Menard L’Eau de Kasaneka : Perfume Review



Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.

A burst of sharp fruity aldehydes is not an opening that would I expect of Menard L’Eau de Kasaneka created by a Japanese perfumer Shuji Suzuki, a fragrance described as spicy floriental. A wave of candied orange rind swells up before softening into creamy sweetness underscored by ginger candy and a dusting of nutmeg. Rich powdery heliotrope, or rather heliotropin, lends its sweet and buttery character to the composition, creating an association with a dessert that is a cross between violet scented candy and a cherry pie. The heart of the composition cannot be described in any way other than cloying.

However, the drydown is rather pleasant, with its softly powdered base of sandalwood and cool vetiver. The sweetness is toned down substantially, and the fragrance embraces the wearer gently, like a soft cashmere scarf. Ambrette (or hibiscus) seed is considered to be the closest substitute for animalic musk. Lending fragrances tenacity, it smoothes the base notes with its elegant and sensual feel. In L’Eau de Kasaneka, it is a soft anchoring point that brings balance to the composition. If there is a reason for me to own L’Eau de Kasaneka, it would be a lovely bottle designed by the famous Japanese painter Shozo Shimada.

Notes include hamanasu (Japanese rose), basil, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, bergamot, orange, carnation, heliotrope, jasmine, ambrette seed, sandalwood, vetiver, cedar, vanilla, musk.

Print: Cherry by Shodo Kawarazaki, 1951. kawarazaki10.html



  • Sisonne: Dear V, I´ve seen it on luckyscent & thought that the description sounds really interesting. But your review changed my opinion quite a bit, mainly because you think it´s cloying in the heart note. That really puts me off. Well, I´d try it myself, but it isn´t available in Europe, I think. But you´ re right: The bottle is gorgeous 🙂 September 12, 2005 at 6:41am Reply

  • Robin: Lemming dead, thanks V! September 12, 2005 at 8:41am Reply

  • Laura: Hmm. This sounds like it is NOT right up my alley, but we shall see, as I’ve ordered a sample from Luckyscent. The bottle is gorgeous, though. September 12, 2005 at 5:48am Reply

  • mreenymo: Well, maybe I would like to try it. Sweet isn’t always so bad, is it? 🙂

    Plus, luckyscent is donating 10 percent of its sales to the victims of Hurricane Katrina if you purchase something from them during the month of September.

    Hugs! September 12, 2005 at 12:49pm Reply

  • Katie: Thanks V. It sounds like I don’t need to really rush to try this one. The bottle is swoony, but the juice doesn’t sound like anything I’d go ga-ga over. That sweetness sounds even a bit off-putting. Thank you. September 12, 2005 at 9:35am Reply

  • Marina: Vikochka,
    do I have other favourite heliotrope scent…I am a heliotrope nut. I collect the soliflores. The favourites are Etro Heliotrope and Bourbon French Heliotrope, I especially love the latter these days.
    M. September 12, 2005 at 1:54pm Reply

  • Marina: Rich powdery heliotrope you say…cherrie pie…sounds like something I might enjoy. Not so sure about sharp fruity aldehydes in the beginning though. In any case, the presence of heliotrope is enough for me to make an effort to try this scent. Thank you for a lovely review, V.! September 12, 2005 at 10:27am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: L, let me know your thoughts. I did not mind the drydown, but the phase to get there was only marginally wearable for me. September 12, 2005 at 10:46am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: C, if I recall, you do not like overly sweet fragrances, in which case it may not be something to consider. I was curious, because the notes include some of my favourites (rose, cardamom, ginger). September 12, 2005 at 10:48am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, you are welcome. It is nice, but it is just too sweet and too candied at the outset. Sort of like NellyRodi Gimgembre, which I found overwhelming. September 12, 2005 at 10:50am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, I do not mind sweetness, but the composition should have something to offset it. In this case, it does not, remaining rather heavy for the lack of a better term. Again, if you like sweet, I would definitely recommend seeking out Kasaneka. September 12, 2005 at 10:52am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Pozhalusta, Marinochka! I would be curious what you think.

    Heliotrope is very difficult to render properly. I like it too. Do you have other heliotrope favourites? September 12, 2005 at 10:54am Reply

  • Campaspe: Oh dear, and the bottle was so promising. Still, I have a very high tolerance for sweet notes in fragrance so I will still want to sample. (In fact, some scents that others describe as sweet don’t strike me that way at all.) September 12, 2005 at 11:58am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: F, you should definitely sample it, because you might end up liking it. I liked the drydown, which is very soft and gentle. Of course, the bottle is lovely! September 12, 2005 at 1:00pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, sweetness is a good thing! I have a huge sweet tooth, although I do like my fragrances to be somewhat moderate in terms of sweetness. It all depends on the tolerance. I would just say that you should sample it before buying, because there is a very distinct powderiness in the middle notes, which you may not like. September 12, 2005 at 1:04pm Reply

  • Marina: ooops, meant – scents. September 12, 2005 at 1:55pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Spasibo za zamechatel’nye rekomendatsii! I need to revisit Etro Heliotrope, which as I recall was reminiscent of torrone.
    xoxo September 12, 2005 at 2:08pm Reply

  • parislondres: Great review darling V! I must try this – even if this is sweet. The notes are interesting.

    xoxo September 12, 2005 at 2:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Thank you, dear! The notes are interesting, and it should definitely be sampled, because the drydown is lovely.
    xoxo September 12, 2005 at 2:46pm Reply

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