Monocle Scent One: Hinoki (2008)
    by Comme des Garçons For Monocle




    Average Rating: 4

    Based on 169 ratings
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    Monocle Scent One: Hinoki information

    Monocle Scent One: Hinoki is a unisex fragrance by Comme des Garçons. The scent was launched in 2008

    Reviews of Monocle Scent One: Hinoki


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    Way Off Scenter's avatar

    United States United States

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    Genre: Woods

    2008:
    The bottle says “Hinoki” but I smell a lemming.

    Hinoki goes on smelling like very dry cedar shavings, and not all that much else. Tremendous sillage and projection make this a hard scent to ignore, and this astounding volume, in concert with the dominant cedar-like accord, suggests to me that Hinoki’s formula contains boatloads of Iso E Super. After an hour a relatively hard-edged frankincense note separates itself from the monolithic dry woody accord, but the structure remains exceptionally stark and simple. The course is linear from there on, and Hinoki doesn’t seem to develop so much as very slowly fade away.

    If you’re a fan of spare, ascetic incense fragrances, you’ll probably like Hinoki. Note however that Comme des Garçons’ very own Avignon and (especially) Kyoto offer a similar olfactory experience at a fraction of the price. It’s not that Hinoki is a bad scent, but there just isn’t that much to it, and I can’t for the life of me understand why people are getting so excited by it.

    Frankly, having witnessed the phenomenon in music and visual arts, I feel scents like Hinoki illustrate the dead end nature of minimalism as an artistic style. Strip enough “extraneous” matter from any artwork, and the penultimate result is boring. The ultimate result is – well - nothing, and when some clever niche company markets a bottle of distilled water (labeled “Eau”) for $250 we’ll know that’s where we’ve arrived.

    2009:
    Inspired by Sommerville Metro Man’s experience, I decided to re-evaluate the much-lauded Monocle Scent One: Hinoki. For this wearing, I applied the scent quite generously, hoping that a good basting job would reveal depths I’d missed in my earlier trial.

    Guess what? It’s still a thin, hollow pseudo-cedar (Iso E Super) with a touch of camphoraceous juniper, some frankincense, and not much else, and it still smells like high-end hamster bedding. What’s worse, for an expensive, super-premium niche release, it smells cheap. Very, very cheap. I remain firmly unconvinced. Demoted to a thumbs-down for Comme des Garçons' audacity in charging so much for so little.

    16 June, 2014

    2nosedtwin's avatar

    Netherlands Netherlands

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    Monocle Scent One - Hinoki
    This scent smells very compressed and reticent - it never gets really abundant. It got lots of terpenic and slight camphorous notes, creating a ink and freshly 'pressed' paper-tone that settle down in a balsamic-woody way. I like its dryout - a mix of cedarwood, cypress, fir-balsam and frankincense, which altogether has a soft greenish feel, and a slight raw, black-tarry edge to it. Hinoki starts out like the smell of sake, with pepper, cumin, and a strange lemon/lime-peels sort of note, together with a projection of fresh hay. After that it smells like washing powder - very linalool-like, which could be rosemary, that smells close to lavender here with a floral undertone of a 'canned'-like ylang/rose-combo. Then it grows greener - fern/pine-like, and also gets a sour urinal-note for a short while. From that moment it gets darker, slight tar-woody, with sharp terpenic notes.
    What I think Hinoki tries to express is a meditative state of pure concentration and the sense of being totally focused on one thing with a clear mind. I guess you need this state of mind when you are devoted to the art of Japanese calligraphy. In this perfume you can smell both the ink and the paper, as well as the calmness and clarity of the person who practices this artform.
    I have respect for its form and expression as a scent, but don’t appreciate it enough as a wearable perfume. But I’m sure it finds an audience of people that love this scent to death - an could commit kamikaze over it...

    12 May, 2014

    Unvisible's avatar

    United States United States

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    A real piece of art. I get a turpentine opening, quickly blending with cedar and pine, creating a cooling effect. It reminds me of the inside of a 100 year old cottage in the woods... really old damp wood, vintage furniture and tree resins. So evocative and calming. The only minus is the extreme price.

    08 May, 2014

    Colin Maillard's avatar

    Italy Italy

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    Bold balsamic and woody-incense accord, animated by a massive and invigorating presence of raw, quite realistic cedar wood. I smell a hint of fresh tobacco leaves as well at some point, even if they're not in the composition. Fairly similar to Sugi, a bit light and quickly-to-vanish, nice ash-y drydown.

    6,5/10

    04 April, 2014 (Last Edited: 05 April, 2014)

    Quartz's avatar

    United States United States

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    Weak performer

    I'll have to agree with some of the other reviews that describe poor longevity. It immediately starts out really nice with a pine/cedar combo that quickly disappears in about an hour on my skin. There was literally no trace of it after the first hour. I had someone else try it and I couldn't smell it at all. Very disappointing. Totally overpriced- I wouldn't bother with it even it was $20. Fortunately it was a sample so I know not to waste money on a bottle.

    Pros: Very nice scent at the start
    Cons: Lasts about on hour"

    12 August, 2013

    Wyrd's avatar



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    I really wanted to like this scent, given the description and the elements listed in the positive reviews. Sadly all I get is a blast of camphor in the beginning, which gradually diminishes until the scent is entirely gone after about an hour. Pretty much the shortest lifespan of all the scents I have tried, although I'm sure it's due to a freakish interaction with my skin.

    18 April, 2013

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