February 12, 2018
Perfumer Anais Biguine
Jardins D’ecrivains is a perfume house after this writer’s heart: each fragrance distills a literary luminary, from Beat poets to Elizabethan playwrights. The fragrances are creative and individualistci. Now perfumer and founder Anais Biguine has added three splash colognes in playful spray-gun bottles that each embody a stylistic mode: romantic melancholy (Leopardi, a citrus), poetic (Marcelline, a fresh floral), and contemplative, and Jardins D’ecrivains Kakuzô, a green tea and herbal tonic, my favourite of the trio.
Photo by Nicoline Patricia Malina, Harper's Bazaar Indonesia, Nov 2010©
“There is no single recipe for making the perfect tea, as there are no rules for producing a Titian or a Sesson. Each preparation of the leaves has its individuality, its special affinity with water and heat, its own method of telling a story. The truly beautiful must always be in it." — Okakura Kakuzo, The Book of Tea
Nara prefecture, Japan, stock photo
Japanese essayist Okakura Kakuzo’s The Book of Tea (1906) is an influential exposition on the aesthetics and artistry of the tea ceremony and its importance to Japanese culture.
Okakura Kakuzo via wikipedia
Kakuzô, an olfactory tribute to the writer, is, as its subtitle Jade Dew suggests, at once delicate and aromatic; the smell of rain and plant life outside an open window while green sencha brews in a teapot nearby.
The Secret Chatter of Golden Monkeys fashion editorial, photo by Mark Segal for Vogue Japan, Oct 2012©
Jardins D’ecrivains Kakuzô is an origami of delicate and astringent greens, diaphanous layers unfolding like the spread of a paper fan. It opens with a bright spatter of soapy, citric coriander and a muted crunch of crushed, glossy leaf. If you’ve ever been to a tea ceremony, you’ll recognize the mildly nutty-vegetation smell that remains present in the background as tea is poured throughout, soothing and vaporous. Tea steam rises, slightly milky, with facets of hay, soybean and lettuce. Next, woods come out as a gentle cedarwood adds a sauna note, and the fragrance warms.
Toyohara Chikanobu, Tea Ceremony
Hedione is an aromachemical I associate with top notes because of its clean, bubbly, citrusy quality. Here, it comes out in the middle stages, lending a lemony sparkle and lift to the plant-like notes. At the same time, the aroma of Gyokuro, an elegant, high-quality sencha tea, becomes more apparent, with its characteristic hints of seaweed and chestnut. As time passes, hedione and coriander begin to dominate the dry-down, which, as you would expect in a cologne, comes within the first twenty minutes of application or so, marrying with those astringent plant notes to create a harmonious green tea scent with a woodsy backbone and touch of shimmer.
Japanese Tea Garden, San Mateo, California, stock photo
Like an artfully brewed sencha, Jardins D’ecrivains Kakuzô is an ephemeral, refreshing pleasure with just enough substance to leave gentle lingers of itself for several hours. Refreshing and coddling at the same time, Kakuzo is lovely for days when you need a comforting cuppa or fancy a serene walk in a spring tea garden. Notes: Green tea, cedarwood, coriander, hedione, gyokuro.
Disclaimer: Sample of Jardins D’ecrivains Kakuzô provided by Anais Biguine– many thanks. My opinions are my own.
– Lauryn Beer, Senior Editor
Thanks to the generosity of Anais Biguine, there is your choice of a bottle of Jardins D’ecrivains Kakuzô or samples of Kakuzo, Marcelline and Leopardi for 1 registered reader anywhere in the world. You must register here or your comment will not count. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what appeals to you about Jardins D’ecrivains Kakuzo based on Lauryn’s review, if you have a favorite Jardins D’ecrivains fragrance, where you live and which writer you would want to inspire a perfume. Draw closes 2/15/2018.