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Vintage Perfumes For Sale

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Zen by Shiseido c1964

Zen by Shiseido: launched in 1964. It was created by Josephine Catapano.

Original Version:

The spirit of Zen, the ancient belief in the correlation between inner harmony and outer peace, has been captured in Shiseido's latest foray into aromachology. The company's fragrance, Zen, encouraged a balance with time and nature and invited the wearer to open her heart and free her mind.

"THE MYSTERY OF ZEN. Shiseido's lingering, compelling fragrance. Soft as a whisper. Precious as gold. Pure allure . . . to be worn on your body. And in your mind."

So what does it smell like? It is classified as a fresh floral fragrance for women. It starts off with a fresh green top, followed by a green floral heart, layered over a feminine powdery base.

The original version (now called Classic Zen) from 1964:
  • Top notes: gentian, bamboos, bergamot, orange blossom, hyacinth, galbanum
  • Middle notes: carnation, rose, narcissus (daffodil), orris, jasmine, mimosa, violet
  • Base notes: patchouli, sandalwood, musk, oakmoss, amber, cedar

The first perfume issued outside Japan.

Shiseido packaged Zen using traditional lacquer designs from 16th-century motifs of Kyoto temples, using a flower motif dating back to the Rimpa artists. This not only gave it a distinctive appearance but also created an aura of mystique around it. The Rimpa style has several distinguishing characteristics that include taking images from the natural world such as flowers, plants and birds, the use of lavish materials such as gold leaf and depicting subjects from the Heian period when aristocrats had power both in politics and society from the late 8th to the late 12th century.

The original version was available in the following:
  • 0.22 oz Parfum 
  • 0.5 oz Parfum
  • Parfum de Toilette
  • Purse Spray Cologne
  • 1.6 oz Eau de Cologne
  • 2.6 oz Eau de Cologne
  • 2 oz Cologne Spray
  • 0.5 oz Eau de Cologne Spray Concentrate 
  • 2.7 oz Eau de Cologne Zen Pure Mist
  • Seer of Zen (Silken Lotion)
  • Eau de Zen
  • 4 oz Body Lotion
  • 7.8 oz Body Lotion
  • 3.5 oz Bath Powder
  • 5 oz Bath Crystals
  • 8 oz Bath Crystals
  • .74 oz Bath Oil
  • 6 oz Milk Bath
  • Dusting Powder
  • Soap
  • Solid Perfume in a black fan-shaped compact (1980)
  • Fancy Powder (pressed face powder)

Vogue, 1969:
"From Japan, Shiseido's Zen, a swoony perfume in graceful black bottles with a dollop of round stopper — three sizes, each dashed with a scattering of calligraphic golden flowers, each good to the last drop..."
Soap, Cosmetics, Chemical Specialties, 1970:
"New package for 2-oz. "Zen" Spray Eau de Cologne has been introduced by Shiseido Cosmetics, Ltd., Tokyo. Black plastic-coated bottle is screened in gold and capped with black and gold cap. Bottles and boxes are imported from Japan."

Around 1992, the Shiseido fragrances including Zen were reformulated and the pure parfum was discontinued. 

Discontinued, date unknown.

In 1987, Shiseido introduced "The Spirit of Zen" parfum and eau de parfum. An exotic blend of lily of the valley, gardenia, tuberose and orange blossoms, this floral, mossy scent. Unfortunately, this most likely got the axe around 1992.

Second Version:

The first reformulation of the scent made its debut in 2000, some have dubbed it "White Zen" to distinguish it from the previous version that was sold in the black glass bottle.

"Zen recognizes the connection of all things to instill harmony in and out," said Debbie Diamond, vice president, Shiseido public relations. "This scent brings peace and awareness to the heart."

Zen represented a breakthrough in aromachology technology with the inclusion of mood enhancing ingredients such as modified Valerian and Eastern Kyara wood. Zen was developed to capture the purifying and balancing essence of the Zen philosophy, and at the same time evokes a prestige fragrance image. "We wanted to show the connection between fragrance and people's well-being to capture the spirit of Zen," said Isao Isejima, chairman and chief executive officer of Shiseido Cosmetics America.

Shiseido's aromachology research indicates that the Zen fragrance imparts a feeling of well-being and peace of mind. In experiments designed to measure stress levels, a whiff of the modified valerian oil used in Zen led to decreased levels of stress hormones present in saliva, according to Shiseido executives. Scientific brain wave testing indicated that the kyara wood scent increased alpha wave output, signifying an enhanced state of mind.

The second version of Zen was created by Nathalie Lorson of International Flavors and Fragrances and is classified as a floral woody musk fragrance for women.  Zen features top notes of gentian, hyacinth and modified valerian for stress relief effects and middle notes of eastern and hair cup moss for a Japanese-oriented sense of silent purity harmonized with the scent of flowers, including violet and iris. Base notes feature a blend of ryokuyu kyara, which brings purity of heart and musk, which enhances a sense of warmth, according to Ms. Lorson.

A unique ingredient used in this version is a chemical called Space Rose. In 1998, a U.S. perfume maker and NASA sponsored an experiment to extract the fragrance of roses in the space shuttle Discovery in its October flight. Japanese astronaut Chiaki Mukai and NASA astronaut John. H. Glenn grew and bloomed roses, called "Overnight Sensation," in space. They extracted aroma essences from the roses to bring back to the earth. The astronauts used a special needle to extract aroma essences from the roses that bloomed in the cultivation equipment within the spaceship. An aroma chemical, named Space Rose, was resynthesized based on the headspace trace to reproduce the extracted rose fragrance brought back from the space shuttle. Shiseido was the first perfume company to employ Space Rose in a fragrance.

The second version of Zen was available in the following:

  • 10ml Perfumed Essence
  • 50ml Parfum Aromatique (Limited Edition)
  • 50ml Eau de Parfum Aromatique
  • 100ml Eau de Parfum Aromatique
  • 100ml Eau de Parfum Aromatique Spray

The collection also included an incense set with 18 sticks of incense and a ceramic tray. The fragrances were packaged in simple, elegant, white bottles.

The second version (reformulated) from 2000:
  • Top notes: gentian, bergamot, wallflower, hyacinth, and modified valerian
  • Middle notes: lilac, Space Rose, oakmoss, eastern and hair cup moss, violet and iris
  • Base notes: amber, tonka bean, bamboo, pear wood, patchouli, musk and ryokuyu kyara

Unfortunately, this version was discontinued in 2006.

Third Version:

A third version was created by Michel Almairac of Robertet and is classified as a floral woody musk fragrance for women. The third version (reformulated) from 2007:
  • Top notes: bergamot, orange, pineapple, blue rose, grapefruit
  • Middle notes: red apple, white freesia, gardenia, lily of the valley, lotus blossom, violet, Chinese rose
  • Base notes: patchouli, cedarwood, musk, white musk, amber, frankincense

The newest fragrance is housed inside of a square-shaped bottle, inspired by the Japanese golden room for tea ceremony and designed by Taisuke Kikuchi.

The third version of Zen was available in the following:
  • 30ml Eau de Parfum
  • 50ml Eau de Parfum
  • 100ml Eau de Parfum
  • 100ml Shower Gel
  • 6.7 oz Shower Gel
  • 100ml Perfumed Body Cream

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