A bit history about the scent first.
Murasaki actually launched in 60s, in Japan only then. it's among the several big hits Shiseido got in the 60s. 1980 might be the year it launched in North Amarica/Europe. Later in the 90s, Shiseido got lots of its scents reformulated and repackaged. Murasaki got lighter, less woody or mossy, and the deep purple bottle is replaced by the current clear glass with purple cap. It's still in production in Japan, with a relatively low retail price - a 60ml splash edp bottle costs about 3500 yen (less than 40 dollars), and you could get it easily at the shiseido counter.
The new&old versions share lots of notes, but rather have different characters.
The new version is a typical "contemporary Japanese style" scent, light green floral, bit watery, with kind of zen-ish and minimal characters. The watery notes here is more like some grund plant leaves which I don't like.
While the old version smells much more dense, even leathery and incensy though it's a floral in the core. I think it shares the same character with the original Zen in a way. The green notes here is not that obvious as in the new version, and there is no watery leaves smell. The whole scent has a velvet feeling, dark and elegant.
Murasaki - you're still alive! Now I must find you! To think that someone at a Shiseido counter in Canada told me it had been discontinued. Disappointed, I sought solace elsewhere. For a time I was happy with Sung by Alfred Sung. I still like Sung, but I longed for Murasaki, the one I thought was long lost for at least a decade, and now today - I hope we can be reunited soon.
I found my original bottle of this, likely from 1982, while sorting through old boxes...hmmmm...it has the shiseido touch..florals with a big twist of greeness...like green stems...avoiding the voluptuousness of the standard rose/jasmine/violet notes of many florals. You can detect a chypre structure. As it melds into your skin the rose does become more apparent. The basenotes serve to keep it hemmed in, not too impart even a whisper of indiscretion or impropriety. It's a young pretty daytime fragrance. Floral. No claws, but not an airhead either.
This fragrance is gorgeous beyond words. But I'll try. Sophisticated, sensual, beautiful, timeless, exotic, elegant. It makes me think of nightclubs and silk evening gowns. Far and away my favorite, it lasts all day and I can't stop myself inhaling it every few minutes. The EDP is still available from online vendors so seek it out; I don't think you'll be disappointed.
Murasaki is one of the few green floral fragrances still available anywhere at all. I absolutely love it, and discovered it by accident in the 90s. I bought perfumes from a wonderful lady who owned a perfume shop in South Carolina. Her daughter confided to me that Murasaki had been one of her favorite perfumes but that she had not been able to obtain any. Well, that was enough to pique my curiosity. I ended up phoning the Shiseido boutique in Honolulu and discovered that they had Murasaki. The daughter was thrilled and bought a bottle for her Mom as a surprise. I thought it was too good an opportunity to spring for a surprise myself, so I bought a bottle for myself. I was just beginning to realize how much the galbanum note in the top of a perfume made it attractive and beautiful to me. I have now been wearing Murasaki for a long time and wouldn't be without it. As far as I know, the formula has not been tampered with. Some of the other classic green scents don't work as well for me, as they have too much cedar in the base, or vetiver, or leather, such as Deneuve, Chanel #19, Vent Vert. On me it is a softer, wetter mossy perfume. One of my bosses always loved it, thought it reminded him of his Mom's Chanel #5. Funny, since I can't wear #5 effectively--all I can ever smell in it is aldehydes going straight to a base note.