Monday, June 28, 2010

Issey Miyake A Scent Eau de Parfum Florale: fragrance review

When a scent gains a flanker in the guise of just a different concentration (Eau de parfum vs. the original Eau de Toilette) you know you're in for a bumpy ride on some level, to quote All About Eve. Either one will be vastly superior to the other (see Allure, Opium), or there will be confusion among consumers (see Narciso, or Bandit) or both of those things.

Issey Miyake had launched A Scent last year: an ascending, airy green fragrance which impressed me favourably with its polished technical merit and re-introduction of green notes into the mainstream (a trend which one might argue was not pioneered by it, but to which it contributed positively). Imagine my disenchantment upon testing A Scent Eau de Parfum Florale by Issey Miyake and finding out it is not only ghastly but boring to tears as well!
Merely an alcoholic-ladden, light, ~almost to the point of insubstantiality~ floral scent with an aromachemical woody-amber base (Ambrox) for a little anchoring (they might as well not bother, it's fleeting on both blotter and skin). After this strong alcoholic blast passes, a diaphanous peony-jasmine accord (with a hint of peachy sweetness) that is more spectral than real.
I haven't been really scathing while reviewing on the whole, apart from a few atrocious cases, but this time I think it's needed. Eau de Parfum Florale seems like a marketing turn of phrase in the mould of "let's do a pink floral version for the heck of it, it will sell on the heels of the previous model" . No, dear marketing people, it won't, unless you suggest the formula goes into shampoo or liquid detergent (Personally I would prefer to just wash my hair with bar soap instead of this, but let's not pre-empty other people's preferences lest we're called names). What's happening? The Miyake company people weren't that cynical from what I recall. Pity on the perfumer who was given the brief: Is this why they do not reveal his or her name?

Yes, the new Scent is really different from the original as the sales assistant was quick to point out without any prompting. Yes, it's encased in the same (genius) bottle design that recalls sliced plexiglass bricks. Only in PINK! I have probably said the magic word that shutters all expectations for serious perfume lovers and just chimed the "abandon all hope ye who enter here" for those who read. Run for the hills. Run for your life. Run Lola, run! You might be inwardly protesting by now "oh but I like pink fragrances, they're so girly and cute!". Let me circuvent this thought, in case anyone thinks I am being snobby, aloof, or pretentious in saying so: No, do yourself a favour and get some really nice "girly and cute" pink juice: like Miracle So Magic, Kelly Calèche , Guerlain's Insolence or Gucci Eau de Parfum II in that paper-weight heavy bottle. They do exist. Just not into the cubicle-farm of A Scent Eau de Parfum Florale...

Notes for Issey Miyake A Scent Eau Florale:
Top: Jasmine petals, hyacinth
Heart: Galbanum, ylang ylang, rose, peony
Base: Patchouli, amber, moss

Available in 40ml and 80ml in major department stores.


  1. I didn't like the original Scent either. Or, I didn't smell it, almost at all. Maybe I need something that would alternatively work as paint remover, maybe it's some specific anosmia, who knows, but apparently, this saved me a disappointment with the flanker.

  2. L,

    the thing is the first was light but competently made: like they were saying something. The second just seems derivative and completely uninspired.
    True what you say though.

    BTW, I FINALLY (as in eons past) went to the post office and picked up your surprise which was waiting for me for weeks they told me *enter wussy face from me at the announcement*. I haven't opened yet, so will let you know asap.

  3. Note to self: retry the original. But on the topic of concentrations, I usually go EdP if I can (based on Guerlains), but the mention of Bandit interested me. I have my eye on some EdP, but is it vastly different from the EdT? I have some parfum, and have previously tried the EdT, so I was just curious.

    Also, should probably buy some Opium while supplies last....in EdP!

  4. You only think this is bad because you haven't smelled the new Hanae Mori. Think Eau d'Tide. Insulted my nostrils.

  5. Jared,

    concentrations do present a difference across brands (Guerlain is a good example, you're absolutely right; do try the old EDC if you can, they're excellent!)
    Bandit is very different across concentrations AND batches. I am referring you to my article because it can't be summed up in just a couple of lines. I personally prefer the butcher EDP, but only the "certified", newer version.
    Opium used to be excellent in parfum and edt and later on they issued a newer edp which was also quite good, very true to the scent of the parfum. Now (the whole line)...not so much.

  6. BTW, the Bandit article is linked within the review here.

  7. WPM,

    arghhh.....more laundry cleanser packaged as fine fragrance? Don't tell me more. Thanks for steering me away.

  8. Helg, I didn't intend to say that my anosmia and personal dislikes mean that the thing is crap. After all, I can't judge if it smells like a toilet freshener from far away to me, it means that the problem is at the receiving end (or at least hopefully so).

    Anyhow, the package is not much of a real surprise, I vaguely remember telling you what to expect. Hopefully, it provides you with some blog fodder, if I'm right, it should contain one or two rare vintages.

  9. Anonymous15:56

    I tried a new one yesterday and really liked it, but I don't have any idea what it was. I need to ask. It was at SAKS. I didn't care for his original one, but tastes change, and who knows I might like it now.

  10. Anonymous02:03

    so, um, do you like it?


    i didn't like the first "scent" that much anyway. actually, i liked it okay at first blush, but then really didn't like it the second time, when i tried it on skin. too bitter.

    octavian had nothing nice to say about this one, either.

    how DARE they mess with the pink perfume genre! so venerable and all. ;)


  11. Anonymous21:10

    i think i mixed up scent reviews - don't think octavian tackled this one. it was the new kenzo.


  12. L,

    oh no, didn't want to misconstrue you! The first one is also very light (and not revolutionary really) but kinda well-made, that's all. This one is lollipop washed 30 times in the high wash cycle.

  13. Anon,

    if you recall, I'm all ears!

  14. Minette,

    yeah, messing with the pink genre!! LOL!

    I think there is a galbanum note in the green one: that might have been a bit bitter on skin, so if you don't like your greens bitter, that might have played a role?

    I will hop over to Octavian to see.

  15. And ah, now I know what else to avoid!

  16. Anonymous23:00

    Oh, guessing the "poor perfumer's" name is easy...Eau Florale is a non-disguised copy of Yves Rocher's bestseller Comme une Evidence, by Annick Menardo

  17. Anonymous23:02

    Eau Florale is a non-disguised copy of Yves Rocher's bestseller Comme une evidence, by Annick Menardo (both)


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