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This was a blind buy based on my interest in Shiseido fragrances, and several positive reviews on Fragrantica.
Koto's notes, as listed on Fragrantica are: aldehydes, citruses, herbs, spices, narcissus, gardenia, orris root, jasmine, lily of the valley, jonquil, rose, moss, patchouli, leather, amber, vetiver and castoreum".
Straight out of the box, when I sprayed Koto onto my sleeve, I thought it smelled like candied swampwater (!) ie. a slightly sugared version of that bitter, dank, moss/vetiver/leather smell I recalled from my old enemy, Bandit EDT. Oh dear.
However, the next day I thought I'd give Koto another chance, and sprayed some onto the back of my hand. I actually started to like it! On skin, the bitterness is barely noticeable: Koto is a quite presentable green floral chypre after all. It's actually not too dissimilar to Nude by Bill Blass (1990), or even YSL's Y (1964).
As far as I can tell, Koto is only available in EDC strength. It has a fair bit of 'oomph' upon initial application (aldehydes, herbs, moss and vetiver at the forefront), but after half an hour or so, Koto becomes a delicate, powdery skin scent (orris and amber?) which lasts for several hours.
I think this is a good 'retro' fragrance, and I really like the way it morphs from spiky to soft, but I'm only giving Koto a neutral because it seems a bit redundant next to other, similar fragrances in my collection.
03rd May, 2013