Shiseido Murasaki has notes of galbanum, hyacinth, fern, ivy, rose, lily of the valley, marigold, agarwood, sandalwood, Cedar of Lebanon, oakmoss, vetiver. Let me be honest, it’s a musty, bitter, old-fashioned smell at first, like a bottle of Dioressence that’s gone off after being left too many decades in the sun. However, if you can suffer through that, half an hour later you are rewarded with an exotic, dry oudh-incense accord. But that initial half-hour is a slog, especially since the drydown only sticks around for a couple of hours, and reapplying is painful.
Shiseido Saso and Myth of Saso I wrote about the Saso flower and the legendary Chinese beauty Xiang Fei in an earlier post. The name Saso literally means “Date Palm of the Desert,” but it actually belongs to the oleaster family and smells somewhat like osmanthus (Osmanthus fragans). Shiseido has two versions of this I have tried, and I think there might even be a third version. Patty and I nicknamed Myth of Saso ‘MoSaso’ because it’s stronger and sweeter. Patty prefers the MoSaso. I prefer the regular Saso, which is somewhat greener, considerably lighter, and reminds me in the drydown of the slightly herbal, jasmine-ish smell of the flowers of my beloved Russian olives.
Shiseido Tentatrice, French for ‘temptress’, was developed by Katsuhiko Tokuda, senior perfumer for Shiseido, and is a tribute to Chinese Cymbidium orchids. Notes: jasmine, oakmoss, lily of the valley, musk, and amber. An ethereal melding of jasmine and muguet that together represents a completely different floral smell (presumably the orchid). This might be my favorite: an exotic smell that is simultaneously more weightless and more sophisticated than your average mid-level American fragrance, but with excellent lasting power à¢â‚¬” mine is still there going strong eight hours later.
Finally, here’s a link to an excellent review on Perfume Smellin’ Things of Shiseido’s gorgeous Chant du Coeur.
Unless you’re in Japan, the only place I know of that these can be purchased is on eBay; there is a seller from Japan who carries these, mostly in the mid-$40s.