Friday, September 4, 2009

Issey Miyake, A Scent

Several weeks ago, when I was at Saks, I saw a pretty husky guy look up, down, and all around nervously before spraying on A Scent. It was the first I'd heard of the fragrance, so when he asked me whether it was for men or women, I really didn't know what to say, though I generally don't know how to answer that question anyway. Before I had a chance to, he'd covered himself in a cloud of the stuff, so maybe the question was a formality.

I've never been a huge Issey Miyake fan. I like Intense for Men okay. It's good for a kick, though I suspect I'd never wear it. I like F'eau Dissey but can't seem to figure out when to wear it and always want it to last longer or go somewhere else at some point. L'eau d'Issey for women is an interesting calone fragrance, with that salt-water effect Escape by Calvin Klein has. L'eau Bleue is probably the most interesting to me, a sleeper from Jacques Cavallier, part herbal, part coniferous, a little doughy.

I wasn't expecting much from A Scent, so I was very surprised. I'd received a sample of Estee Lauder's Jasmine White Moss, which it resembles, shortly before smelling it. I couldn't picture myself buying Jasmine White Moss--too soft, maybe, or too refined---whereas I was at the cash register with A Scent before I knew what I was doing.

As you might have read elsewhere, A Scent recalls green fragrances past, particularly, to my nose, those which feature galbanum prominently. I smell a history of green in there, with stops at Aliage, Balmain's Ivoire, Chanel No. 19, Givenchy III, and Jean-Louis Scherrer. A Scent is much softer than Aliage, overlaying its punch of galbanum with a significant whiff of jasmine. Brighter and fresher than Jasmine White Moss, it also lasts longer. It has a citrus aspect to it that never really goes away, and somehow feels stronger rather than weaker as it wears. It also gets deeper, and richer.

It was created by Daphne Bugey, the nose behind Kenzo Amour, the DSquared fragrances, and the more recent Kenzo Amour Florale, all of which are equally persistent and weirdly more pronounced later than they at first seem they will be. Amour is one of those scents that seems to have gone away, until it wafts up again. I wouldn't say it's a skin scent. I'm starting to notice bedrock similarities in Bugey's work, relationships which intrigue me, making me wonder at her artistry.

I like A Scent a lot. It has a happy but intelligent feel to it, and if the same guy asked me who it was meant for all over again, I would say the masses.

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