Brand Spotlight: Issey Miyake

While cloying perfumes were the “in” thing, Issey Miyake went against the grain and developed a perfume imbued with the spirit of water in 1992. It was pure, simple, and stored in a barefaced bottle.

L’Eau d’Issey, the brand’s first fragrance, was a breath of fresh air at a time where rooms weighed heavy with the choking scents of uber-rich fragrances. Years after its launch, L’Eau d’Issey became a true fragrance icon. 

The designer

Issey Miyake portrait

Issey Miyake’s foray into fragrances originated with his love for fashion. He studied at Tama Art University in Tokyo at the age of 21 and graduated with a degree in graphic design. 

In 1963, he released his debut collection, 'A Poem of Cloth and Stone,' which set the tone for subsequent ground-breaking exhibitions. Issey Miyake traveled to Paris and enrolled in the 'couture school' within two years.  

Before founding the Miyake Design Studio in New York in 1971, Issey Miyake worked for a number of renowned fashion houses, including Guy Laroche, Givenchy, and Geoffrey Beene.

Issey Miyake's boundary-pushing creations push the trend envelope, allowing wearers to express their own uniqueness and independence. For an entirely timeless yet completely modern aesthetic, he relies on ancient traditions like paper folding and the drape of cloth – striking a balance between heritage and innovation, handcrafts and new technologies.

From France's Chevalier of L'Ordre National de la Legion d'Honneur to the 22nd Kyoto Prize in Arts and Philosophy, Issey Miyake's work has been recognized for its depth and scope. He was a real trailblazer who paved the way for a new generation of Japanese designers.

See Related: What in the world are fragrance accords?


Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Women Perfume

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Women

It's Issey Miyake's eternally wearable perfumes that many of us adore - a journey that began with Jacques Cavallier's light, aquatic flowery L'Eau d'Issey for women.

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Absolue

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Absolue

Meanwhile, Olivier Cresp's L'Eau d'Issey Absolue is a completely different scent, with notes of blooming jasmine, tuberose, and honey. Issey Miyake collaborated with some of the world's most renowned photographers from the outset, offering their interpretations of the scent, including Irving Penn and Daniel Jouanneau.

Issey Miyake Pleats Please perfume

Issey Miyake Pleats Please

After nearly two decades, a second Issey Miyake fragrance was released in 2013: Pleats Please, a parallel to the distinctive pleated clothes that is so much a part of Issey Miyake's trademark. The idea for perfumer Aurélien Guichard was light, which is so essential in the realm of Issey Miyake, and the result is a scent that opens sparklingly with nashi, a pear-apple hybrid.

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme Intense

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme Intense

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pour Homme Intense is a woody perfume developed by Jacques Cavallier and released in 2007. Tangerine, bergamot, yuzu, and orange provide sweet and fresh waves in the top notes.

The composition's heart notes include blue lotus, cardamom, camphor, cinnamon, and saffron, as well as nutmeg, while the base notes include incense, amber, benzoin, papyrus, and grey amber.

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pure

Issey Miyake L'Eau d'Issey Pure

L'Eau d'Issey Pure was introduced in 2016 and is based on the original L'Eau d'Issey. The composition starts with a sea harmony, which gives it an aquatic feel.

The flowery center of the scent is made up of orange blossom, Damask rose, jasmine, and lily. Gray amber and musky cashmere wood accords dominate the base. The bottle's basic shape resembles a drop of water and has some similarity to the original.

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