The Scent Of Silence – Review: Comme des Garcons Kyoto

Sometimes I crave silence more than anything else. I love my sons, but their constant, and I mean CONSTANT blabbering, is sometimes hard to take. I am glad they are lively and love to talk, I am glad they want to tell me everything that passes through their heads, I am sure those times will change, but still. Sometimes I long for silence.

There is an olfactory equivalent to silence. And as long as my environment won’t cooperate and be quiet now and then, I need to inhale that silence. And my favorite master nose Bertrand Duchaufour once more comes to the rescue.

Created in 2002 as part of the five incense perfumes that comprise the Series 3 of avant-garde fashion label and innovative perfume house Commes des Garcons, Kyoto includes notes of incense, cypress oil, coffee, teak wood, vetiver, patchouli, amber, immortelle and Virginian cedar.

Kyoto smells quiet, calm, meditative, silent.

A quick kick of coffee – the beans, not the ready made beverage – open this fragrance, but soon cypress and a smooth, cool, almost non-smoky incense take over. Vetiver and cedar carry the on the uplifting freshness of the cypress in the heart and base, all the while propping up the star of the show – incense.

Kyoto is a light fragrance, it is elegantly restrained and stays close, it does not evoke Europe’s dark and dank churches (that is what Avignon, another Duchaufour creation in the series, is for), but rather a far-eastern scenario develops in my head. Buddhist monks meditating, calm and quiet radiating off them. Inner peace regardless of circumstances.

That still means some (okay, a lot of) work for me.

A big thank you to Tara, for the decant!
Image source:,

About Olfactoria

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19 Responses to The Scent Of Silence – Review: Comme des Garcons Kyoto

  1. Tara says:

    Thank you so much for this spot-on review of my HG incense, B. I adore it’s smoothness and ability to calm the senses. I had no idea about the coffee so I’ve learnt something too! Really love the picture of the monks meditating by candle-light, that sums it up for me completely.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I am glad you see that perfume in the same way as I do. I was wearing it a lot the past week and loved it a lot more than I expected to at first. In wears exceptionally well in the heat too!

  2. Marla says:

    Sadly, Kyoto smells exactly like DEET bug spray on me! It smells so good on everyone else….My favorite of the incense series is Ouarzazate, I’ve gone through an entire bottle. It reminds me of camping in the mountains. For a meditative perfume I use Zen powders, Shoyeido’s is my favorite.
    For something more along Indian yogi lines, I like Scent of Samadhi (rose, sandalwood, and holy basil).
    Wonderful choice of illustrations!
    PS: And sometimes, I just have to say to the boys, “The next person to speak loses their allowance! PAX!” But it is good we have happy, cheerful kids bouncing around, that is true.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, too bad! I like Quazarzate too, the whole incense series is very good, although I think Kyoto is my favorite of the five.

      My boys may be more receptive to food bribes than allowance threats for now. 😉

  3. Lucy says:

    Sounds like a real beauty! I have been enraptured by Avignon but this gets me psyched to give more attention to the other incense perfumes, especially this one. I love the meditative quality you describe so well.

  4. deeHowe says:

    Kyoto is beautiful; I haven’t worn it to combat stress, but I have worn it to be in symbiosis with nature! Which I suppose is the same thing, lol. 😉

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