Sunday, September 21, 2008

Japanese Peacock

Cinematically speaking, Oyédo by the Parisian fragrance house, Diptyque, is a Technicolor citrus, all chartreuse greens and warm chrome yellows. Ostensibly Japanese in flavor, it succeeds more in a vein of sheer Oriental weirdness – as if Rei Kawakubo had commissioned it, not Desmond Knox-Leet and Yves Coueslant.

To my nose, it doesn’t scream fruit as much as something artificial, like a new plastic shower curtain liner, a grape-flavored Jolly Rancher sans the high-fructose corn syrup, or - and, for most people, this is the monkey wrench in the gears - something that approximates analgesic rub. (But if James Heeley can do it in Esprit du Tigre, then I guess the folks at Diptyque can too.)

Which is not to say that Oyédo won’t appeal to people – Quite the contrary, I think it fills a very real need for wintertime citruses that don’t evaporate in twenty seconds time and that parry notes other than bergamot and lemon zest. It embodies the paradox of something cool-smelling succeeding in a world of ice and snow, as if its notes mimicked the chilled air.

Heard a peacock lately?


Blogger carmencanada /Grain de Musc said...

C., I have smelled Oyedo but I *have* heard a peacock, though not lately. And if Oyedo's anywhere near that, I'll pass! ;-)

September 22, 2008 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

D., Beauty in this case comes wagered on something, as you say, "de trop." Also, the sheer strangeness of the peacock call -- the way it comes so unexpectedly from out all that feathered-to-the-eyes grandeur -- is comparable to OY.

September 23, 2008 at 5:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree completely with your assessment of Oyedo; It blew me away upon first sniff; it is so artificial, and seems to make no attempt at replicating anything in nature, that it succeeds almost on a different planet! and though it requires some starch to wear it makes a very interesting statement. Interestingly enough, I tend to only wear it in cold weather, with Japanese-inspired clothing. I never made the connection before but it makes perfect sense. The peacock screech is a perfect metaphor.

But it's not for everyone and it's not for every day. It certainly isn't a scent one would wear to attract another!


September 23, 2008 at 9:06 AM  

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