Perfume Brands from Japan

Monday, February 27th 2023

Japan has a rich tradition of perfumery, and several Japanese perfume brands have gained recognition globally for their unique scents and artistic creations. Here are a few notable Japanese perfume brands:

  1. Shiseido: Established in 1872, Shiseido is one of the oldest and largest cosmetics companies in Japan. In addition to skincare and makeup, the brand also offers a range of fragrances for men and women, including classic scents like Zen and White Rose.

  2. Comme des Garçons: Founded by designer Rei Kawakubo in 1969, Comme des Garçons is a highly influential fashion and fragrance brand known for its avant-garde and boundary-pushing designs. The brand has released several successful fragrances, including the popular Comme des Garçons 2 and Wonderwood.

  3. Kenzo: Kenzo is a French luxury fashion brand founded by Japanese designer Kenzo Takada. The brand's perfumes are known for their bold and unconventional scents, including the iconic Flower by Kenzo, which features a powdery floral aroma.

  4. Tauer Perfumes: Swiss perfumer Andy Tauer has gained a following in Japan for his high-quality and artisanal fragrances. His scents are sold in several Tokyo-based perfumeries and have been praised for their unique blends of natural and synthetic ingredients.

  5. Ayala Moriel Parfums: Ayala Moriel is a Vancouver-based perfumer who draws inspiration from her Israeli roots and has developed a cult following in Japan. Her fragrances are known for their botanical ingredients and unique blends of Middle Eastern and Western aromas.

  6. Masque Milano: Although not a Japanese brand, Masque Milano is an Italian fragrance house that has gained popularity in Japan for its artistic and complex scents. The brand has collaborated with several Japanese artists and designers, including fashion brand Yohji Yamamoto.

These are just a few examples of the diverse and innovative Japanese perfume brands that have made an impact in the industry.

Perfumes Inspired By Japan

While there are several Japanese perfume brands, not many of them have gained global recognition yet. However, there are some notable Japanese-inspired perfumes created by non-Japanese perfumers. Some examples include:

  1. Shiseido Zen - Launched in 1964, this iconic fragrance was created by French perfumer Michel Almairac. It features notes of bergamot, peach, freesia, violet, rose, jasmine, patchouli, vanilla, and musk.

  2. Comme des Garçons Series 3: Incense - This fragrance collection was launched in 2002 and features five scents inspired by religious incense from around the world. The series includes Kyoto, Avignon, Jaisalmer, Zagorsk, and Ouarzazate.

  3. L'Artisan Parfumeur Passage d'Enfer - Created by French perfumer Olivia Giacobetti in 1999, this fragrance was inspired by the Japanese tradition of burning incense in the entrance to ward off evil spirits. It features notes of white lily, frankincense, and musk.

  4. Memoirs of a Trespasser by Imaginary Authors - This fragrance, created by American perfumer Josh Meyer in 2012, was inspired by the travels of a fictional Victorian-era Englishman in Japan. It features notes of vanilla, guaiac wood, myrrh, benzoin, and vetiver.

  5. Kenzo Flower - Launched in 2000, this floral fragrance was created by French perfumer Alberto Morillas. However, its bottle design, featuring a bold red poppy, was inspired by the work of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami.

Japanese Perfumers

  1. Shyamala Maisondieu: Shyamala Maisondieu is a Japanese perfumer who has created fragrances for brands like Tom Ford, Givenchy, and Yves Saint Laurent. She is known for her use of unconventional notes in her compositions.

  2. Yuko Shimizu: She was born in Tokyo, Japan and is known for her work on fragrances such as "Bvlgari Omnia Crystalline" and "Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme".

  3. Tomoo Inaba: Tomoo Inaba is a Japanese perfumer who has created fragrances for brands like Jo Malone, The Body Shop, and L'Occitane. He is known for his fresh and modern compositions.

  4. Hiromi Mori: Hiromi Mori is a Japanese perfumer who has worked on fragrances for brands like Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, and Clinique. She is known for her elegant and feminine compositions.

  5. Natsume Ono: Natsume Ono is a Japanese perfumer who has created fragrances for brands like Shiseido and Kenzo. She is known for her use of unconventional notes and her ability to create complex compositions.

Fun Fact:

Japan has a long history of using scents in daily life, particularly in the traditional arts such as tea ceremony and incense appreciation. The word for fragrance in Japanese is "kaori," and there are several unique fragrant materials that are native to Japan, such as yuzu and hinoki wood.