Ninja is a spicy, sultry, powdery oriental fragrance somewhat similar to Cinnabar and Opium, but with much more pronounced spice and a tenacious cling.
Parfums de Coeur first registered the trademark NINJA for use June 26, 1981. They renewed the mark March 21 2003, although production of Ninja had been discontinued. The mark is set to expire March 21, 2013. Since this is listed in their officially discontinued list on their website, it seems likely that they will allow the name to lapse.
I spoke with an employee at Parfums de Coeur in July 2011 and discussed Ninja's future. It is my firm impression that they fully intend to never produce it again. I told them there seems to be a small mob of women who would clamor to buy the first bottle if they brought back the original formula -- I stressed "don't change ANYTHING". I also let them know that I would be willing to pay department store prices for this fragrance. This is a quality perfume and should never have been released for $9.95, it should have been a midrange item even then. The employee seemed to perk up at this and said she would definitely pass that along to marketing.
Ninja is one of my all-time favorite perfumes. As a redhead, I have problems with fragrance evaporating from my skin within minutes of applying it. Ninja seems to just soak right in and stay there. I can smell it hours later.
A bottle of this smashed in my closet in high school in the 80s and I can still smell it when I visit my parents' house. The cinnamon and cloves in it have kept that closet moth-free and this is where my mum stores all her wools.
When I was in high school, I owned a red acrylic sweater and sprayed it with Ninja (both were holiday gifts). The perfume contains a high concentration of cinnamon oil and I think it bonded permanently to that sweater. My mum still has it and you can still smell it faintly, although it has been laundered many times.
Did I mention it has a long life? 25 years is incredible.
As an independent (and still kinda green) perfumer I am attempting to recreate Ninja. A friend and fellow Ninja fanatic who hoarded the last inch of her last bottle for the past 10 years has let me borrow it to smell while I work on the formula. This is like trying to reverse engineer chocolate chip cookies without an ingredients crib. Every attempt I make in this Ninjaneering project I get closer. The failures are beginning to smell pretty good, but it's just not Ninja yet. It's like glimpsing an old lover in a crowded terminal, there for a minute then gone.
Ninja is primarily labdanum, a rich deep amber smoked out with birch tar and softened by storax. There is myrrh, oppoponax, and black pepper, vanilla and nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, and carnation. Just a bit of bayberry, bergamot, patchouli, and sandalwood. A hint of very dry frankincense and neroli. Jasmine and balsam peru and just a touch of peach. The main notes are amber, cinnamon, and carnation.
This would make an amazing snack... What you couldn't eat, you could drink as a tea. Chai tea and gingerbread and spiced fruit chutney. The smell of Ninja is intoxicating. If you are partial to spicy orientals, this one will rock your world.
Trademark info here: