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September 12, 2005

Fragrance review: Menard L'Eau de Kasaneka

Cherry_shodo_kawarazaki

A burst of sharp fruity aldehydes is not an opening that would I expect of L’Eau de Kasaneka created by a Japanese perfumer Shuji Suzuki, a fragrance described as spicy floriental. A wave of candied orange rind swells up before softening into creamy sweetness underscored by ginger candy and a dusting of nutmeg. Rich powdery heliotrope, or rather heliotropin, lends its sweet and buttery character to the composition, creating an association with a dessert that is a cross between violet scented candy and a cherry pie. The heart of the composition cannot be described in any way other than cloying.

However, the drydown is rather pleasant, with its softly powdered base of sandalwood and cool vetiver. The sweetness is toned down substantially, and the fragrance embraces the wearer gently, like a soft cashmere scarf. Ambrette (or hibiscus) seed is considered to be the closest substitute for animalic musk. Lending fragrances tenacity, it smoothes the base notes with its elegant and sensual feel. In L’Eau de Kasaneka, it is a soft anchoring point that brings balance to the composition. If there is a reason for me to own L’Eau de Kasaneka, it would be a lovely bottle designed by the famous Japanese painter Shozo Shimada.

Notes include hamanasu (Japanese rose), basil, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, bergamot, orange, carnation, heliotrope, jasmine, ambrette seed, sandalwood, vetiver, cedar, vanilla, musk.

Available at Beautyhabit and Luckyscent.

Print: Cherry by Shodo Kawarazaki, 1951. www.japaneseprintsandbooks.com/ kawarazaki10.html

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