March Gets her Mojo Back!

A Scent Issey MiyakeLadies and gents, I have a happy confession to make.   I just got my perfume mojo back.

For the past few weeks, I was worried (I can only admit this now that I am safe.)  Nothing was doing it for me.  I wasn´t that jacked for any new scents, or compelled by the old ones.  I kept reminding myself it´s the summer, we all have our lulls, our dysfunctions, blah blah blah.  But it was … freaking me out a little.

Who would ever have guessed that a single shopping trip could break the spell?  Yes, it´s true – I was cured by a visit to our local Saks, which is such a ghost town in August that the remaining salespeople have been reduced to trying to shill each other.  And there, my friends, I discovered not one, not two, but three new things to be excited about!  Today I´m posting on the first – Issey Miyake’s A Scent.

The way some of you feel about my love for Kenzo (ie, wth?)  is the way I feel about Issey Miyake, which translated into English means “watery grave.”  The thing that scares me most about Issey is when we go to our watery grave, we get there via some hideous fresh/marine/aquatic note (maybe with some melon), and y´all know how I feel about aquatics.  I´d almost rather spray myself with urine (which I hear is sterile… whoops, you aren´t reading this at breakfast, are you?)  Yes, I know — at one point L’Eau D’Issey was groundbreaking and fresh and new.  Well, guess what, folks?  Once upon a time,  Hammer pants were groundbreaking too.  And I love that video, but I never want to see those stupid pants again, and here’s a shout-out to all the designers currently trying to resurrect them, along with jumpsuits:  I will drive a stake through your heart, do you hear me?!??  Stop it NOW.  I am not playing around.

Anyhoo, desperately reeling myself back to the point of this review, my expectations for a scent (that is how it’s written on the bottle, and hey, won’t that name suck in ye olde Google searches?) – uh, my expectations were less than zero, but the poor ladies at Saks had nobody to play with and they were nice, and it was air conditioned, so I sniffed the new Miyake on a card, expecting… well, nothing.  If I was lucky.   (Melony aquatic ozone if I wasn’t lucky.)

Instead, you´re getting this post, because wow, how freaking great is that?!?  Notes for A Scent are hyacinth, verbena, galbanum, jasmine.

Let’s be clear: I wouldn´t wear this if you gave it to me.  It’s a riot, and it is very much not my sort of thing.  It´s a big green green green (did I mention green?) sour floral that in terms of initial aggressiveness on my skin reads somewhere between Shrek and the plant in Little Shop of horrors.  It’s Vent Vert with a shiv, updated somewhat for modern times.  If you took Vent Vert and sent it out clubbing with Cristalle, and they got sloppy drunk and split a pack of Marlboro Reds at the bar and then staggered home, A Scent might be their love child.  It´s got that goes-with-cigarettes smell that Cristalle and a lot of the Estees have, and I don´t mean that as a criticism, either.

I am still trying to wrap my mind around this coming from Issey Miyake.  I can´t imagine walk-of-shame is what they were going for, as I think this is supposed to be all about the crystal airy freshness of a mountain high on liquid clarity or whatever marketing fluff they´re spinning, but there you have it.   If you like galbanum and/or hyacinth and/or Cristalle/Vent Vert makes you feel a little dirty in a good way … check it out.  The jasmine only comes into play well into the drydown on my skin, and while the entire thing becomes more palatable to me at that point, I think it would start to lose its appeal for you galbanum freaks.  Five-hour update:  okay, the fun’s pretty much front-loaded, after five hours it’s just sweet  jasmine and verbena, reminds me a little of Jo Malone White Jasmine Mint.  But the first part!  The first part is great fun.  If you’re into that sort of thing.

I am obliged to link to Grain de Musc’s review of A Scent, because our reviews are so similar in some parts it’s funny and also because she makes some great additional parallels with the new Estee Jasmine White Moss (Denyse adds oakmoss to the list of notes.)  I have to quote this part of her review because it really resonated with me: “ I can´t exactly figure out why the Lauder inspired me to grumble while I´m feeling quite happy about the Miyaké: they clearly have the same lineage. After all, I bear a lot more of a grudge with Issey Miyaké who´s been poisoning my airspace with Calone for over 15 years.”

Also:  I am such a dope, I just noticed two days ago that Basenotes had announced their awards, which is sorta embarrassing because I’m over there all the time reading reviews, etc.   So, congratulations to Robin and the gang at Now Smell This for taking the Gold, and thanks to everyone on here for voting for us — squeeee, we took the Silver!!!! — and also congrats to Octavian at 1000 Fragrances for the Bronze.  I promise never to discuss spraying myself with urine again and I’ll try not to gross anyone out in comments for … what … the next seven hours?  There’s some restraint.  Lee and Louise I can’t take any responsibility for.  Or Carter.  Or Musette.  Or the rest of you smutmuffins.

112 Comments
quinncreative August 19, 2009

I think that I shall never see A Port-a-Pottie and not flee Into the pointy, well-honed words March writes, edits, and then re-herds into a scent-a-licious spree A gold you'd get, 'twere up to me.

tmp00 August 18, 2009

congrats on the award- well deserved!

minette August 18, 2009

glad to hear your muse returned! mine must still be sunning herself on a beach somewhere. i leave the light on in hopes she will come home.

Tara C August 17, 2009

I sniffed this on Thursday last week and was surprised how pleasant it was (I only sniffed on paper), but I don't really have any illusions about my desire to actually wear such a scent for a whole day, so no risk of buying. I did rather like the new Natori though - wore a sample of that all day on Saturday and it warrants another full-day test. Well, it only lasted for about 5 hours, but it was a pleasant 5 hours.

Rappleyea August 17, 2009

The darn reply thing didn't work. It was supposed to be seconding Nava reviewing the same thing as we love second opinions!

Rappleyea August 17, 2009

Second this!

Robin August 17, 2009

Oh, this sounds like something I'll love! (Yes?? is it?) And so glad your mojo is back :-)

Daseined August 17, 2009

Congrats on silver, y'all! You make me laugh and think and sample and shove my wrists under people's noses all the time asking "Spoogy? What do you think?" Pity my largely scent-disinterested friends who have become conversant about the various bodily aromas (animal and otherwise) by their mere proximity to me. I would like to be an honorary Lurking Smutmuffin, which maybe something I have to register with my local PD. This new IM sounds like it might be just the thing for the first week back in front ofbthe classroom. I was leaning Mitsouko but Grrrrreeeeeennn could also speak volumes...

Kim August 17, 2009

Well, even pee would be nice compared to all those fruity florals! In the words of Bill the Cat - AAACCK! Love the trend towards green and chypres - mind you, the other day I had Mitsouko and Vol de Nuit on one arm and The Party in Manhattan, Cartier Le Must & Paloma Picasso on the other so perhaps I have a bit of a bias for chypres?? I mean, I had to be sure I needed that decant of The Party in Manhattan! ;)

Tara August 17, 2009

March..what a great post for such a draggy, hot, humid Monday..(I'd rather be at the beach than work....but you know someone's got to pay the mortgage!!). I love green scents especially on a day like today (wearing M&B's Green, green, green today), so I am off to Saks to try a scent. As for perfume and pee, you don't need to douse yourself in pee, just use some Miel de Bois (although real pee is cheaper). Congratulations on the Silver....

Debbie R. August 17, 2009

I can't really imagine your not being involved with scent. However, I've stored the memory of your experience so that if it happens to me, I won't worry about it. Figure it will come back with time. I am *very* glad your enthusiasm has come back, because I love to read your stuff, March. I can't stand green scents by and large. Does Bel Respiro count as a green? That's about it for me. I look forward to hearing about the other two you sampled!

Francesca August 17, 2009

Congratulations on the Silver. I love silver!

Nava August 17, 2009

Awwww, man! You beat me to another one! But, I do have something up my sleeve that I'm pretty confident you don't! :-D Is a scent supposed to be a version of CK One for the older crowd? I saw that you can get a 5 oz. bottle of it. Or, is it more along the lines of Prada Infusion d'Iris? Regardless, I will sniff it; yes, I will sniff it. Congrats on the silver medal over at Basenotes. I'd like to think the fabulously witty writing had something to do with it. :-)

Shelley August 17, 2009

Green green green green green green green green...doing a little happy dance...hey, is there a way to layer just for drydown stage swappage? What if I could change the final movement of that little Scent number??? Am going to give it a go, for sure! Hah! I thought of you this morning...am giving the dreaded melon note a test drive...and for the first 5 minutes I was like "hey, um, this is actually kind of fun," thinking it would be a good warm fall day thing...and then I was like "well, maybe not 'fun,' but I can see how some people would like it," and now I'm all "will I make it to dropping the kid off at band practice and back before I wash this off?" Oh, the long haul of a 20 minute drydown... ;) Sil-vah! Lovely. Congratulations. :)

Elle August 17, 2009

Congrats on the Silver! And am glad you got your Mojo back! I'm thinking that there's no way that A Scent By IM could make me happier than reading about urine spritzing and "Vent Vert with a shiv" (an all time classic description) in the morning, but I'm definitely curious enough now that I'll be sure to give it a sniff. :-)

Bev August 17, 2009

Don't worry. Based on this review you got your mojo back. "Vent Vert with a shiv." Having inhaled and expelled my coffee because I was laughing so hard, I'll say, "Congrats on the Silver."

Rappleyea August 17, 2009

A big congrats on the award! You all deserve it. And reading things like "I'd rather spray myself with urine..." is the reason I love this blog so much! ~Donna

Fiordiligi August 17, 2009

Congrats on the Silver award and retrieving your lost Mojo! I must say though that your piece was making me feel awfully queasy (not because of the writing of course), reminding me of how much I hate, loathe, despise etc l'Eau (you know, I'm practically retching as I type this). All I can say is thank goodness he has moved on. And now I need to sip some water and calm down. I probably need a nice big blast of Mitsouko to restore normality!

Louise August 17, 2009

Ah, Silver! Hearty squooshes to the Posse. And smut nevah be gone :) The scent sound like something I might dig. I have been digging out my vintage Vent Vert lately, and M&H Greeeeeeen, and my nasty vintage Bandit (looking at you, Carter), so this sounds like a maybe winner....and those poor SAs at Saks-I'll make a pilgrimage there this week, just to fill out the crowd. I'm sure there's something I need.... March, if you feel that you just can't repress that abundance of smut, just page me!

waftbycarol August 17, 2009

Congratulations on the Silver ! Glad you're feelin' inspired again - you made my day ! Nathan mentioned how awesome the bottle was . I'll have to go check it out . But acid green . Not .

carmencanada August 17, 2009

March, you nailed a quality of A Scent and Cristalle that I've been struggling to formulate forever: "goes well with cigarettes". In my mind I always got "ash" and "earth". But of course! I think it's a facet of the galbanum dirtied up by moss. There is definitely a moss base in A Scent. Evernyl (synthetic oak moss) I'd say. But it *does* fall apart after a while. Not so much on me, much more on Octavian who got sprayed with my sample yesterday. On him, there was a huge whopping MUGUET note within an hour. Still, it's a nice surprise. And don't you love the bottle? I love the bottle. Love. Great design. Thanks for the link too!

Lee August 17, 2009

I think the silver is for the smut - so bum willy foo foo to you you... A Scent sounds fun. Love it's 'oh so minimalist' name in contrast to the yelling you describe... xx

Joe August 17, 2009

Are you KIDDING me?! Love child of Vent Vert and Cristalle? SIGN. ME. UP. Who'd'a guessed this? Issey? I'm in your camp; to me Issey pretty much says boring ol' ozone to the tenth power. (Although I have recently kind of fallen in love with Feu; a friend may sell me bunch of recently acquired spray vials since in her words, it smells like bilge water.) This is a surprise. I need to go read the grain de musc review too. See, the world of perfume is always capable of surprises. Even from Issey.

dea August 17, 2009

yay for this review! pee, walks of shame and sharing a pack of marlboro reds . . .some of the many reasons this blog is an award winner. seriously. i'm going to bed and can't wait to see what i dream about.

Melissa August 17, 2009

A new band called Perfume Posse and the Smutmuffins? The drum set could have big ole Mitsouko bottles imprinted on them. I gave the Miyake a cursory try last week in the midst of a sniffing spree. I liked the opening quite a bit and I remembered which knuckle it was on long enough to re-sniff it an hour later. It was still quite nice if I recall, but I was pretty distracted and fragrance-impaired by then. Need to give it another go, all on its own. Yay for the silver! Where else can we talk about perfume and pee?

Natalie August 17, 2009

I feel remiss in not congratulating you sooner -- I knew you'd won the silver, but you forgot to toot the ol' horn! Acid green sounds right up my alley; the new Vent Vert didn't float my boat, and I'm too poor/cheap to try the vintage, but I do love most greens, the drier and sour-er the better. As for pee, I remind myself almost every day that it's sterile -- my son has recently developed a distressing love for port-a-potties, and as soon as he spots one, he insists he has to go, so I've spent a lot of time lately in small, sweltering, pee-covered plastic boxes.

carter August 17, 2009

Eggsqueeze me, but when have I ever not been the very ep-i-tome of ladylike decorum? You can't see me, but I am wearing my white effing gloves as I type, for crap's sake. Mazel tov on the Silver!

mharvey816 August 17, 2009

Wow, you must have been really desperate for perfume shopping and/or AC to go to THAT Saks, esp in August (was it a weekend? that's even worse!). I've been there on a Sunday when I had to stand in the middle of the beauty section and ask loudly if anybody was available to take my money, and I *still* had to wait until somebody decided to look up. That said, I might have to go sniff this one, now that you said the magic word "galbanum". Thanks muchly.