For a short period of time every spring the streets of Japan explode with colour. The avenues and boulevards are lined with a pyrotechnic display of flowers in shades of pink. It’s a sight to behold and the smell, oh the smell! This, of course, is the season of the cherry blossom (‘sakura’ in Japanese) and it is a wonder and a delight to behold – the announcement of Spring in full bloom. People travel from all over the globe just to see this phenomenon and rarely are they disappointed, for the blooming of the cherry blossom is something very special indeed.
Japanese cosmetic brand Shiseido has long injected the spirit of their native land into the heart of their products. With Ever Bloom, Shiseido expressed the idea of a single bloom captured in scented form – an abstract flower created rather than grown. For Ever Bloom Sakura Art Edition, the latest instalment in the Ever Bloom story, Shiseido is taking inspiration from a flower found in nature and one that is tied romantically to the islands of Japan – the cherry blossom. But is the fragrance as beguiling as the flower itself? Well, there is only one way for you to find out and that’s to read on!
Cherry Blossom, Black Cherry and Cedar Wood
How Does it Smell?
In Ever Bloom Sakura Art Edition there are three accords that come together to create the impression of a cherry blossom-covered Tokyo; the iconic cherry blossom, waves of juicy cherry and a sensual base of cedar wood. Taking things right from the top, the smell of cherry blossom (only some varieties have an odour, one should bear in mind) is fresh and floral, with a crisp rose and lilac character. It too can have a soft, almond-like aroma and hints of vanilla. That’s the smell of the flowers on the tree, but it’s also a perfect description of Sakura Art’s top notes, which very much feel like a photorealistic rendering of the real thing.
Cherry is often a tricky note in fragrance because it has a tendency to come across as very sweet, evoking fizzy cherryade or black forest gateaux which, whilst albeit delicious, it’s not very luxurious. Here Sakura Art Edition manages to temper the wild gourmand nature of the cheeky cherry through a lightness of touch. Initially, it brings a juicy, deep quality to the cherry blossom but with time it softens, presenting the idea of cherry diluted by musk. The result is a cherry water (like a rose water) that almost feels like the glistening beads of dew caught on the pink blossoms first thing in the morning.
If I were to describe the dry down in one word I would choose ‘soft’. Much like the short period of time for which the cherry blossom blooms, Sakura Art Edition’s is ephemeral in nature. As it shakes off the vivid images of pink flowers and cherry droplets it transforms into a whisper of cool air, giving the impression of these things carried on a distant breeze as opposed to experienced up close. There is a silken, delicate nature to it that, in my mind at least, conjures up the image of a delicately printed obi in blush colours – a beautiful, artisanal accent to a more vibrant kimono.
It feels almost reductive to simply sum this Sakura Art Edition of Ever Bloom as ‘pretty’ but it’s exactly that – an incredibly attractive fragrance that smells absolutely delightful. It’s not a statement fragrance, nor is it a wishy-washy scent that makes no impact. Instead, Sakura Art Edition tells a quiet tale of a morning stroll through the streets of Kyoto or Tokyo on a cool spring morning. The scent of fresh cherry blossoms permeate the air and one is filled with the calming sense of peace that only the wonder of nature can bring. Yes, it’s as lovely as it sounds.