Since I was talking about chypres – Eau Capitale inspired me – I realized I had a sample of one I have been meaning to try. It’s from the Japanese niche brand J-Scent and it is called ‘Shaft of Light.’ I thought it was a very interesting name, and this is the brand’s explanation:
This scent symbolizes the power of life that comes from a shaft of light from the heavens onto the trees.
The light showers down upon grapefruit and lemon trees, and creamy white ﬂowers like magnolias and gardenias. This perfume’s warm tones of sandalwood, patchouli, and oakmoss remind us of nature’s power of life.
That’s kind of cool, and very different from the rest of J-Scent’s line, which are mostly inspired by things in Japanese culture. Simply put, this is a great well-blended floral. There isn’t a major player in the flowers, but I do get hints of jasmine, orange flower and magnolia. There’s something citrus in there – the notes say lemon – that rounds up the bouquet which gives the scent a ‘fresh’ feeling before going to the woodsy dry down that is also well-blended. It is a somewhat quiet scent, although only in the idea not in presence. I quite like it, and int he colder temperature gives a warm fuzzy feel. Plus, at $80, it’s about one hundred dollars less than Eau Capitale. (though for sure we are comparing apples and oranges between the two)
How does a sumo wrestler smell?
A lot of them probably smell like the hair oil ‘bintsuke,’ which is the product they use to slick their hair. This is a mostly eucalyptus scent that turns very powdery. I know exactly how this smells. When I was a kid, my mom would take me to these Japanese stores and they all had that unmistakable smell. It reminds me of heliotrope, with maybe some violets in it? It is a little reminiscent of a waxy barber shop smell.
J-Scent has captured that in ‘Sumo Wrestler.’ The scent starts with said eucalyptus, and I detect some star anise, which, for me anyway, makes it smell very ‘Asian.’ This smells very ‘natural’ in that sense. I see on the notes that there are florals but I don’t really get them on my skin (I was waiting for the orange blossoms to bloom) On me, it smells very waxy, and that’s probably the labdanum in there. It smells very specific to me, and very linear. And the drydown is pure powder. It reminds me a little bit of Penhaligon’s ‘Sartorial,’ although that one smells a little more ‘upscale.’ Do I like this? I do, but I probably have to be in a certain mood to want to wear this.
I was at Luckyscent in search of when this new (to me) line caught my eye – J Scent. I joked, ‘is this perfume for Jewish people?’ but then I realized the J stands for Japan.
This is from their website:
” J-Scent perfumes are created with the theme of traditional Japanese fragrances.
This brand of perfume selects traditionally Japanese scents and carefully blends them together. Enjoy “Japanese scents” that embody the beauty of Japan and represent its four seasons.”
But then this also caught my eye:
“Not mixing. Blending. In harmony with nature.
It’s not splashing on a perfume to stand out, but wearing the fragrance as part of your daily life.
Naturally. As part of you. This fragrance becomes one with nature, one with your life.”
Okay, they are perhaps a little dramatic in their copy, but I get it as part of the Japanese aesthetic. I was immediately drawn to ‘Roasted Green Tea’ because tea scents always get to me. I sprayed and it was love at first sniff. The first whiff i slightly smoky from the effect of roasting Hojicha tea, but then the slightly sweet and bitter tea accord instantly broke my heart – there’s a certain melancholy feeling here, but it is also sweet, and the floral jasmine heart just gives it ephemeral beauty. The whole thing smells like an artisan ice cream flavor, akin to a Japanese desert. It’s fruity floral, but a specifically exotic one. And the delicious nutty note (I get pistachio) just rounds up the whole thing perfectly.
To be honest, though, the perfume is on the faint side. And it’s appealing price point ($80 for a 50 ml) shows through its very alcohol-ish blast int he beginning. The projection is on the weaker side as well, but I kind of get that. I doubt if the Japanese aesthetic is on the loud side.
But still, love conquers all. I bought a bottle.