Friday, March 26, 2010

Review: Ume by Keiko Mecheri

The perfumes of Keiko Mecheri come in such stunning bottles I'd love to collect for asthetic sake. Ume is an olfactory journey to the era of Art Deco in Tokyo where the stagnant traditions of the time were uplifted by glamour, fun and fantasy. Details to interior design, extravagant costumes, works in ceramic and lacquer promoted the national identity and meaning.

Ume is a fruity floral chypre that is hardly conventional. Having lived in Art Deco apartments, this fragrance is a spot on expression of the mood in one. It opens with bright citruses, a sharp lacquer note not unlike persimmon, balanced by the sweet-salty roundness of ume (Japanese plum). The heart is a bouquet of delightful oriental florals such as wisteria, jasmine, osmanthus and sasanka that is more fresh than narcotic. Supporting this is a blend of handsome hinoki, mahagony, suede and incense.

I think this is a fantastic perfume despite a few strange notes here and there. Think a Kabuki performance in French. There is something uniquely Japanese about this fragrance, like the scent coming out of an exquisite Japanese incense box. This is not for a teenage girl (or any ladies trying too hard to be cute) and you do need to be a woman of substance and respect to carry this off. You need to have the poise, grace and decorum of a geisha.

Rating: ****1/2

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