Issey Miyake A Scent : Perfume Review

Scent issey miyake

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.

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  • violetnoir: Yep, it’s a dud in my book, too. Love it, or hate it, L’Eau d’Issey is a classic. A Scent is not.

    Hugs! October 27, 2009 at 2:31pm Reply

  • Mark D: Very thoughtful and interesting review. I was looking forward for something more exciting myself, but the fragrance disappointed me on that front. Ok, L’Eau d’Issey is not my cup of tea, but at least it is memorable. October 28, 2009 at 8:27am Reply

  • carmencanada: Of course, Cristalle was the first thing that popped up in my mind when I discovered A Scent this summer, and as I blurted it out, I could tell by the expression on the SA’s face that I wasn’t the first one. Which she confirmed (she also said people reacted to it in very clear-cut, love or hate ways).
    I quite liked A Scent at the outset, but like Cristalle Eau Verte it is one of those modern reworkings of chypre structures with the bottom cut out: no base notes. So that what starts out as a interestingly de-materialized green-floral chypre ends up in vague muguet territory. Still, I’d take it anyday over L’Eau d’Issey, which gives me the heaves. And, frankly, over quite a few new releases. October 31, 2009 at 3:44pm Reply

  • Flora: I have not tried this one yet, but I think that anything that lists “crystal moss” as a note is bound to disappoint me. The idea of a transparent chypre does not sound very good, I want the real thing! Just give me those base notes and nobody gets hurt. 🙂 November 7, 2009 at 1:32am Reply

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