Fragrance Friday: The Best Issey Miyake Perfumes For Men
— 12 August 2022

Fragrance Friday: The Best Issey Miyake Perfumes For Men

— 12 August 2022
Chris Singh
WORDS BY
Chris Singh

Welcome to Fragrance Friday, where each week we’ll be keeping you abreast of the newest and most iconic releases in the dynamic world of men’s fragrances. Born out of the desire to showcase one of the most overlooked, yet versatile, elements of any discerning man’s style this weekly column will help you finesse your own signature scent.

Vale Issey Miyake. The iconic Japanese fashion pioneer passed away just a few days ago, and the internet has already been rife with tributes to the highly influential, often groundbreaking designer who was amongst one of the first to really shift the culture of Eurocentric fashion to adopt a broader scope and more diverse schools of thought.

His singular imagination has been celebrated mostly when it comes to his clothing, but it’s important to remember the man’s legacy extends to much more in the world of style. Issey Miyake is also the name of one of the most reliable fragrance houses in the world, Issey Miyake Parfums.

The house’s first fragrance, L’eau D’Issey, was released in 1992, kickstarting a distinctive love of natural, typically aquatic notes that are soft, inoffensive and wear incredibly well. With numerous perfumes since – across men’s perfumes, women’s perfumes and unisex perfumes – Issey Miyake fragrances has always been largely dependable for anyone who wants something versatile and pleasant.

I recently included the brilliant woody aquatic profile of L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme as one of BH’s top picks for perfumes that are ideal for a day in the office, but thought in the wake of Miyake’s passing I would highlight a few others that are great expressions of the brand and what the man has inspired in the world of niche perfumery.

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Best Issey Miyake Perfumes For Men

Issey Miyake ‘L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme’

I might as well start with this one again, since L’Eau D’Issey Pour Homme is such a likeable scent and one of the most versatile from the label. The woody aquatic fragrance is soft and usually hugs the skin tight, but what it lacks for in projection it makes up for with gentle nuances that are obvious like lemon verbena working with tarragon and sage, and saffron coming through on the bridge towards a woody dry-down that’s full of sandalwood, tobacco and amber.

This is a great option if you’re looking for some of the best woody fragrances that don’t use oud.

Top notes: Yuzu, lemon, bregamot, lemon verbena, mandarin orange, cypress, calone, coriander, tarragon, sage
Middle notes: Blue lotus, nutmeg, Lily of the Valley, saffron, bourbon geranium, ceylon cinnamon, mignonette
Base notes: Tahitian vetiver, musk, cedar, sandalwood, tobacco, amber


Issey Miyake ‘L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Eau & Cèdre’

The most recently release and a rework of the original formula, this expression of the famed L’Eau d’Issey line uses cedarwood to give a new, undeniably masculine perspective to Issey Miyake’s signatures. Marie Salamagne of French perfume house Firmenich tightened this recipe to focus on the interplay between wood and water, solidified with a burst of freshness thanks to cardamom and a grapefruit accord , a synthetic compound called Calone and a woody base of vetiver, patchouli and white cedarwood.

Those who like longevity and projection may find this a bit disappointing, but there’s no denying this is a great everyday wear scent that, like most Issey Miyake fragrances, is perfect for the office.

Top notes: Cardamom, grapefruit accord
Middle notes: Cedar, Calone
Base notes: Vetiver, patchouli


Issey Miyake ‘Fusion D’Issey Extreme’

Perfumer Nathalie Lorson wasted no time in elevating his brilliant Fusion D’Issey with an Extreme version a year later. Also a fairly recent release for Issey Miyake and one inspired by “underwater volcanic eruptions” to once again land on a very natural, fiery twist on the label’s aquatic signature.

The Eau de Toilette moves away from the original’s opening of coconut milk, fig nectar, and lemon and opts for begamot and cardmom, skewing spicier and bringing out different angles of the heart notes, made primarily of coconut, mint, lavender, solar notes, and mineral notes. Once again drying-down to a woody finish of sandalwood and patchouli, it’s clear Fusion D’Issey Extreme is one of the more dynamic and stronger plays from Issey Miyake.

Top notes: Cardamom, bergamot
Middle notes: Coconut, lavender, mint, solar notes, mineral notes
Base notes: Sandalwood, patchouli


Issey Miyake ‘L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Intense’

Issey Miyake’s fragrance line is at its best when its playing around with the original and seeing what kind of new angles it can take the classic recipe. Pour Homme Intense easily fits that bill, sharing much of the same elements to the primordial Issey Miyake fragrance but subtracting a bit of the fresh citrus for something a bit heavier and warmer – most ideal for winter wear.

The addition of smokey incense to the opening makes a big difference here, flanked by vibrant notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom to create plenty of warmth right out of the gate. What you ultimately get here is something smokey, nutty and slightly gourmand, mostly distinguished by the use of papyrus to bring a rougher, dryer profile that lasts well into the woody dry-down.

Issey Miyake perfumes are often at their best when they’re playing around with those signature aquatic notes and experimenting with different takes on the famed water-on-skin image that birthed the perfume house. Intense is a much different direction, presenting something a bit stronger and more divisive but none the less intensely likeable. Not bad for a perfume that you can usually find for around $50.

Top notes: Yuzu, bergamot, sweet orange, mandarin orange
Middle notes: Nutmeg, lotus, cinnamon, cardamom, saffron
Base notes: Incense, papyrus, ambergris, benzoin, amber

Chris Singh
WORDS by
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.

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