Yoi Kawakubo

Studies on Odour

Sale price Price £2,800.00 Regular price

Tax included.

Ref.: YK-pf-Shiseido-001-2019

Solid-state perfumes, glass containers


These pieces created in collaboration with Shiseido Global Innovation Center’s perfumer Atsushi Joichi, trace three types of rose fragrances. These perennial blossoms have fascinated humankind since ancient times and are equally appreciated and valued today for their odor.

This fragrance recreates the original White Rose Natural perfume, released by Shiseido in 1936. Slight changes were made to the original formula to represent the clean and elegant contemporary view of the rose. The original White Rose Natural Perfume was ordered in large quantities by the wartime Trade Corporation operated directly by the Japanese government. Shiseido at risk of bankruptcy, gathered all their available funds to successfully bid for the remaining supplies, which were put to auction by the Allied GHQ after the war to protect the fragrance they had created.

This fragrance was created as a modern interpretation of the White Rose Natural perfume. Taking the cleanliness and elegance associated with the white rose and replacing some of its ingredients created a contemporary refined perfume. While MWR-13 is a fragrance imagined by Kawakubo and perfumer Joichi, White Rose Natural formula and packaging have been adjusted to the taste and style throughout the eighty years of existence.

This fragrance was created in the image of the ancient deep crimson roses. According to Greek mythology, roses were originally white and were created by the gods as a blessing to celebrate the birth of Aphrodite, the goddess who would eventually fall in love with the mortal Adonis. A story relates that Adonis was mortally wounded while hunting and as Aphrodite was rushing to his aid she stepped on a thorn. The blood from her injured foot stained all the white roses red. In another version of the story, it is Aphrodite’s tears for her beloved Adonis at his death which stained all the roses red. These impassioned, heavy, even lurid associations with roses are probably somewhat uncommon today although as beautiful and symbolic as the interpretations of elegance and style a fragrance evokes in our senses.