A Scent by Daphne Bugey for Issey Miyake 2009


Post by Anne-Marie


Hi everyone,

I ignored Issey Mikaye’s A Scent when it came out. I was happily immersed in niche and vintage sampling then, trying all I could of the latest darling releases: Andy Tauer sample sets, Parfum d’Empire, Parfums de Nicolai … Lutens … the latest Chanel Les Exlcusifs … I practically camped outside the letter box waiting for L’Artisan Traversee du Bosphore to be delivered (it didn’t work for me sadly), and a gift of a bottle of vintage Miss Dior was a thrill beyond words.

A Scent never stood a chance. I tried department store testers but tended to agree with reviewers who generally seemed underwhelmed.
Well, recently I picked up a small bottle for $10 from a shop selling off a bunch of testers. Why not, at that price? Get it while you can…

A Scent by Issey Miyake 2009

A Scent by Daphne Bugey


Fragrantica gives thee featured accords:
Amalfi lemon, lemon verbena, jasmine, hyacinth, Virginia cedar, galbanum

A Scent opens with a tang of citrus followed quickly by a realistic evocation of hyacinth, very bracing, but not as bitter as actual hyacinths can smell. After that the fragrance relaxes and I smell mixed clean green florals over a gentle base of musk (not listed as a note). Longevity is good and sillage moderate. I wore it on warm day during a long car journey and found it a refreshing but gentle presence over several hours, with nothing to offend my fellow travellers.


The hyacinth is what pleases me about A Scent. I recognise it distinctly but it is not as heavy as the other hyacinth perfume I know well, Guerlain Chamade. A Scent is frequently compared to other great classics, Chanel Cristalle and No 19, and not favourably. ‘Nice, but not as good as … ‘.

But many people would find A Scent easier to wear, I think. It is green all the way through but without sharpness or bitterness, and anyone worried about dirty moss or wet stones need have no concerns here. It reminds me a bit of Estee Lauder Pure White Linen but without the herbal shampoo accord that makes PWL a bit banal for me.

Miyake reportedly does not like fragrance and this one is said to be inspired by the smell of Japanese mountains. It smells clean and cool, damp but not watery, and conforms with Miyake’s minimalist aesthetic.


A Scent is not a masterpiece, but if it sounds like your thing, grab it while you can. Yes – it’s discontinued, but widely available at the online discounters. There’s a pink flanker, A Scent by Issey Miyake Eau de Parfum Florale. That one is still on the market but I have not tried it. Do comment if you have.

Further reading: Perfume Posse and Perfume Shrine
FragranceNet has AUD$23/47ml
Surrender To Chance has samples starting at $3/ml

Green fragrances can be tricky to wear. Do you have a favourite?
Until next time, keep spritzing everyone!

Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum vs Le Labo Lys 41 – Battle of the summer beach florals


Post by Willa Zheng


Dear fumenerds,
It’s summertime here in the Southern hemisphere, and the living is easy. School is out and we wile away endless sunny days by the water. Our skins glisten with sunscreen, various body oils, sweat, and the salty sea water. There’s an almost permanent lingering fragrance of jasmine, gardenia and frangipani in the air.

Nuxe Prodigieux Le Parfum vs Le Labo Lys 41

Battle of the summer beach florals

It was no wonder then, when I first tried on Nuxe’s famous huile predigieux, it had me at first whiff. But it was a body oil, and body oil fragrances generally don’t last. (Although Roger & Gallet have come up with some exceptional fragranced body oils of late…) Then, I was introduced to Le Labo’s Lys 41 (2013) earlier this year. I thought I was whiffing Nuxe, albeit in the guise of an expensive French perfume. Henceforth, I am dedicating this month’s smackdown to my two favourite scents of the summer.

Lys 41 by Daphne Bugey for Le Labo 2013

Lys 41 Le Labo FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Jasmine, tuberose, lily, woody notes, vanilla, musk

Lily fragrances come in two guises: either a spicy clove like Anais Anais, or a salty fleshy white floral. Lys 41 is definitely an interpretation in the latter category.
Created by Daphné Bugey from Firmenich, it is a salty lily dropped into a gardenia-jasmine-tuberose white floral combo. The combination of salt and luscious white florals reminds the wearer of sand, naked flesh and coconut oil. It has an incredible Proustian effect and without the saltiness, I think this would have been another generic white floral, albeit made with very high quality ingredients and skillfully constructed.

Happily, Lys41 is relatively linear and full bodied. Gardenia is more noticeable in the initial first half hour, then jasmine comes to the forefront. Four hours in, in a creamy vanillary bed, the jasmine softens and you can detect faint mentholated tuberose. The drydown is vanilla and woods. I found the silage to be moderate and the fragrance carried itself right until bedtime. Excellent longevity.

Prodigieux Le Parfum by Serge Majoullier for Nuxe 2012

Prodigieux Le Parfum Nuxe FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Orange blossom, bergamot, mandarin orange, orange
Heart: Rose, magnolia, gardenia
Base: Vanilla, coconut milk, pebbles

Start with monoi coconut oil, mix in some generic unscented suncreen to tone down and thin out the floral notes a level, squirt some orange peel oil, go for a dip in a salt water chlorinated pool, and you’ve pretty much recreated your own Nuxe Prodigieux experience.

The citrus lends a sour quality to this fragrance, like a synthetic ripe-banana. It clashes with the other synthetic notes and can cause some people to complain that this smells rancid and cheap. But it’s also the smell of spf, mixed with whatever coconut scented oils you’ve added on top. My mind instantly wanders to languid summer days spent by the beach, catching salty sea breezes. So do give Prodigieux a chance. On me longevity is 6hrs+ but it gets thin after 1hr. Silage is moderate.


Lys41 is a white floral perfume, a very well made and concentrated fine fragrance. Nuxe Prodigieux may as well have been labelled a ‘monoi tanning oil scent’ body spray. But the notes in both are so evocative that you only need an occasional whiff of it before you start to salivate, your mind begins to wander and you long for endless summer days.
For the price, I will keep dousing myself in Nuxe.

What is your favourite scent of summer vacations?
Willa Zheng

Rose 31 by Daphne Bugey for Le Labo 2006


Post by Jordan River


In Iran, Iraq, The Middle East, Pakistan and India rose perfumes are an essential part of a man’s fragrance wardrobe.

Rose petals used to be crushed and mixed with oil to obtain a strong perfume which was labour intensive and therefore not easily mass-produced. Harun al-Rashid,  of A Thousand and One Nights fame, sent Charlemagne several gifts of non-distilled rose perfumes, along with the white elephant Abul Abbas, to his court in Aachen (modern-day Germany). The gifts of Charlemagne to Harun al-Rashid were woven woolen garments from Flanders and German hunting dogs.

About 200 years later, a Persian man, born in Bukhara (modern-day Uzbekistan near Afghanistan), called Ibn Sina, perfected the steam distillation of essential oils from plants when he distilled rose petals into a wearable fragrance which could be made in great quantities.

Rose Oil DistillationA distillation plant in Damascus consisting of multiple units for producing rose water – 13th century manuscript

Ibn Sina
Hakim (Doctor/Chemist/Alchemist) Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥusayn ibn ʿAbd Allāh ibn Sīnā, known as Avicenna in the west, took the most beloved flower of Islam, the rose, and made a fragrance which was eagerly worn by men as Mohammed, the prophet of Islam, encouraged the use of perfume ‘if it is available’ as part of the preparation for Friday prayer.

Rose 31 by Le Labo

Rose 31 FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Fragrantica gives these featured accords:
Top: Rose, caraway
Heart: Rose, vetiver, cedar
Base: Musk, guaiac wood, olibanum, labdanum, agarwood (oud)

Le Labo gives these featured accords in one line:
Grasse rose, cumin, pepper, clove, nutmeg, ginger, frankincense, cedar, amber, gaiacwood, oud, cistus, vetiver, animalic notes, ISO e-super and 16 unrevealed notes

Le Labo’s Rose 31, so named because it has 31 ingredients, is a modern rose using cumin to create a human scent among the other ingredients. Cumin in perfumery smells like a hint of fresh healthy sweat and when combined with rose is sensual. The warmth of this fragrance comes from ginger which is spiced up with pepper, clove, nutmeg and caraway. You will not smell like a spice rack or a kitchen as the essentials oils blend into a strong masculine scent-wall which is overgrown with Grasse roses and vetiver grass. Overlooking the wall are strong cedars, frankincense bushes and an agarwood tree which further enhance the masculine appeal of this scent.

Rose 31 Frankincense Tree WikiMedia Frankincense Tree Photo Stolen WikiMedia

This was my favourite and only rose scent until I discovered Mohur by Neela Vermeire Creations. Rose 31 is a great everyday fragrance for men. Mohur is more a special occasion scent, although I find that spritzing Mohur as a sleep scent brings the sweetest dreams.
Nathan Branch recommends wearing this with jeans and t-shirt, or a black tux
Mary P Brown from Texas thinks that Rose 31 is like a hot rose conservatory full of sweaty men – but in the nicest possible way
Lucky Scent describes a rose for men destined to be stolen by women

Bottles are mixed on the spot if you happen upon a Le Labo store. Online orders are also freshly blended at the time of order. Rose 31 has become so popular that it is also available as a laundry detergent, a great way to wash 32 loads of your keffiyeh, khameez, khurtas or business shirts.

Further Reading
In-depth analysis – Kafka’s review
Le Labo store – includes alcohol-free options
Le Labo – travel spray

Options & Prices
Sample $US6
Travel Spray $US135
Oil Dropper $US120 – no alcohol
Perfuming Balm $US80 – no alcohol
Massage and Bath Perfuming Oil $US65 – no alcohol
Laundry Detergent $US45 – plant based and biodegradable

15ml $US58
50ml $US145
100ml $US220
500ml $US700

Jordan River

Jordan River