"Yohji Yamamoto Homme is like a revolving olfactory door. I first encountered the scent on a man I had engaged in conversation with purely because of the way he smelt. I couldn't pin it down – warm and cool, spicy and dry; it made me lean in, it made me stand back; neither female nor aggressively male; just beautiful and familiar.
I had no idea it was a male fragrance until I sought it out. The gentleman had said "Yohji Perfume", but not Homme. I still feel it is very unisex. To me, it's an expansive landscape of contradictions like walking through a tall cedar wood forest only to find a Moroccan souk at the heart of it.
I feel an inherent aesthetical connection to Yohji Yamamoto. His scents, like his clothes, are the perfect balance of the maximal with the minimal. The comic book fantasy silhouette with an aesthetic zen. In my own work, like him, I like to play with emotions, proportion and the unexpected. Yamamoto brings his spirit to everything he does – when you see his work, it's just him, his loves, his taste, his vision; trend-less and endless.
"Yamamoto brings his spirit to everything he does – when you see his work, it's just him, his loves, his taste, his vision; trend-less and endless"
You could say he is the true sense of punk – not the endless worn out motifs of studs and leather punk, but the true 'spirit' of punk, the attitude that is his raw vision. He once said, "being a fashion designer or an artist, you have to be angry." The kinetic sparks that fly from caring about what you do with a fiery passion and to quote another punk Jonny Lydon "anger is an energy".
This is leading make-up artist Alex Box, speaking about a fashion designer whom she has admired for as long as she can remember. The acclaimed Japanese designer launched his first fragrance, Yohji Yamamoto Homme in 1996 (a chypre-fruity, signed by Jean Kerleo), followed by Yohji Essential in 1998 and Yohji Homme in 1999 (both by Jean-Michel Duriez). 2004 saw the launch of Yohji Yamamoto pour Femme (by Nathalie Feisthauer) and Yohji Yamamoto pour Homme (by Jean-Pierre Bethouart). All of these fragrances were discontinued in 2005. This summer, in a collaboration with perfumer Olivier Pescheux, Yohji Yamamoto launched six fragrances – five revised originals and one new entitled Yohji Senses, a light, fresh fragrance combining neroli, lemon and bergamot, ylang-ylang, sweet pear, lime blossom, sandalwood and musk.
The Yohji Yamamoto fragrances are available exclusively at Selfridges.