Thursday, July 8, 2010

Monocle + Comme des Garçons Scent One: Hinoki

The heavenly smell of forests, the summer cottage and saunas. 

Oh, my fickle nose. For today, forget flowers!  I never want to wear anything but Hinoki. I wrote earlier that my perfect summer perfume would include the smell of a dock in the sun by a lake, and a pine forest. Well here it is, baby.

I'd sniffed Hinoki in a shop but it wasn't until yesterday that I received a sample. Comme des Garçons is a japanese fashion label that has launched many interesting perfumes. Hinoki comes from a type of Japanese cypress tree that is commonly used in temples and baths. The perfume was created in partnership with Monocle, an "international affairs, business, culture and design" magazine. According to the Monocle site, Hinoki was "inspired by Japanese hot-spring baths and Scandinavian forests." 

It starts with the woody-spicy tickle in your nose of frankincense. The incense gives you the feeling of a temple. Then it seems to bloom - to rise up from your skin like fragrant billows of steam in a wood sauna.

For a little while it also reminded me of the wood shop behind my friend's antique furniture store. I loved the smell of sawdust there and all the different woods. At the heart, the scent becomes more like pine forest - deep green, mossy and fragrant.

It was quite wafty for the first couple of hours but now, 8 hours later, it's just a snuggly, woody-incense scent close to my skin.

Hinoki is somehow simultaneously dry and steamy, light as smoke and substantial as a tree trunk. I love it now in the heat, because it makes me think of a muskoka cottage, but I imagine it would be great in the fall too, with the smell of leaves and woodsmoke for company.

House: Comme des Garcons (for Monocle)
Nose: Antoine Maisondieu
Notes: cypress, turpentine, camphor, cedar, thyme, pine, Georgian wood, frankincense, moss and vetiver.

photo: okinawa soba


  1. you know, I have never tried this, but it sounds absolutely gorgeous. Now I have to seek it out! Great blog!

  2. Wow, Hinoki sounds great. Where did you get your sample?

    I'm looking for a Canadian source. Thanks!

  3. Hi Sharon. You can help yourself to a free spritz at Noor Boutique in Toronto if you're in the area. But for a sample from a Canadian source, try the Perfume Niche,, that's where I got mine.


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