit.
Without skipping a beat, Pleats Please jumps into the rose and jasmine, which are pale and pastel toned. It’s an abstract floral accord, which sometimes makes me think of tuberose and at other times of violet, but the rose with its honeyed core is distinct. The jasmine isn’t too squeaky clean, which makes Pleats Please more interesting. Even when you reach the musk and vanilla in the drydown, you notice floral nuances.
Like Juicy Couture, Pleats Please is less of a pastry than a nectar drenched flower. It’s a much sweeter fragrance than I ordinarily like, but it moves seamlessly from one stage to the next and maintains its glittery, bright character without fading. The interpretation is not new, but the quality of the composition is fine. Pleats Please isn’t likely to end up in the pleiad of classics, but for an undemanding, “girly as they come” perfume, it’s a good choice.
That being said, it won’t be your cup of tea if you don’t care for perfumes like Light Blue, Marc Jacobs Daisy or Narciso Rodrigez For Her. And Juicy Couture, of course. Pleats Please makes no qualms about upping its dose of fruit and taking notes from other big white floral successes. On the whole, it’s crisp, juicy, and scintillating; it’s a fun blend. I will take it any day over Valentina, Nina or Lola.
Issey Miyake Pleats Please Eau de Toilette includes notes of Asian Nashi pear, peony, sweet pea, cedarwood, patchouli, vanilla, and musk. The fragrance is available in 30ml, 50ml and 100 ml bottles.
Sample: my own acquisition