comme des garcons: 13 posts

Comme des Garcons Incense Series Kyoto : Perfume Review

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If I feel particularly tired at the end of a day and I don’t have time for my usual de-stressing rituals–a bath, an hour with a cup of tea and a favorite book, I burn some incense. I store the joss sticks in a large box that after several years of being used as an incense receptacle smells of sandalwood, oud and spices. As I watch the slender sticks turn to pale grey ash and inhale the rich aroma, my worries seem less important.

When I want the incense to linger on my skin, I reach for my favorite incense fragrances–dry and woody Donna Karan Black Cashmere, bright and fresh Atelier Cologne Bois Blonds, or Comme des Garçons Kyoto. Kyoto, created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour, is a part of Series 3 Incense, which was launched in 2002.  Avignon took us to France, Ouarzazate to Morocco, Zagorsk to Russia,  Jailsamer to India, and finally, Kyoto to Japan.

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Comme des Garcons Play Red, Green and Black : Fragrance Review

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I love when a perfume makes me smile. Sure, I love fragrances that challenge me and make me want to dress up for them, but on most days I want something that’s playful and easy to love. For this reason, sparkling orange blossoms are my perfume staples. The Comme des Garçons fragrance collection has plenty of playful perfumes, even if  some like Comme des Garçons Original and Odeur 71 straddle the line of unwearable for me. But the new trio of Red Play, Black Play and Green Play launched under Comme des Garçons’s casual Play label is squarely in the fun “t-shirt and jeans” perfume category.

Red Play

Does the combination of cherries and leather sound intriguing to you? It certainly caught my attention, and Red Play became my favorite out of the trio. The sweet orange and pepper is piquant and zesty, but the initial sparkle belies the complexity of Red Play. It’s like biting into a luscious red cherry and discovering that it’s actually made of red hots, the spicy cinnamon candies. The tartness–think rhubarb, red currants or green raspberries!–contrasted with the spice makes for an exciting fragrance. Playful is the best description for it. It makes me feel chic, like someone who knows instinctively how to accessorize a dress from H&M with a vintage belt or how to wear a fedora and not look ridiculous.

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Comme des Garcons White : Fragrance Review

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Malevichsnowstorm

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

White ashes falling off a burning incense stick is the main association that links the color white with the name of the Comme des Garçons fragrance. White roughness of a pomegranate’s inner skin, white powder falling gently from a chalk scraped against the blackboard, and ice covered pine branches are the images conjured by the composition. Yet, the main reason the fragrance evokes whiteness is not for any of these specific associations, but for its tranquil and quiet character. Donning its luminous veil instills the same serenity one feels when staring at the snow falling softly until the entire vista is shrouded in white.

White was created in 1996 by Mark Buxton, the nose behind the original Comme des Garçons, Comme des Garçons 2, Comme des Garçons 2 Man, Comme des Garçons 3, and Yves Saint Laurent In Love Again (with Jean-Claude Ellena), among others. The top notes spill into a sheer powdery mélange, made weightless and sheer by spices. The effervescent warmth of pepper and the camphorous sweetness of cardamom swirl like the white smoke of burning incense against the tart powderiness of pomegranate. …

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Comme des Garcons Odeur 53 : Perfume Review

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Picasso250

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

Abstraction is what modern perfume has been striving for over the course of the 20th century, moving away from the representational genre dominating the previous periods. The first abstract fragrance was Houbigant Fougère Royale (1882), which combined synthetic material coumarin with bergamot, oakmoss and geranium. Elegantly serene abstraction is how Comme des Garçons Odeur 53 can be characterized, a fragrance that is comprised solely of synthetics in its attempt to reproduce such inorganic smells as sand and metal.

Created in 1998 by Martine Pallix, Odeur 53 strikes me as a cubist take on a classical jasmine and wood combination. Abstract is an important qualifier here, since the fragrance does not represent either to the extent that they are obvious. Yet, somehow the composition reveals the essential elements of this pairing—warmth and woody sweetness. Daringly, more than 60% of the formula is comprised of hedione, which is an aromachemical possessing a radiant jasmine quality. …

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Comme des Garcons Zagorsk Incense Series : Perfume Review

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Vasnetsov78

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

Swirls of incense smoke float in the air, rising before the doleful images of Orthodox saints. The beeswax candles leave a trail on the pine wood floors, throwing ribbons of light across the darkness of the altar. Zagorsk takes its name from a Russian town built around a 14th century monastery, therefore the opening accords conjure quite an appropriate vision.

Created in 2002, Zagorsk is part of Comme des Garçons Incense Series, which include Avignon, Kyoto, Jailsamer, and Quarzazate. Zagorsk is the softest of these incenses, a veil of cold smoke over frozen flower petals. The incense is woven gently through the resinous sweetness of woods, which upon the first inhale recall a smell of fresh scrubbed wooden floors, bearing a layer of moisture.

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