The Yohji Yamamoto line of fragrances came out in the late 1990s and created their own myth, perpendicular to the Japanese designer's fashions. There was Yohji (for women, a fruity with chypre elements by Jean Kerleo in 1996), Yohji Essential (a newer version of the original by Jean Michel Duriez in 1998), Yohji Homme (a spicy woody for men by Jean Michel Duriez in 1999) and then Yohji Yamamoto Femme (a floral fruity by Nathalie Feisthauer in 2004) and Yohji Yamamoto Homme (a woody oriental by J.P Bethouart from 2004).
One among them, Yohji Homme, in particular went down in the guide by Turin & Sanchez as extremely influential, if one goes by the amount of fragrances said to be referencing it (and how fun that according to said verbiage the perfumer Jean Michel Duriez of parfums Patou was inspired by Annick Menardo's licorice segment in her masculine gourmand Lolita au Masculin -supposedly the homage was returned in Menardo's later Body Kouros for YSL).
And then the perfumes were all dropped about 6 years ago when Yamamoto struggled with his creditors to avoid bankruptcy.
The good news is that the dormant line is being re-issued this spring (2013), set to be available in major department stores, in markets such as the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, Ukraine and Russia, as well as Yamamoto boutiques internationally. The first launches will include Yohji Yamamoto Man, Yohji Essential and Yohji Senses (this is a new fragrance). According to Paul Christie, who is the chief executive of Yamamoto Parfums, there are two new Yamamoto fragrances, developed by Givaudan perfumer Olivier Pescheux, in the pipeline and should be out by the end of 2013, with the proviso that they follow the original formulation as closely as possible.
Yohji Homme, that elusive hard-to-find discontinued masculine, is rumoured to relaunch in autumn 2013 in counters stateside. The licence of Yamamoto Parfums is held by the IFD Group.
Whether the compositions will remain the same or there will be a significant revamp was my main gripe (and we have the past history of the re-issue of Laura Biagotti's Venezia to make us a bit hesitant), but surely with such a cult status it would be a misstep to offer something completely different and the PR staff assure me that the new compositions will follow the originals as closely as possible.
[Besides the ingredients do not necessarily lend themselves so casually to the allergens chopping block].
So rejoice and glad that Perfume Shrine is the messenger of such great news!