Maria McElroy, founder and owner of the Japanese-inspired cult parfumerie Aroma M, adds the first new addition since 2011 to her celebrated Geisha collection. Introducing deep, dark and intoxicating Geisha Vanilla Hinoki, a nighttime—or should we say bedtime–potion that takes an utterly new approach to the world’s most popular gourmand aroma, rumored to have aphrodisiac effects.
Vanilla scents tend to have a cloying, candied effect. But not Vanilla Hinoki. Its key ingredient is a woodsy, smoky vanilla found only in Morocco—and very hard to come by. Five years in the making, it’s been blended with unexpected partner notes. Foremost among them is hinoki, a storied cypress. For centuries, this prized Japanese wood was used to build palaces, temples, shrines, noh theaters–and those hot spring pools known as onsen, found in mountainside inns. Maria’s intention with this new scent was to capture the cloudy, floating, sybaritic sensation of lingering in one of these scented hot springs.
As for the other ingredients: They kick off with light and sparkling bergamot combined with spicy, wake-up clove, cardamom, and nutmeg. These segue into more soothing mid-notes: cedarleaf, soft bergamot, and lavender. And finally the lingering drydown: exotic, animalic leather; incense-like patchouli; tropical, evergreen amyris; and cleansing, envigorating cedarwood.
The overall effect? Subtly sultry, as the Japanese prefer their scents, and wearable by women and men alike.