New Perfume Review Shiseido Ginza- Wake Up the Echoes

There are beauty brands associated with fragrance in what seems like an intermittent fashion. It is like they can’t fully commit to it. The Japan-based brand Shiseido is an example of this. There are moments in their history where they are among the groundbreaking fragrance producer they should be. More recently they have become a flanker house pumping out lithographs of their last two pillars 2000’s Zen and 2016’s Ever Bloom. Neither of the originals was that memorable. Yet I always find that I want to check in because you never know when another 1992 will come along.

Karine Dubreuil-Sereni

That year would see Shiseido produce a collection of five perfumes that would stand against any perfume line’s best creative year. Feminite du Bois began its life as a Shiseido fragrance under the creative direction of Serge Lutens. Chant de Coeur by perfumer Edouard Flechier and a trio by Jean Martel are what Shiseido can be if they want to. When I received my sample of Shiseido Ginza I wondered where the brand would choose to go now.

Maia Lernout

I must start with a super confusing thing Shiseido is doing. This review is on the Shiseido Ginza fragrance in the bottle seen in the header. At the exact same time there is another Shiseido perfume called The Ginza. This is part of a new cosmetics collection. I have no idea why they thought this was a good idea. I haven’t tried The Ginza, but the article-less Ginza is charming. It is composed by perfumers Karine Dubreuil-Sereni and Maia Lernout. They conform to current trends with a transparent fruity floral.

The fruit used is the tart juicy pomegranate. Baie rose is used to turn the fruitiness down a notch or two. Which allows for a spring-fresh bouquet of magnolia, jasmine, and freesia to create the floral accord in the middle. This is also a stripped-down opaque version of these flowers. Layered together it gives them a tiny bit more heft but not a lot more. The overwhelming effect is fresh flowers. Cypress and sandalwood provide a meditative woody foundation. It is the only place where the Japanese aesthetic peeks through.

Ginza has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.

Ginza is another beautiful spring floral choice if you’re looking for something other than a rose. The perfumers impart a seasonal freshness without resorting to the usual suspects. Ginza feels more like a brand trying to find some of those echoes of 1992. I hope that comes to be.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Shiseido.

Mark Behnke

New Perfume Review Molton Brown Milk Musk-Warm Milk Comfort

Perfume can soothe the soul with warm styles of fragrance. They are generally referred to as comfort scents. These tend to have depth through different resins. I have often referred to them as “warm milk” fragrances for their ability to calm. Molton Brown Milk Musk wants to actually be a warm milk perfume.

The past eighteen months has seen a positive change in the way Molton Brown has approached their perfume offerings. In the past they were accoutrements to their more well-known bath products. The latest releases have stood on their own as good perfume instead of an afterthought accessory. The other thing that is happening is perfumers are being given some latitude to create more interesting types. This is laudable for a mass-market brand like Molton Brown.

Maia Lernout

Milk Musk also exemplifies another reason the recent releases have succeeded, keeping it simple.  I have been trying to find out if there is a single person creatively directing this because if there is, they are doing a great job. Perfumer Maia Lernout puts together a simple warm comfort scent around warm milk.

It opens with the fresh scent of elemi resin. This gives a lemony shading without getting that brightness from using a citrus ingredient. It also has a pine-like undercurrent when the resin is used. This leads into a heart where the milk accord is waiting. Mme Lernout adds in just the right amount of the dry woody ambroxan along with a lot of vanilla. As one who has become bored of ambroxan’s ubiquity this is a notably different use. It adds a dry woodiness underneath the vanilla milk. It works much better than I ever expected it to. Tonka bean accentuates the vanilla while imparting the warmth. Benzoin is the final bit of resinous warmth to complete this warm milk perfume.

Milk Musk has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.

I continue to be impressed with these latest releases from Molton Brown. Milk Musk is as calming as a glass of the real thing.

Disclosure: This review is based on a sample provided by Molton Brown.

Mark Behnke