Issey Miyake continues the production of useless flankers in beautiful bottles this time with an "exceptional" opus. Creating such type of works doesn't require superior intelligence nor a lot of time. You take the original formula adding several new notes inside or you simply adjust its balance emphasizing some facets. An experienced perfumer builds such a type of work between airplanes. 95% of Issey + 5% of a trendy accord that could be later presented by the marketing team of the cosmetic group as something artistic or innovative. With Noir Absolu I am charmed by the touch of the beautiful black bottle but I do not see the point of the scent. In front of me I see all the other versions of Issey, all available now in shops, including the summer flanker in mid November. I feel quite lost but I manage to identify the original perfume, something that would probably be impossible for a new consumer (and frustrating if he learns after 6 months he'd actually bought a limited edition). I hardly smell the true differences between the original and the flanker. Yes, it has a touch of amber, a touch of dry woods, some vanilla, but the result is insignificant and you should certainly concentrate (or be used to the fragrance) to detect the "importance of being a flanker". When worn, these small modifications could be perceived as an "interference" with other scents from the body / clothes. Eau d'Issey Noir Absolu is not a version or an interpretation, but rather a "pollution" of the original perfume. Comparing the original and the flanker after several hours, I really do not understand why Issey Miyake persists in the sin of "flanker gluttony". To me the original perfume is far better from all standards, the new one is neither "new" (an outstanding interpretation) nor an "improvement" in both aesthetic and technical terms. Maybe in some cases the olfactory shape of a perfume is perfect and you cannot add more.
The flankers have certainly diluted the uniqueness of some perfumes. Ask me how Very Irresistible smells and I could not answer you. There are so many versions around that the original idea of the perfume got lost in the "brand translation". I only remember the rose from Givenchy.
When a perfume is created after hundreds of trials, there is moment of a tough decision - the final choice - and that should be the accomplished idea of that fragrance, something like a strong statement. Reversing the process through the launch of a flood of flankers, the variation becomes the sign of indecision and rarely something creative. A perfume with too many versions simultaneously present on the market will gradually loose its appeal and its subconscious identification will become harder. This is the "rose paradox".
My congratulations to the designer of Eau d'Issey Noir Absolu - you really have to touch and see the bottle / box to appreciate the material.
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Fragrance is the 8th Art - Octavian Coifan - Le Parfum est le 8ème Art