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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Perfume Review: Shiseido Inoui

Inoui was created in 1976, followed the next year by a line of cosmetics of the same name. According to Shiseido, “unlike other Shiseido products, which were based on oriental concepts, Inoui was created based on western aesthetics” and targeted “the contemporary career woman”. Inoui has been taken off the market in the US and in Europe, and I was unable to find any information on whether it still might be available (and in production) in Japan, so if you know, please comment.

Shiseido is quite right when they designate Inoui for a “career woman”. What’s more, although created in the late 1970s, the scent would suit a present-day workplace perfectly well, since it is not a high-impact, forceful scent with monster sillage. This is an exceedingly elegant blend that is simultaneously subtle and full of character. It is described as Green Fresh Balsamic and the list of notes (lemon, galbanum, peach, juniper, jasmine, pine needles, thyme, freesia, oakmoss, cedar, myrrh, civet, musk) seems to promise a rather sharp, bone-dry scent, and indeed Inoui possesses a wonderful, almost-austere, arid greenness. And yet underneath that husky, borderline bitter verdancy of galbanum, pine, cedar and oakmoss, Inoui is unexpectedly, charmingly soft. In the beginning, the softness is due to the presence of peach, which, combined with jasmine, actually makes me think of sweet, yellow roses. In the middle stage, freesia continues that delicately luscious fruity-floral theme, and the drydown features the lovely, warm and sweet myrrh note. The two motives, the cold, dry, green and the warm, peachy, soft coexist in perfect harmony and are as appealing together as a sharply chic, almost manly suit worn with a very feminine, pastel colored, silk blouse. As it is the case with many rich, warm chypres, there is something enchantingly autumnal about Inoui, and it seems to me just as suited for a leisurely stroll through a melancholy park, with the yellow and brown leaves strewn on the ground, as it is for an office.

Inoui is available at 1stperfume for $499.00-999.00. Now and then it is possible to find it on eBay, sometimes for just as much, sometimes for significantly less, but never as a bargain.

The images are from milky.net and allposters.com.

34 Comments:

Blogger chaya ruchama said...

Dearest-
You are a wicked tease.

I remember this faintly, from my last hippie days, and it was gorgeous.

Descriptive and lust-inducing post.

I'll just pretend I didn't hear you [inserts fingers in ears and sings 'lalalalala']...

7:31 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Shiseido makes some of the coolest scents... which you never see over here. I wish somebody'd stock them.

7:33 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Your last words were tragically true. I've been stalking this scent on ebay for some time now and it *never* ends up ignored and going for some bargain basement price. I keep hoping that some person w/ hideous spelling skills lists a full bottle of the parfum some day and I miraculously come across it. It really is a gorgeous scent.

7:45 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Oh, no! Something else that I haven't smelled but apparently must--only it will cost me a fortune to do so!! Arggggh!!!

7:47 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Chaya,
Too late! :-) It would be gorgous on a hippie...such a contrast between the wild thing and the sober scent :-D

9:19 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
Shiseido has something against us, don't they? Nothing that's any good is available here. Or in production anymore. Grr.

9:20 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

L,
That's what I hope for too...and so probably do lots of others, who have Inoui on their saved searches lists, spelled in all sorts of ways :-D So it will never be a bargain :-(

9:48 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
Yeas, this one is costly. We are talking Djedi's league, not Chaos'

9:49 AM EDT  
Anonymous Ina said...

I just put on my sample of this. I definitely get the two motives you're talking about. Wow. What a gorgeous scent! Peach chypre. This is very luminous! Perfect scent for Indian summer.

10:16 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Ina,
We seem to be having Indian Summer here, so it's perfect. What's the weather like where you are?

10:33 AM EDT  
Anonymous Ina said...

It's Indian summer here, too. :) Love it!

10:55 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

I wish it stayed that way, but of course it won't. I hate cold. I wish I were a bear who sleeps through winter :-)Or a Moomintroll :-D

10:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Sounds lovely and something I'm bound to never smell, but then again that might be a good thing, with my huge to sniff list.

12:26 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

This sounds like something I would like (?) but also like something I can't afford to like, LOL...so am going to forget I ever read any of this :-)

1:09 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Jennifer,
It is certainly wonderful, but it is sold for such ridiculous $$...nothing is wirth that much. *Maybe* I'd have paid up to $200 for it. Maybe! And even that is an insane price.

2:53 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Robin,
yes, I think you would really like this one. It is too late for me, but save yourself while you can, don't sample it :-D

2:54 PM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Well, but unlike Djedi, there are minis of it available. . . .[sold!]

8:19 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

LOL! You are so fast! The fastest. I remember last year's gift exchange... What a challenge that was! :-D I really enjoyed it.

8:39 PM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

LOL! At the same time you had me, I had Ina--an equal challenge, I think! I was actually on a no-buy (though not a no-swap:), but I kept buying things for her that then went off her list--so I just kept them for myself, and bought new things! Great fun, indeed! And your package to me was sooooo amazing! I think I am passing on this year's Halloween, b/c i am really overloaded. I will be there for Christmas, though!

8:16 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

8:44 AM EDT  
Blogger kuri said...

As far as I can tell, they stopped production on Inoui around 6 years ago. It still shows up on auctions but looks pretty pricy - 35,000 yen. There seem to be a quite a few Japanese bloggers who also wish they'd bring this perfume back.

12:23 AM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

C,
We all bloggers should write a letter to Shiseido. *sigh* Why do they discontinue all the best stuff? *They* as a general term, not just Shiseido.

12:08 PM EST  
Blogger kuri said...

I think it's part of Murphy's Law, or something. But yes, we should write a letter!

9:09 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was my favorite scent and I never found
another I like better.

Back when Inoui was first discontinued, I called their NY headquarters to find out
if I could buy it in Japan or overseas.
I was told that it was discontinued because they could no longer get an ingredient needed to make it.

12:09 PM EST  
Blogger colombina said...

It is such a shame that they discontinued it. :-(

12:43 PM EST  
Anonymous joiefungirl@excite.com said...

I want Inoui to be sold again. I have a bottle from the 90's and i am savouring it.

2:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alas, the scent of my life is no more. I checked years ago with some people who travel to Japan, and it is not available there either. It had such a sensual and peaceful complexity--really intoxicating. The closest thing I could find to its complex and lovely smell is Pheromone by Marilyn Miglin. As with any of these really complex scents, the perfume is worth the money if you can swing it. I imagine someday I will try to reproduce it--during retirement. I'll let you know

11:58 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You all will not believe this, but I found an address in Italy, that still sells INOUI !!!!! 60 ml and 95 ml EDP (very reasonably priced, too!!)

If you are interested, contact me : irisbe2002us@yahoo.com - and I will send you the link to their website.

I just ordered it myself, am curious !!!!!

Greetings from Belgium
Iris

11:49 AM EST  
Blogger bunnee said...

inoui was my all time favourite fragrance when i was in high school & uni. a glorious scent, i had men AND women coming up to me asking what fragrance i was wearing! i would drink the stuff if i could. when it was discontinued, i was soooooo sad. i have purchased several bottles from ebay & a few of them have kind of gone bad, still the base notes are there & catching a whiff of it sends me to the strastosphere. there has never been a fragrance like it!!! at any price! i remember writing to shiseido in nyc & tokyo but no avail. i suspect one or two of the ingredients have become too expensive to get...? sigh, the recipe exists somewhere...

a.

12:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently moved, and unpacking an old suitcase I found two bottles of Inoui eau de parfum--one unopened. The second still smells good. Also found a half bottle of Murasaki, not so fresh but basically ok. Don't completely give up hope for their return; after all, Zen was discontinued for a while and now it's back.

11:52 PM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a bottle of Inoui in collectible gift box up for auction on Ebay - http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180464016852&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT if anyone is interested! Seller: a_martin_jr

5:35 PM EST  
Anonymous pheromone perfume said...

Thanks for sharing this review. I enjoyed reading it. Looking forward for your next post.

-pia-

8:57 PM EDT  
Anonymous pheromones said...

This was a great article. Perfumes are the wonders of the world and they create such a romance that only a woman can enjoy. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading more in the future!

11:29 PM EDT  
Anonymous pheromone perfumes said...

I love the shape of Inoui perfume. The notes are rather interesting and I may have to smell a bottle for myself. Shiseido always makes interesting scents that can truly captivate the senses. I know that it does for me...

8:52 AM EDT  

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