When it’s hot and sticky – either through weather or central heating – what you need to cool down is a perfume that is infused with cool green notes through and through. It’s like a babbling brook of a scent. Just dip your toes in with us.
Mint, sap, reseda (a fragrant, herbaceous plant sometimes called mignonette or weld), mimosa, blackcurrant, hazel, oak, tonka bean.
Parfumerie Generale (PG) are a stable favourite of The Sniff. They produce excellent scents over a wide range, and offer something for everyone. They’re a great brand to start with if you are new to niche and you’ll find many reviews of their fragrances in our library here, including PG 03 Cuir Venenum, PG 04 Musc Maori, PG 5.1 Suede Osmanthe, PG 16 Jardins de Kerylos, and PG 16.1 Bois Naufrage.
If you like this scent, you may also want to check out Fathom V by Beaufort London for another overdose of green notes, Hesperys by Phaedon if you like watery green tones, or Nebbia Spessa by UNUM if you want something in a similar vein but with a more marine bent to it.
So, let us dive into the scent. If you haven’t already picked it up from all the references to green we’ve already managed to shoehorn into this review: this is a green scent. A very green scent. Best suited to those who like their perfumes verdant, lush and bracing.
Komorebi opens with a minty bouquet: fresh torn mint leaves billowing their scent around you. It is cool, fresh and bright. Mint is one of those notes that is really, really hard to use in perfume composition because it can overpower everything else, and when it does the resulting impression is of toothpaste. It is because of the close association of mint with personal cleaning products that it is so very hard to make a fragrance which smells nice, minty and not like you should use it to rinse your mouth after brushing. Thankfully the opening to Komorebi manages to do this pretty well. The mint is soft and expansive, bracing yet but not aggressive. It has a calming clarity but it’s tempered by lush green notes that just about stop it from going too far towards the mouthwash end of the minty spectrum.
Once the initial icy mint blast has calmed, a cucumber-like note appears. It appears to be the combination of the coolness of the mint alongside watery and breezy notes that give this impression. You can almost taste the scent as a glass of water infused with cucumber and mint just out of a very cold fridge.
Other things that are discernible in this patchwork of green include cold green leaves, a sort of herbal woodiness that makes you imagine new shoots peeping through snow, cool spices and a real bright freshness. We couldn’t really discern the mimosa or blackcurrant in their own right, but we felt that they were playing supporting roles in this herbal, green and fragrant concoction, allowing the other notes to really linger and dance in the air.
The phrase ‘clean’ is oft cited in perfume reviews but Komorebi really does justify it’s use. This perfume smells freshly scrubbed, washing-line dried and cool. If you like the sound of any of those then definitely check this scent out.
There are times, especially in the heart of the scent that Komorebi does smell a bit like the chemicals that they use to put in caravan toilets but that is said in the most affectionate way possible and it really adds to the sense of cleanliness and freshness that this fragrance embodies.
The wood comes through in the base, but again, following the theme, the hazel and oak are green and cool, supporting the scent and giving it good longevity. The woodiness in the base reminded us of sleeping in a caravan as a child in the Lake District, hearing the early morning rain drumming on the tin roof of the caravan, dew laden grass, green leaves in the deepest part of the woods that never get sunshine, and that glorious scent of the outdoors.
To our minds, the base of Komorebi is the most successful part of the scent – it’s a real pleasure to wear. There’s something about all those fresh notes drying down which really made us think of chilly, clean, hard floors. We realise that’s a bit of a weird thing to say, but imagine you dropped a bottle of fancy mouthwash on the cold, tiled floor of a bathroom and then wiped it up. Later, you go back into the room to find that the air has infused with that minty, clean smell. It’s invigorating, and that’s the level of bracing freshness that Komorebi evoked for us.
Komorebi would would amazingly on a hot commute in summer. It’s cool tone is the perfect antidote to sweaty public transport, and it’s green vibes would refresh even the most hardened urbanite. We’d definitely encourage liberal use in this way.
The other stuff
The longevity of Komorebi is pretty darn good. We tested it several times in hot, sticky weather and it lasted until at least late afternoon when it was applied first thing in the morning.
The sillage of the scent is also relatively powerful, and we were surprised by how many compliments we got whilst wearing it, especially given the cool watery nuances that it contains. For a fresh scent it’s surprisingly vivacious and we’d estimate that it projects to just over handshake distance or thereabouts.
We felt that Komorebi sat slightly towards the more stereotypically masculine end of the fragrance spectrum which was interesting as it wasn’t what we necessarily expected. It is just so damn bracing though. As always, if you like it you should wear it, regardless of gender.
Komorebi is also available from the Parfumerie Generale web boutique where it is priced at €146 for 100ml.
Bloom Perfumery London kindly supplied us with a sample of this scent. If you don’t already know them we would highly recommend that you check them out.