Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Shiseido Koto

Shiseido Koto (1985) is exclusive to Japan. It occasionally comes up on eBay for very affordable prices. I don't know why, because it's a fabulous scent, a Green Floral Chypre that I find very similar to Deneuve or Givenchy III. It's often described as a mixture of Chypre and Muguet (lily of the valley). I think of it as a Chypre made to appeal to lighter, fresher Japanese taste (generally speaking, not taking into account individual taste). The opening is very green and fresh, softly floral and delicately sweet, although I think the dry down is quite heavy and pungently woody, but that's to be expected of a Chypre fragrance anyway. It combines the best of both worlds artfully and it is fairly easy to wear for a complex type of fragrance.

A koto is a Japanese harp which is curiously played by more women than men. Although men and women both play it, I was taught it's traditionally played by women because whether it's true or not, it's said to be the less challenging of instruments to play. My grandmother was a shamisen master--a shamisen is a Japanese banjo, said to be traditionally played by men because of its difficulty in mastering. Perhaps one day, Shiseido will create a women's fragrance called Shamisen and pave the way to break this gender-based stereotype.

(Images: Perfume-Smellin' Things)