Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Shiseido Inoui

This took a few wearings to figure it out (not that I will ever FULLY figure it out ;) and then even a few more before I could even attempt to write a blog article about it. The first thing I notice about it is that it is very much of its period. The initial blast of the topnotes oddly has a very animalic touch that recalls Halston, however the miracle is that this facet fades dramatically in the first few minutes and receeds very far into the background. Once one gets past the opening the impression is that the style of Inoui was heavily influenced by the 1971 launch of Chanel's no.19 as they are very similar in the skeleton. Where the differences in these two perfumes lie are truly apparent are in the decoration, and while I love both perfumes I think I may somewhat favour the herbal and piney heart of Inoui over the more feminine floral heart of No.19. The most interesting part of Inoui is despite its assured green and herbal notes, it never steps over the line of crisp; this perfume is never piercingly sharp or sour as many of its family members can be. I believe this restraint was achieved by the counterbalance of fruity notes (Freesia, Aldehyde C14 Peach). One minor fault in my humble opinion, I do truly enjoy the beautiful iris/ionone note in No.19 which to me is the defining feminine smell (I associate with cosmetic products), that is sadly not in full force in Inoui. Inoui is very harmoniously blended, in the old ethic of the "abstract perfume", a very subtle perfumed into its drydown but by no means a skinscent. What I love is how it does not lose its complexity or impact over the course of its development. In fact, its drydown in my opinion is more beautiful than any other part of it, it is so soft and perfect it seems almost angelic.

Unfortunately, this fragrance was reportedly discontinued because a key ingredient was no longer able to be sourced - to me this is baffling! The question is; was this a decision made out of artistic integrity? It is a mystery since if it was a particular natural ingredient that became too expensive, could there not be a synthetic analogue, or if it was a discontinued base could not a similar base be found/made? Maybe this story is just a rumour covering up the real reason for its demise... Perhaps one day I will find the answer but for now it is as much a mystery as the magic of this perfume!

If anyone knows the name of the particular in-house perfumer of Shiseido that made this fragrance could you please leave it as a comment, thx :)


Anonymous said...

I do not know the answer to your question. However, for your fans, there is a vintage bottle of Inoui in collectible box on E-bay. Search RARE Vintage Shiseido Inoui Perfume - Collectible Box #180464016852.

Anonymous said...

I loved this fragrance and was very sorry to see it go away. I miss the scent of it and still think about it and wonder if it is still available.....somewhere

Anonymous said...

I have a 60ml bottle of Shiseido Inoui. And another offer on Ebay at this link