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.
Monocle Scent One: Hinoki by Comme des Garçons, 2008
Rated #779 in Fragrances
This fragrance makes a statement. Unfortunately that statement may be that your pet hamster has just died. It's great fun to put a drop of two of Hinoki on the wrist of an acquanintance and then stand back and watch the reaction. Said responses have been decidedly negative from both casual and more seasoned fragrance wearers. There's the proverbial "hamster cage" remark of course and the proverbial "fresh bandaids" remark and my favorite the proverbial interventionist "get that stuff away from me" on just the tiniest first whiff. On the other hand I like the way it smells. The opening explodes with tree resin. Think of the most fascinating smelling solvent your father kept in a tin pour can on the garage floor. I would unscrew the metal cap again and again to smell this. Very addictive. Throw in the great healthy smell of fresh cut wood planks straight from the table saw and you can understand the attraction to this scent. But the wearing of this on your person as a perfume seems somewhat more problematic. Envelope pusher that it may be Hinoki seems to be a serious creation meant to be seriously worn. This in contrast to perfumes that seem to be created with an extreme profile just to garner attention, Profumum Fumidus coming to mind as an example. Like a clothing designer who has his runway model wear a 5 foot wide sombrero to complement his beachwear collection, it really isn't meant to worn. I like to smell Hinoki in moderation. But do "I" want to smell like this? Good question. Update April 3, 2013 When I smell Hinoki these days I get a lot more of the mildewing concrete crypt than I used to. I don't live among the crypts anymore but I still like that smell. And I still don't like that the fragrance seems to fall apart too quickly.
According to Luckyscent: Cypress, turpentine, camphor, cedar, thyme, pine, Georgian wood, frankincense, moss and vetiver Opens with cedar woodchips, which warm fairly quickly to cedar woodchips in the sun. Ive done enough gardening to recognize this scent (which is much fresher than the hamster cage previously mentioned). It wafts nicely and radiates warmth, in a sense evoking the warm soaking tub of the scents inspiration, although personal associations lead me to recall applying the top layer of cedar mulch to newly planted trees in my yard on a warm spring day. There are hints of pine, but on me, cedar is the star of this linear, nearly monochromatic fragrance. I waited for, and wanted the mossy/moldy aspect others have described, but it never showed. I suspect that the scent benefits from an underlayment of vetiver, but that is not a note I can really identify, nor can I really identify any note other than CEDAR (which also, thankfully, means no turpentine or Vicks VapoRub for me). Its a good, accurate cedar. Throughout there is a warmth to it that I would liken to liquor, but it is an imparted feeling, not a note. If you are after this effect, I wonder if a drop of two of cedar essential oil would suffice. Projection and sillage are great for the first 3+ hours, its only a little more than a skin scent by 5 hours. I may have over applied my sample, although I didnt feel like I could have. I think this one may be easily oversprayed.
This one is a disappointment. It opens with a nice pine and cedar mix, and then the cedar takes over from there on out, mixing with incense. If I was only grading on the scent itself I would give Hinoki a mild to solid thumbs up, as I do like the scent. My problem with it lies in the longevity department... My skin usually is very scent friendly, averaging in excess of 8 hours per scent; Hinoki lasted between 1 and 2. Apart from the understandably short-lived Trumpers Extract of West Indian Limes (due to its natural lime nearly sole ingredient that is short-lived by nature) this is the shortest lived scent I have come across. Due to that, I have to mark it down to a neutral, and can't recommend a buy without reservation. The bottom line is Hinoki is a nice woody scent with poor longevity and projection. I recommend giving it a try on skin before buying to test its longevity, as maybe you will get a better result than me... If so, then it would get a thumbs up. 3 stars out of 5.
Unique scent; incense and musty. Cedar dry down.
It is true that this scent is reminiscent of an Asian temple, not necessarily a Japanese temple since I feel the vibes of a Vietnamese temple as well. Temples are made from wood with a stony base. The good part of this scent does indeed smell like the wooden part of the temple; wood and incense like. But before you reach this point, the scent takes you down to the basement of the temple, the stony part, the cellar. And this part is moldy. Very moldy! I am afraid it's not worth it for me to pass through the damp, moldy cellar to reach the better smelling wooden part. Longevity is good on me when I tried it.
I never realized turpentine could smell this good. Yes, I did try it on my skin. It does have great longevity and if Japanese wooden temples are conjured up, so much the better. Let me know if you attain satori. Ive tried Sequoia, Palisander, Avignon, Kyoto, and other woods + incense combinations from Comme des Garçons and my vote goes to Hinoki OK. Time to go save all sentient beings . . .
Given the complexity and specificity of Hinoki's origin story -- sitting in an outdoor cypress soaking tub on a chilly morning -- it was really a surprise to find that the fragrance bore any relation to it. But in fact it's all there, at least at the start: nearby pine and eucalyptus, camphoraceous freshness from the hot mineral water, an almost milky note from the rising steam, and the warm wet cypress itself. It's all quite magical, for a while. In the dry down the steam has cleared and the mineral water has drained, and it's wet cedar -- a cypress grove after the rain. Still quite nice, just less magical. For me there's a strong sense of nostalgia with this one. I see one review mentions a childhood visit to a wooden fishing shack; for me it's the cedar paneling of my grandmother's house that had absorbed and released the moisture of many seasons. If you can relate to the somewhat introspective, meditative qualities of CdG's incense-driven fragrances, I think this is like that, but in a more hydrated format.
Picture this: - You walk into a temple in the far east... - A timber frame architecture stood tall... - In the centre of the hall stood a wooden religious figure carved out of a single wooden block... - Sweet incenses are burning away in a far distance... - A rather peaceful and serene zen sensation. Hinoki is a rather sweet woody scent. Its transparent as the scent does not morph from top to mid to bottom, but it is extremely addictive. With each sniff it takes you into this amazing journey of sweetness and serenity leaving you wanting more.
Intrigued by the great hype about the Hinoki One Scent's launch, i broke in a well supplied niche shop placed in the town center of Rome in order to test this fragrance. Hinoki is an evocative and very aromatic juice from the deep forest, very heavy in conifers (i perceive mostly cedarwood) and furthermore featured by frankincense and camphor. As well as some reviewers write, the wearer is teleported in a dark japanese forest early in a winter and misty wet morning. The smell is tremendously sylvan, translucent, aromatic, lemony and mossy with a sort of mentholated incensed soaring aroma. At first spray you can immediately and for few minutes inhale the fresh, sharp, tart-lemony smell of hinoki tree and cedarwood on the side of cypress and pine. The woody and lemony smell is icy and sour. The addition of turpentine introduces a spark of tarry effect that is, if possible, able to enhance the difficulty of anybody to approach to the algid welcome introduced by the juice. This woody and tarry accord is dramatically tart and balsamic for a while, just the time to make the chord of frankincense , camphor and moss to embrace the elements in a barely more massive and dense woodsy link. The usage of lavender, in combination with aromatic thyme, has a balancing role among the elements in order to combine, in a more linear woody-balsamic dimension, the first tart accord with the second camphoraceous one. The outcome is a coniferous smell, balsamic and camphoraceous and the minty-incensey steaming sort of effect is reinforced by the usage of earthy vetiver which exudes, in according with camphor, the typical smell of wet earth. This is a great and unique fragrance slightly comparable, because of its aromatic feel, to the woodsy but more incensed Zagorsk and Cardinal. The longevity is great, the projection is moderate.
Monocle Scent One: Hinoki by Comme des Garçons, 2008
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