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Thread: TOKYO, Japan

  1. #31

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    Default Re: TOKYO, Japan

    On the positive side, the selection has increased greatly in the past several years. There is Creed and Bond 9 everywhere, and lots more at Isetan Shinjuku. The prices are still really high. The gap between prices here and in the US has narrowed somewhat, but everything is still pretty expensive. Some mainstream frags that are famous for being cheap are much higher here--$50 seems to be the bottom even in discount shops. There is nothing similar to TJ Maxx--no bargain bin for fragrances. I did see some testers for sale for less than $10 (¥780 to be exact) but only in that one store, and that seemed to be a one-time thing. I think there is either a cultural problem or a legal one when it comes to buying old perfume stock.

    As for on-line buying, I have used Strawberry Net a few times. They have always answered e-mails immediately, and they seem to be familiar with getting stuff through Japanese customs. Maybe that is why their prices are so high! But you can find some reasonable prices for specials, and they sometimes have 10%-off sales for everything, even other specials. Other big on-line discounters, like Fragrancenet, may not be as good in terms of getting stuff through customs, but I don't have much experience with that.

    I got a mini of Samourai and just retested it recently. It is okay; a tobacco note similar to--or let's say, a lighter version of The Dreamer, maybe. Seemed like an inoffensive beginner's frag to me. But this kind of thing might be useful if you are on a tight budget.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: TOKYO, Japan

    Welcome Masamin,

    I am sure you will enjoy your time in Tokyo. There are plenty of places to find perfumes, but to stock up or not is dependent on a few things.

    #1 Exactly what are your favorites ? Some perfumes are simply not available in Japan. Clinique Aromatics, Zen by Shisheido, and Youth Dew by Estee Lauder are not to be found in Japan. I am sure there are others, but of those 3 I am certain.

    #2 Are you a military dependent or an expat ? If military, you have base shopping to help you in your quest.

    #3 Duty and import restrictions are placed on the amount and type of perfumes you are allowed to bring into the country.

    Perfumes are $$$ here, and as a previous poster said, there are no Marshall's or anything like that. However, in Kichijoji, a busy and bustling suburb in west Tokyo, there are several small kiosk type operations that do sell perfumes at a discount. They seem t specialize in end lots, gift sets, etc.

    There are also department stores like Ito Yokado, a national chain, which have small, but affordable brand perfumes as well as some japanese types.

    I was told by a Japanese perfumer by the name of Satori, whose lovely shop was mentioned here on another thread, that Japan is not a country that uses perfume. If I can judge by the smell of the people with whom I am regularly shoved into the train carfrom Shinjuku, they do not use scent. I fact, they do not even seem to have a personal body scent - not odor- but just a personal smell. They smell of nothing.

    The exception to this are the drunken salarymen and old men coming from the racetrack, who reek of cigarettes and cheap beer.

    I work at an American school, and feel free to use perfumes at my discretion. I have scents in my classroom and my students have perfumes they prefer over others, commenting when I make a change.

    Feel free to contact me when you arrive, and I will happily show you a few good places to sniff about. I will be here until the summer.

    PS ... Don't forget about duty free shops before you leave the USA.

  3. #33

    Default Re: TOKYO, Japan

    Thank you for the quick replies!

    I was assuming there would be discount places like TJMaxx or Marshalls that would sell nice fragrances for cheap, so it's good that you guys told me that no such stores exist. I was going to not look at duty free shops because such discount shops are cheaper, but maybe it is a better idea to try duty free after all.
    I have nothing to do with the military so I won't have access to those sites, but it is good that you mentioned import restrictions. I should probably check those out before going, since I was planning to bring some over anyway...not for selling of course but for personal use.

    As for favorites, mine are pretty mainstream so I assume it won't be a problem: Miss Dior and Burberry Classic for women.

    But overall I am a pretty flexible person so as long as there is a nice selection, I don't think I would care too much if I couldn't get one particular scent.
    I will be sure to check out Strawberry Net, Yokado, and I will look up Satori. From the looks of the earlier post, she sounds amazing.
    I have also tried Fragrancex here and had a good experience, but it seems to me though that although US users write rave reviews, non-US users are pretty unhappy, so I'm not sure about that site.

    I am aware that Japanese people do not really wear perfume so I am hoping that my new workplace wouldn't mind so much... my department supposedly has a lot of non-Japanese people in it since we deal with a lot of international clients. But if work isn't an option, I think it's acceptable if I just put a little on for regular outings.

    Sindistone: how long will you be in Tokyo in the summer? I will probably move there in June, so if you are around it would be awesome if you could show me some good places to look!

  4. #34
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    Default Re: TOKYO, Japan

    Masamim10, I think you will be fine. The perfume selection is actually huge and there are way more than I could ever hope to sniff. Traditional separtment stores, like Isetan, Mitsukoshi, Takashimaya and other literally have floors devoted to fragrance. In addition, the Japanese seem to very much be into home fragrances such as mists and diffusers, clothing and fabric spray, scent for the hair, scented ironing water and lots of different scents for laundry and body. Of course, they are priced in Yen, and the Japanese are paid a decent wage and the service is outstanding and the import fees high ! If you are paid in Yen, once you stop comparing it to US dollars, you will be fine.

    I will be here until mid summer. I I can figure out a way to get a private message to you, we can chat more.

  5. #35
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    Default Re: TOKYO, Japan

    Hankyu Men in Ginza has a good selection.

  6. #36

    Default Re: TOKYO, Japan

    I dropped into Isetan Men in Shinjuku yesterday and was pleasantly surprised at the ("edited highlights") selection on the Ground Floor - Villoresi, Malle, Lutens, Byredo, Penhaligons, The Different Company, Aedes de Venusta.

    Comme de Garcons upstairs on 6 Fl. had the basics - Incense series and a few others.

    The fragrance counters across the road in the main store seemed as up to date as anywhere else I have been in Asia - Guerlain counter only had the basics, though - no Exclusives.

    Estination in Roppongi Hills had Diptyque, Goutal, The Different Company and a few Creeds . . .

    I also bought some Yohji Homme at the Yohji flagship in Aoyama - the re-released version is excellent, pretty much on a par with the original - a little less density but in some ways more 'wearable' in the warmer weather. They carry both hommes and the 4 or 5 femmes in the Aoyama shop.
    Last edited by mr. reasonable; 18th June 2014 at 09:59 AM.
    “Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.'”
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  7. #37
    Dependent Darjeeling's Avatar
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    Default Re: TOKYO, Japan

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    I dropped into Isetan Men in Shinjuku yesterday and was pleasantly surprised at the ("edited highlights") selection on the Ground Floor - Villoresi, Malle, Lutens, Byredo, Penhaligons, The Different Company, Aedes de Venusta.

    Comme de Garcons upstairs on 6 Fl. had the basics - Incense series and a few others.

    The fragrance counters across the road in the main store seemed as up to date as anywhere else I have been in Asia - Guerlain counter only had the basics, though - no Exclusives.

    Estination in Roppongi Hills had Diptyque, Goutal, The Different Company and a few Creeds . . .

    I also bought some Yohji Homme at the Yohji flagship in Aoyama - the re-released version is excellent, pretty much on a par with the original - a little less density but in some ways more 'wearable' in the warmer weather. They carry both hommes and the 4 or 5 femmes in the Aoyama shop.
    Diptyque is pretty widely available from many different stores. Although none of the CdGs I've visited seem to carry the whole range, if you hunt a bit you can find them because there are so many CdG stores across the city. Overall I'd say Isetan has the best selection in one place, as long as you look at both the men's building and the main building which carries the standard designers (men's, women's, and unisex) as well as niche like Creed, Le Labo, etc. The top floor of the men's building also has SMN products including scents. I think the main building has recently been updated and they seem to have a bigger range of niche and exclusives than they used to. I was surprised to find the entire Dior exclusive line including Leather Oud (considering stereotypes about Asian scent preferences). Guerlain also has the L'Art et la Matiere series now. I didn't look too closely to see just how extensive the Guerlain range is, but (not surprisingly) they didn't have Songe D'un Boise D'Ete.
    Currently wearing: Sel Marin by Heeley

  8. #38
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    Default Re: TOKYO, Japan

    Seibu in Shibuya - Zegna Essenze line.

    Cibone in Kita-Aoyama - Atelier Cologne, Byredo, Carthusia, Diptyque, D.S & Durga and Laboratorio Olfattivo.

    Conrad Shop in Nishi-Shinjuku - Comme des Garcons, Diptyque, Heeley.
    Last edited by mixerscent; 3rd February 2015 at 07:47 AM.
    Currently wearing: Acqua Viva by Profumum

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