Winner of The Art and Olfaction Awards 2016, Artisan category. The company says:
Walking down the serene street of the ancient capital city of the Far East Land. Golden osmanthus (Kin-Mokusei) flowers are in full bloom, exuding its sweet and exotic scent with notes of ripe apricot, peach and freesia. There are also Yuzu trees in the midst of the osmanthus, adding a hint of citrus to the bouquet. Jackets worn by pedestrians fill the air with a touch of leather. Notes of jasmine green tea come from the tea house nearby. Geishas with white faces and red lips are walking up and down, and the slight powdery note of those scented sachets tied to their waists slowly penetrates the air. Finally, scents of precious woods from the nearby Jinja (shrine) shine through, accompanied by the sweet, caramellic katsura leaves which have already turned red in this season of autumn.
Miyako fragrance notes
- apricot, yuzu, peach
- golden osmanthus, jasmine green tea, leather
- hinoki wood, cedarwood, sandalwood, patchouli, katsura leaf, musk
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Latest Reviews of Miyako
The apricot absolute is very apparent on the first spritz.the yuzu adds some brightness. combined with the apricot absolute it adds an aromatic fattiness to the opening.soon the osmanthus make their entrance.the green tea adds a slight mentholated green note while the element of the oily fattiness persists.as the heart notes melt into the base the powdery musky woody and maybe some leather appears and it is the finest quality. the accords are presented in such a felicity of union that this perfume can best be described as music for my nose.
These brothers have created a perfume that utterly transports me to an exotic but unnamable tropical garden. Good on them!
I find projection, development and longevity to be very good.
Another interesting thing about this fragrance. Outside in cool air, the leather recedes, the fruity-florals come forward and I think at this point I'm experiencing more what others are smelling - it becomes more beautiful. It's a very solid fragrance in cold air. But it's so odd it reacts this way, being a fragrance created in a more warm, humid climate. What comes out on me in the cold is what is present for others at room temperature. And yet, because it is a strong, dense fragrance, it's not the type I'd wear outside.
So Miyako is an ambivalent wear for me. I'm not sure I'll ever be able to make it become reliable. I still like smelling it - osmanthus is such an unusual chameleon of a mud flower to me. This is one of those fragrances I can't wear, and put in a collection of other samples I love but can't wear, and bring out to smell once in a while. They each have something that really speaks to me, that I want to keep around and experience, though I can't wear them. I have a small wood box with a lid for these samples, to keep them available, so I can smell one or the other of them from time to time. It's a different level of appreciation for these beauties, so I can enjoy them on their own terms.
But as a skin art, one to live with, no.
I'll report back
The scent of Miyako opens with a crescendo of fruit, slamming the nose without apology or subtlety. Fruity florals tend to be very apologist in nature when made by designers; they're usually thin, transparent, relying on a lot of citrus and delicate white florals. With Miyako, an old-school pre-WWII loud randiness is applied to the genre, and the fruit rushes forward with the power of your mother's Tabu (1941), then dries down to an earthy base. Apricot, peach, and yuzu smell like an opened can of Goya nectar, leading into the eventual osmanthus note of the heart. A jasmine indole note makes Miyako a lot dirtier than any fruity floral you'll encounter in Ulta or Sephora, while a green tea note assists in the dry down to the eventual leather in the base. Cedar, sandalwood, and the exotic hinoki wood are claimed to be in the base, but I get no separation with them, and read a giant "blob woods" note swaddled in patchouli and musk, which eventually come to overtake the leather too. This is extrait so longevity is immortal, with close diffusion.
That opening Smucker's fruit jam accord is the real maker or breaker with Miyako, followed by the osmanthus, as the rest of the wear is sweet woods and musk with a leathery tinge that from afar could be a lot of things. The perfume is certainly quality, and is very dense, blended, and will give fans of the style plenty to savor, but is just a bit too cloying for me. Miyako is labeled unisex but this style traditionally appeals more to feminine tastes, but that doesn't mean a guy who loves stuff like Joop! Homme (1989) won't find some synergy with Miyako, making it worth a sniff. Neutral is the highest I can rate this as per my own tastes, but I can understand the hype surrounding Miyako from perfumistas fond of rich, fruity florals that have solid non-synthetic foundations. Miyako is quite the rare bird in that it delivers it's theme in a rather opaque style, it's just not something I could ever see myself reaching for despite this distinction. Regardless, I implore seeking this out for folks who want something in this vein with enough gumption to withstand the cold, which is where most other fruity florals and "fruitchouli" perfumes fail.
Definitely worths the award!
An anecdote: while we had house guests who had been sampling my collection, my normally non-perfume wearing partner decided to pick up a random bottle and spray himself. His hand alighted on Miyako and he went for the three to four sprays that are usually a happy mean for most perfumes. A perfume bomb exploded. We went to an open air event and a cloud of Miyako enveloped us and emanated far beyond other people gave us dodgy looks. By lunchtime we had had enough and begged him to wash some of it off. Thus, beast mode' hunters, look no further. The rest be warned and use with discretion.
No prior perfume quite matches Miyako's golden effulgence, a wave of (over)ripe peach and apricot breaks first over the wearer, the scent concentrated, jammy, before it starts letting some air in and opening out to the matching floral note around which Miyako is centred the fruity-leathery osmanthus blossom. There are delicious tart accents and before long a worn and sweaty leather comes into play; it's a scent close to decaying flowers, offering a touch of gravitas in what is perhaps an over-indulgent creation. At the far periphery is a suggestion of something spice-like perhaps the tea and wood notes mentioned? The play of decadent and sombre elements in Miyako is at the heart of its power and mystery, and why, like old age, it's not for sissies. Miyako is like an eternal sunset, suffused in peachy radiance and yet touched by regret for the fading day.
The Au brothers are nothing if not daring, and in Miyako they hold back nothing in terms of the sweet cloying nature of osmanthus, but at the same time they make it majestically diffusive, bringing a dimension of great spaciousness that makes it a perfume to inhabit rather than a head-throbber. Miyako smells far fresher, brighter and downright juicy fruitier on a paper strip than it does on skin, and sometimes I catch myself wishing that Auphorie would release a version that would ditch the leather and smell like that on the wearer, too.
When Miyako was released, it came in a 30 ml bottle and cost $110. Thanks to Luca Turin and the Auphorie brothers, it is now $208 for a 15 ml bottle...twice the price for half the amount of perfume. Math is not my strong point, but I'm pretty sure this means it has now increased in cost by 400%.
In addition to this astonishing price hike, Auphorie's customer service is nonexistent at best, and rude and thoughtless at worst.
I have gone back and forth in my estimation of Miyako as a scent, but its brand's business practices, tip my evaluation into the negative.
This perfume is like a lesson in abstract art. There are so many notes tumbling around, weaving in and out of one another. You have the darkness of earthy notes and brightness of botanical notes contrasting one another with every fascinating inhalation.
Miyako showcases what perfumers can achieve with modern botanical interpretations of "animalic" notes. The leather note is huge and so believable! I did not see the notes ahead of time, but I when I smelled it, I knew it was leather, and I was surprised because I know Auphorie does not use real animal essences. Please try this if you love love love leather but you do NOT love animal cruelty.
Miyako takes me back to a memory of a thrift shop I poked around when I was last at Tahoe. Sniffing from a distance, the perfume has this old, worn-in scent about it, like the scent of clothes with just a bit of mildew, old books, and old leather jackets that might or might not have been worn by a smoker, but they have definitely been worn. If I put my schnozz close to my skin, I really pick up that beautiful, clean, fruity and sweet osmanthus.
Leather is definitely not my favorite note, but oddly I enjoy the (few) excellent botanical interpretations of it much more than the real animalic stuff. Miyako is one of those perfumes that feels like it becomes part of you, just like your favorite leather jacket. This perfume is beautifully done and cruelty-free. Projection is great. Love it!