As I continue my search for the new perfect citrus that could join my collection I was inspired by Undina’s Search for the Perfect Yuzu and decided to explore this note myself. By a total coincidence it seems that yuzu is a very trendy ingredient right now as a number of brands have recently introduced new fragrances that place this citrus from Japan in central position. This post will be very much like Monday Quick Sniffs but this time it’s themed, hence Do you yuzu? as an alternate title.
Oyedo, released by Diptyque back in 2000 is supposed to surprise you with a zesty yuzu at the beginning. What I get right from the start is a joyous burst of lemon. It has a very pure, slightly oily feel on the skin – just like natural lemon oil. But after a couple of minutes something weird happens and I start to smell something sweet, with a grainy texture like sugar. It becomes slightly syrupy too, making me think of a cocktail glass that has been decorated with a sugar ring on the glass edge. After some time the scent becomes juicier, revealing mandarin notes, and also greener with the accord reminiscent of green tea. Thyme adds a herbaceous feel with a hint of hay.
Heeley Note de Yuzu created in collaboration with Maison Kitsune has an amazing opening. The perfume starts with a mouth-watering smell of yuzu that offers a blend of sweet and sour flavors served in perfect proportions. Shortly grapefruit joins the composition and stirs your olfactive impressions by adding some juicy bitterness. There’s a lot going on as for the citrusy tones but it all feels right and well-though. Sadly all of these molecules are the most volatile ones and Note de Yuzu dissipates quite quickly, leaving behind the marine tones of sea salt and seaweed. Drydown has some grassy, dried vetiver and white musk. If these top notes could last, this would be it!
I’m a fan of Parfum d’Empire but I have to admit that a sample of Yuzu Fou has been sitting in my drawer for a couple of years. When I tried it years ago it felt very sweaty but today my impressions are significantly different. It starts with an aromatic, fragrant facet of yuzu rind – which feels quite acidic but invigorating at the same time. After the first minute or two everything is softened with a delicate orange juice and lightly tainted with a watery fruitiness of kumquat. Lemon verbena adds a green tone to the perfume – lemony, slightly sharp & floral. Mint adds a twist of aromatic refreshment to the composition. After some time these green elements water down, which also extends to the bamboo accord. Soft & soapy neroli blends with musky notes & cedar. It’s a pleasant one.
In the bunch that is on my radar today Yuja by Jo Malone is the youngest, being launched only last month. As most fragrances from this brand, Yuja feels very airy and spacious right from the start. It gently unfolds with a yuzu note – a very pretty one, slightly bittersweet for a few moments but it quickly evolves and becomes way more floral – like a blossoming citrus tree rather than its yellow fruit. I’m not saying it doesn’t smell nice, because it does. It’s just a little confusing if you’re expecting a lively citrus. Yuja has a warm, aromatic aura provided by clary sage but it’s balsam fir that lends it a nicely green character with some mysterious depth. Cedarwood prolongs the life of this new cologne. Anyways after 2-3 hours it’s gone from my skin and needs to be sprayed again.
One yuzu, four perfume and each of them is a completely different interpretation of this Japanese citrus fruit. Lighter, stronger, more or less complex, some are more bitter, some more sweet. I guess this allows more people to find the one that works best for them. On the first impression Note de Yuzu is the most desirable, with that lush juicy yuzu opening. In the long run Yuzu Fou has the best lasting power. Alert! Nicolai released Eau de Yuzu – I want to try it next! The search continues…