Monday, March 4, 2013

Discontinued Yohji Yamamoto Perfumes Re-issued: Cult Fragrances Back from the Dead

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 There was Yohji (for women, a fruity with chypre elements by Jean Kerleo in 1996), Yohji Essential (a newer version of the original by Jean Michel Duriez in 1998), Yohji Homme (a spicy woody for men by Jean Michel Duriez in 1999) and then Yohji Yamamoto Femme (a floral fruity by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!


  1. Anonymous20:09

    With its cinnamon and coumarin facets, could Yohji Homme be the same today? The fact that this is a mainstream relaunch makes me doubtful. Also, I predict it will have less leather and more pronounced masculine amber since that seems to be the trend with these reissues.

    BUT I still will try the reissue and I will still have high expectations. At the very least, good for them for bringing this back!


  2. Interesting that YJ pour homme will appear in Europe and the more famous (post Turin) Yohji homme in the States.

    I was recently able to smell Yohji homme, and I did find it indeed very interesting. Yet, I'd very much prefer a reissue of that other Jap discontinued thing, Feu d'Issey.


  3. Well this is interesting.

    A number of these were very fetching scents - not only the one made posthumously famous.

    One does hope that they will be well restored and that we won;t be treated to a series of zombies cashing in on the cache.

    Just by the way, I don't think it terribly polite (to say the least) to refer to Japanese people in the way used immediately above. Perhaps one might engage one's courtesy before posting.

    Yours ever

    The Perfumed Dandy

  4. L,

    we need to wait out.
    I don't think cinnamon and coumarin are that reduced since recent amendments. If it were clove I would be more worried.
    I think as always there will be a group of people who will notice the differences more obviously, but that is what being loyal and die-hard means. If they're great quality I won't be complaining too much.

  5. M,

    I suppose there will be plans to unite and homogenise the market at some point, wouldn't make sense to exclude such a vast market as the US, would it?

    I think TPD below opposes your "nippon" reference. To be honest, as a foreigner, I'm always lost on how these abbreviations might be construed as demeaning or not, so I avoid them myself.

    Feu d'Issey wasn't even controversial, such a soft cat's paws and warm bread kind of scent, despite what has been written about it. It's unfathomable why it was discontinued! Then again Issey's A Scent (the green one) is also heading that way, and it's totally inoffensive, so...

  6. TPD,

    zombies would be a tragedy. Grand-children is acceptable to me though. :-)

    In Cacio's defence, he is of Italian descent. If I go by my own foreign incomprehensiveness of how pejorative terms can be obtained by cutting short a longer word...(Jew for Jewish for instance) I'm sure he meant no harm whatsoeover.

  7. Anonymous15:35

    I bought this once too, by Internet, and received it today, and I'm too bad and very disappointed : it's not the fragrance I expected, and not similar of the first I used before, a 1996 one, with Vanilla and oriental finest fragrance. OK, it wasn't "HOMME" but it was so finest ! ... My YOHJI HOMME "eau de toilette" smell a Vetiver supermarket sugared one !?!! Damed, I just can't believe it. I search where are gone "Encens, Santal, Cèdre, Réglisse, Rhum, Café, Cannelle, " and all delicates promesses of Patou's fine Jean-Michel Duriez great Grasse licorice juices ? Now I think I just bought a fake one, because the underglass pasted copyright show ©1996 (and I'm sure the true originally one was created in 1999) so, be care of actual resellers sources. So, I don't know how I can resell it without some new problems, even if this rare fragrance has an cost my arm ! ... it's incredible that for this Yohji's fragance there's an asian counterfeit ! Indedible !

  8. Anonymous10:15

    Its back ! Yohji Yamamoto the Original is back and I love it ! Could only buy from Selfridges in London but alas, it smells the same - many memories x

  9. This has certainly changed but not to the extent of losing the original character completely. The first couple of hours are great then there is a ho-hum period where it does not smell anything great. It then turns into something good again at the end. Worth buying if you liked the original and trying if you did not.
    It certainly is different than any mainstream fragrances from CK, BOSS, etc


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