Wednesday, May 24, 2006

ASK MARLEN: A yen for scents


I'm currently in Tokyo, and will be traveling around Japan the next two months and was wondering if there was any worthwhile fragrances to sniff out here that are only available in Japan (or are just easier to get in Japan).

Any recommendations would be great- and places where I could find them would be even more helpful.

Thanks a lot!


Hi D,

Best to browse the fragrance sites at - check my blog "Where Marlen Shops" for recommended sites. My favorite is:

This way you can see for yourself what's available and pricing. In Tokyo, Aoyama, Shinjuku, and Ginza are all great areas for shopping, but the best prices are at the little discount perfume and cosmetic shops in train stations and on the net.

There are a few Japanese sites which offer traditional perfumery, but the prices are very high and the sites are Japanese only. One of the lesser-priced companies is Je et Mon, about $30 for a 50ml spray. I have #12, a light agarwood. The scents are nice, but ultimately can't compare with other niche lines in longevity and sillage.

As for Japan-only scents, they're hard to find, the quality of many is mediocre at best, and the majority are geared towards young women. I recommend trying some of the typical Shiseido and Kanebo products that can be purchased at most pharmacies and beauty shops. There's more info if you do a search on Basenotes in the Shopping Guides board. The best thing you can probably pick up is the new Shiseido Men eau de toilette - see my review here: Shiseido Men

Let me know if you have any other questions!


1 comment:

Tovah said...

Aren't the Guerlain Cherry Blossoms available only in Japan? They may be fun to sniff.