So take all this and add to it my disdain for the original L’Eau d’Issey, groundbreaking for sure at the time and set to become a classic, but oh so virulent (well, it wouldn’t be a classic if it wasn’t) and oh so suffocating under the pretence of minimalist, diaphanous freshness. This seemed to ring a bell at first sight, providing a trepid sense of déjà vu that wasn’t very pleasant. But thankfully, first sight isn’t quite the same as first sniff. It was at first sniff that all my resistance and apprehension crumbled. A Scent is beautiful!
A Scent opens with a delicate, lightly sweet citrus-verbena on a fresh, musky backdrop tinged with the lactonic greenness of grass. By no means are the notes sharply outlined: aldehydes smudge the picture with their frothy nature and this image of a clear spring day is beautifully diffused and romantic. The sweetness is gradually stripped off as we are eased into the heart, a gorgeous blast of green intensifying until it finally takes over. Gorgeous, supremely green, surprisingly frosty and metallic galbanum reveals itself to be the star of A Scent. Hyacinth joins in (and oh how beautiful it is to find this gorgeous combination of notes again in a modern fragrance), supporting the greenness and adding a beautiful green-floral touch. A garland of jasmine (stripped off of any animalic, carnal tendencies) wraps around the green column bringing a hint of warmth to the cool blend, as well as a compelling exotic aura. The base showcases a subtly earthy, mossy cord with soapy tonalities, which hours later will dry down to a dried hay skin-scent. What is most striking about A Scent, and what I believe will please most perfume lovers who profess their love and nostalgia for the classics of the past, is that it pays beautiful, honest homage to the Great Greens: Vent Vert, Chanel No. 19, Ivoire, Murasaki. The connection with the first two is especially evident. Perfumer Daphné Bugey has reinterpreted the classic green for Issey Miyake adding just a gentle touch of quiet, modern femininity for the current market. The main difference, if you will, is that this is a subtler, more diffuse rendition of green. One thing’s for certain: the department store shelves haven’t seen a new release like this in years. There have been fragrances beautiful, magnificent, stellar even. But it’s been a great long time since we last saw a fearless green.