Perfume Directory

Miyako (2015)
by Auphorie


Miyako information

Year of Launch2015
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 37 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerEugene Au
PerfumerEmrys Au

About Miyako

Winner of The Art and Olfaction Awards 2016, Artisan category.  The company says:

Walking down the serene street of the ancient capital city of the Far East Land. Golden osmanthus (Kin-Mokusei) flowers are in full bloom, exuding its sweet and exotic scent with notes of ripe apricot, peach and freesia. There are also Yuzu trees in the midst of the osmanthus, adding a hint of citrus to the bouquet. Jackets worn by pedestrians fill the air with a touch of leather. Notes of jasmine green tea come from the tea house nearby. Geishas with white faces and red lips are walking up and down, and the slight powdery note of those scented sachets tied to their waists slowly penetrates the air. Finally, scents of precious woods from the nearby Jinja (shrine) shine through, accompanied by the sweet, caramellic katsura leaves which have already turned red in this season of autumn.

Miyako fragrance notes

Reviews of Miyako

The beauty of this is that it feels totally natural. It smells like you are really smelling osmanthus and a garden of exotic fruits and flowers. But it's not overly floral in a perfumey way like, say, Arpege or Joy.

These brothers have created a perfume that utterly transports me to an exotic but unnamable tropical garden. Good on them!

I find projection, development and longevity to be very good.
22nd September, 2020
Strange and wonderful. I finally made my peace with Miyako. Mostly, fragrances are about balance. In few instances does it make more difference than here. I’ve worn it three or four times, and each time I wondered where the topnotes were - the apricot, yuzu, peach. It always opens very equestrian on me. A big horsey leather dominates the scent on my skin. So it turns this fragrance into something other than an osmanthus fruity floral. All those notes just do background service to the leather (which they do well - osmanthus always works with leathers). Once I figured this out, everything else clicked into place. It’s as if I’m smelling a different version than others are smelling, a flanker - “Miyako Equestre”.

Another interesting thing about this fragrance. Outside in cool air, the leather recedes, the fruity-florals come forward and I think at this point I’m experiencing more what others are smelling - it becomes more beautiful. It’s a very solid fragrance in cold air. But it’s so odd it reacts this way, being a fragrance created in a more warm, humid climate. What comes out on me in the cold is what is present for others at room temperature. And yet, because it is a strong, dense fragrance, it’s not the type I’d wear outside.

So Miyako is an ambivalent wear for me. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to make it become reliable. I still like smelling it - osmanthus is such an unusual chameleon of a mud flower to me. This is one of those fragrances I can’t wear, and put in a collection of other samples I love but can’t wear, and bring out to smell once in a while. They each have something that really speaks to me, that I want to keep around and experience, though I can’t wear them. I have a small wood box with a lid for these samples, to keep them available, so I can smell one or the other of them from time to time. It’s a different level of appreciation for these beauties, so I can enjoy them on their own terms.

But as a skin art, one to live with, no.

26th April, 2019 (last edited: 30th April, 2019)
I could call Auphorie Miyako (2015) the "Ozymandius of Osmanthus" and basically be done with the review, but I don't want to short-change anyone. The truth of the matter is Miyako represents a "Maximalist" take on one of the most popular genres in women's perfume: the fruity floral. Just like cut-and-dry aquatics, the fruity floral is probably one of my least favorite genres, as they've been done to death and also like aquatics, almost certainly smell like a dressier version of some body wash or shampoo I've sniffed somewhere whilst shopping for groceries. However, Miyako represents something bigger and bolder than that, so it was worth the sniff even if just for the self-edification. The sibling perfumer team of Eugene and Emyrs Au have presented golden osmanthus - a favorite in mainland Asia - wrapped in apricot and yuzu on a leathery bed of woods and musk. It won't win over anyone not a fan of these notes, but it's quite creative and more powerful than the average fruit basket mall perfume. Hailing from Malaysia, Auphorie tends to factor in a lot of the local culture with their creations, and those familiar with the artisinal house will not be surprised by Miyako.

The scent of Miyako opens with a crescendo of fruit, slamming the nose without apology or subtlety. Fruity florals tend to be very apologist in nature when made by designers; they're usually thin, transparent, relying on a lot of citrus and delicate white florals. With Miyako, an old-school pre-WWII loud randiness is applied to the genre, and the fruit rushes forward with the power of your mother's Tabu (1941), then dries down to an earthy base. Apricot, peach, and yuzu smell like an opened can of Goya nectar, leading into the eventual osmanthus note of the heart. A jasmine indole note makes Miyako a lot dirtier than any fruity floral you'll encounter in Ulta or Sephora, while a green tea note assists in the dry down to the eventual leather in the base. Cedar, sandalwood, and the exotic hinoki wood are claimed to be in the base, but I get no separation with them, and read a giant "blob woods" note swaddled in patchouli and musk, which eventually come to overtake the leather too. This is extrait so longevity is immortal, with close diffusion.

That opening Smucker's fruit jam accord is the real maker or breaker with Miyako, followed by the osmanthus, as the rest of the wear is sweet woods and musk with a leathery tinge that from afar could be a lot of things. The perfume is certainly quality, and is very dense, blended, and will give fans of the style plenty to savor, but is just a bit too cloying for me. Miyako is labeled unisex but this style traditionally appeals more to feminine tastes, but that doesn't mean a guy who loves stuff like Joop! Homme (1989) won't find some synergy with Miyako, making it worth a sniff. Neutral is the highest I can rate this as per my own tastes, but I can understand the hype surrounding Miyako from perfumistas fond of rich, fruity florals that have solid non-synthetic foundations. Miyako is quite the rare bird in that it delivers it's theme in a rather opaque style, it's just not something I could ever see myself reaching for despite this distinction. Regardless, I implore seeking this out for folks who want something in this vein with enough gumption to withstand the cold, which is where most other fruity florals and "fruitchouli" perfumes fail.
12th December, 2018
It's good but I'm not blown away? Maybe I need to use more, but the sample is rather small.
I'll report back
12th December, 2018
An osmanthus heaven. A Chinoiserie painting. A complex tapestry with thread of osmanthus, apricot, tea, hinoki and animalic musk woven into an exotic Far East garden. ...
Definitely worths the award!
23rd October, 2018
Auphorie typifies a strain of indie maximalism and Miyako is their gale force creation.
An anecdote: while we had house guests who had been sampling my collection, my normally non-perfume wearing partner decided to pick up a random bottle and spray himself. His hand alighted on Miyako and he went for the three to four sprays that are usually a happy mean for most perfumes. A perfume bomb exploded. We went to an open air event and a cloud of Miyako enveloped us and emanated far beyond – other people gave us dodgy looks. By lunchtime we had had enough and begged him to wash some of it off. Thus, ‘beast mode’ hunters, look no further. The rest – be warned and use with discretion.
No prior perfume quite matches Miyako’s golden effulgence, a wave of (over)ripe peach and apricot breaks first over the wearer, the scent concentrated, jammy, before it starts letting some air in and opening out to the matching floral note around which Miyako is centred – the fruity-leathery osmanthus blossom. There are delicious tart accents and before long a worn and sweaty leather comes into play; it’s a scent close to decaying flowers, offering a touch of gravitas in what is perhaps an over-indulgent creation. At the far periphery is a suggestion of something spice-like – perhaps the tea and wood notes mentioned? The play of decadent and sombre elements in Miyako is at the heart of its power and mystery, and why, like old age, it’s not for sissies. Miyako is like an eternal sunset, suffused in peachy radiance and yet touched by regret for the fading day.
The Au brothers are nothing if not daring, and in Miyako they hold back nothing in terms of the sweet cloying nature of osmanthus, but at the same time they make it majestically diffusive, bringing a dimension of great spaciousness that makes it a perfume to inhabit rather than a head-throbber. Miyako smells far fresher, brighter and downright juicy fruitier on a paper strip than it does on skin, and sometimes I catch myself wishing that Auphorie would release a version that would ditch the leather and smell like that on the wearer, too.
02nd September, 2018 (last edited: 11th September, 2018)

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