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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Perfume Review: Annayake Miyako

In creating Miyako, a limited edition Eau de Parfum, Annayake was inspired by kodo, the Japanese incense ceremony, a classic art alongside sado (tea ceremony) and kado (flower arrangement or ikebana). Kodo literally means “way of fragrance”, and may seem to be all about the sense of smell, but apparently the heart of kodo lies in "listening", that is why it is also referred to as “listening to incense”. The participants don't "smell" the incense or fragrant wood, they "listen" to it, opening up not so much their nasal passages as their heart and spirit, allowing the incense to transport them to a different spiritual plane. When practicing kodo, a mica plate is placed on top of smoldering coals and the incense or fragrant wood (agarwood) is placed on the plate. This way, instead of being burned, the wood releases its smell in a subtle way. (From

Miyako, while not actually transporting me to a higher plane of existence, is extremely comforting. It is a sweet, soft, slightly spicy incense that envelopes me in a soothing cocoon like a favorite old blankie. The cardamom note is very apparent in the top notes, and, paired with cinnamon, adds delicious piquancy to the composition. The frankincense and wood (hinoki cypress, cedar and sandalwood) accord is beautiful here, ornamented with the spices, softened by a delicate floral note, enriched by patchouli. The drydown is pillow-soft, with lots of sweet myrrh and a fluffy, cozy sort of musk. This is a comfort scent extraordinaire in that it combines the calming, melancholy kind of comfort of the best incense scents with an almost-gourmand warmth and sweetness. I am not sure if it has ever been available in the States, but right now it seems almost impossible to find. I would recommend relentlessly stalking eBay, since sometimes the bottles do appear there and cost somewhere in the region of € 40.00-50.00.


Blogger lilybp said...

An extreme comfort scent--absolutely! It was only released in Japan and Europe, but as you said, it's pretty gettable on the Bay. Makes me feel calm just thinking about it!

6:18 AM EDT  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

A beautiful post, and probably lovely to own...

How sad that it's not readily accessible.

6:47 AM EDT  
Blogger elle said...

Wonderful review! I'm now completely inspired to retry this scent. I first tried it a couple of years ago in the middle of winter when I was craving the darkest and deepest of scents. It just wasn't dark enough for what I was wanting at that time, so I didn't give it enough of a chance. There used to be a couple of German websites you could find bottles on, but they probably don't have them any longer. :-( I shall start stalking ebay.

7:37 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe we just expect too much of higher spiritual planes of existence? Miyako is a golden haze of a scent, like an idealised indian summer afternoon - which takes things to a much higher plane of existence than the current one (for me, anyway)! Seriously: isn't it all soft and golden silk and cashmere and comfort? Lovely!

8:00 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Stop it stop it stop it! No more reviewing scents I have to stalk on eBay! No more rare, niche, discontinued! From now on, you can only review things from Macy's. ;-)

8:24 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Extreme comfort, exactly. It's not typical for an incense fragrance to be this...fluffy :-) I love that quality.

8:55 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I have one short, dangerous word for you- eBay...:-)

8:56 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

As incense scents go, it definitely isn't dark. Like D says below, it's golden. German websites you say? Do they evership here?

8:57 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I absolutely agree, it's goldne (perhaps golden-brown) cashemere.
I don't think I am capable of entereing any super-high spiritual planes, so Miyako takes me high enough, I am pleased with its work :-)

8:59 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

OK, if you say I must, I will. Tomorrow, review of Curious In Control :-D

9:00 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

I love my life. I just opened a package from a fragrant friend, and guess what was in there? A sample of this!!

10:06 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

I can guess who is the friend. She is unbelievably generous, that friend of ours. :-)
So what do you think of Miyako?

10:09 AM EDT  
Blogger Unknown said...

Sounds like a scent I would love. I especially love the scent of Hinoki. Which reminds me of my favorite bath suds: EOS Hinoki and Ginger.

11:56 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I *think* I've smelled it before but not sure. I'm gonna pretend I have so I don't get all nutso trying to obtain a bottle. Enough lemmings as it is...

12:33 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

EOS Hinoki and Ginger sounds wonderful. Now I have to google and find out what EOS is...*embarrased*

1:19 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

*plots* I was hooked on this, why shouldn't you be? 'Tis only fair *plots*

1:19 PM EDT  
Blogger NowSmellThis said...

This one sounds very appealing, M, and like perhaps another scent we would agree on. Not going to stalk it on ebay though!

3:43 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

You might like this one! I am stalking it, and when my stalking has a result, I will share!

5:31 PM EDT  
Blogger Trina said...

I don't know about not covering these rare/HTF scents, but could you maybe post a warning at the beginning? So I don't read all those lovely descriptions, only to stumble across the bad new at the end and get my heart broken? *pitiful blinks*

6:56 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

It's not so tragic with this one. It's possible to find it. Get thee to ebay, they keep popping up there. :-)

7:11 PM EDT  
Blogger Victoria said...

Sounds delish, I'll put this on my loooong must sniff list.

7:12 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Loooong wish lists and to-sniff lists are so very familiar to me :-)

7:41 PM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Well... I need to try it again. I admit my idea of a comfort scent can be pretty peculiar. The Miyako was nice, but not quite enough oomph for me. Now, I understand that oomph is not the point of a comfort scent, but it needed ... something. Hey ... maybe some CB Musk!?!?

(I kid, I kid!)

10:05 PM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Well, you are obviously unable to tear youself from that Musk...someone has to forcefully remove it from your hands. If only we could find someone who'd be willing to handle that ...thing :-)

10:18 PM EDT  
Blogger lilybp said...

Well, I know what March means. It's lighter (both in tone and strength) than I usually care for, and I didn't like it as much as most others seem to at first. But it grew on me. It's pretty longlasting for a light scent, and it lingers in an interesting manner. Also--I think it is probably better sprayed. But some CB Musk might help too. . . :)

7:21 AM EDT  
Blogger Marina said...

Ack, another Musk fan :-) Fine. I am going to try layering it with Miyako. Although I am rather unwilling to even touch the Musk vial again :-)

9:24 AM EDT  
Blogger pookerella said...

When I got this as a free sample along with my ebay descant of Plus que Jamais, I found I liked it BETTER than the one I ordered. Somehow, without using any amber, it smells highly reminiscent of pure amber resin (which no one seems to be able to copy with any success). I love it! And I don't have to walk around with brown resin on my skin!

10:08 PM EST  

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