Shigenobu Twilight ~ new fragrance

Shigenobu Twilight fragrance

Shigenobu Twilight is the first fragrance from New York-based artist Anicka Yi and architect Maggie Peng:

The fragrance is inspired by the Fusako Shigenobu, former leader of the Japanese Red Army, who was believed to be in exile in Lebanon for many years after orchestrating some of the group's most political statements. Yi and Peng have chosen cedar wood as a central theme of this fragrance's narrative, as cedar is highly regarded in Lebanon as a national emblem. The scent uses three different kinds of cedar wood as its base note, along with violet leaf and nutty heart notes, and top notes of yuzu, shiso leaf, and black pepper.

You can learn more about the project at the Shigenobu Twilight website.

Shigenobu Twilight is $160 for 10 ml, concentration unknown, in a bottle encased in a block of hand-cut cedar wood (refills are $80) at Ooga Booga. (via oogabooga, with many thanks to Jane for the link!)

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43 Comments

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  1. dissed says:

    Love cedar, but . . . @ $160/10 mls, I can drill out my own chunk of wood.

  2. lilydale aka Natalie says:

    “Most political statements,” huh? That’s a polite way of putting it! And what’s next, Eau de Sendero Luminoso? An odd and off-putting inspiration, but I’ve got to admit that the bottles are cool!

    • Zazie says:

      I agree 100%: off-putting inspiration, and a gorgeous bottle.

    • Robin says:

      There is a long film at the website, but admit I watched most of it and still don’t necessarily know what they’re up to. Will say that this is being done in the spirit of a conceptual art piece, not really a commercial perfume, and would not make any blanket assumptions about their politics. (and adding: wanted to post about this because it looks interesting, but really don’t want to debate the politics in the comments!)

      • Zazie says:

        Oh, I didn’t address the political issue in itself, it would be out of place and I am too ignorantto address the subject,
        I just think that a polically inspired fragrance is a concept I don’t appreciate much.
        I prefer a “political” movie or a “political” novel, fragrance is not the right vehicle, IMO.

        • Filomena says:

          Zazie, I totally agree with you!

    • Nile Goddess says:

      No, next would be New Moon, Eclipse and Breaking Dawn.

      What wood would they use on these, I wonder? :-)

      • kaos.geo says:

        I love cedar but this is too expensive for me (size-price)

        Nile goddess:
        If we go by the actors… then its balsa wood. ;-)

        p.s.: Here in Argentina,when something is low-quality we say that it is “made out of balsa wood” and of course “wooden” is an adjective I’ve seen use in the states specially regarding to actors….. but I am not so sure about the balsa wood.

  3. ysacha says:

    This is not a good feeling for her victims and Japanese. Terrible.

    • Robin says:

      It appears to be a conceptual piece, not a commercial perfume, so would guess it’s not meant to engender good feelings.

  4. eminere says:

    Stunning flacon.

  5. Joe says:

    I love the look of that bottle, and I would love to smell the fragrance because it sounds really interesting… but it’s not going to happen.

    • Robin says:

      Not going to happen for me either!

  6. pigoletto says:

    lovely bottle, interesting scent – but I think conceptual or not, the less said about the inspiration, the better!

    • Robin says:

      Love the cedar bottles. And assume they smell great even w/o the perfume…

  7. meadowbliss says:

    I watched the film, too, and as the woman began to speak and flutter her hands around I had a moment of ‘deja view’ :) thought it was back to the sixties, acid trip and all….the little wooden concepts are quite beguiling, but probably worth more than what is contained within.

    • Robin says:

      Interesting. I wish they’d put some sort of statement on their website about what they’re doing & why.

      • meadowbliss says:

        Perhaps they’re going for the ‘enigma’
        Reflecting on the film it seems as enigmatic as to become ….nothing?vapor? thoughts? views? political statement? art?
        But perfume?
        hmmmm

  8. spiderplant says:

    Well, the bottles look very handsome and the notes indicate it might smell interesting (love cedar and the smell of shiso), but I’m having a hard time grasping how this works as a conceptual artwork multiple. Don’t really see a connection between the perfume, the packaging, and the ideology.

    • Robin says:

      The connection is lost on me too, but whatever. Sounds like a nice perfume.

  9. March says:

    Cedar is not my friend. But those bottles are gorgeous. Not touching the politics with a barge pole.

    • Robin says:

      Yeah. 2 barge poles.

  10. Thanna says:

    Love cedar but not at $16/ml. The bottles really are spectacular though.

    • Robin says:

      It’s not cheap.

  11. maggiecat says:

    I like my perfume and my politics to be separate. Not to mention the fact that the smell of cedar always reminds me of the chips we used to put in our dog’s pillow to keep fleas away…

    • Robin says:

      I love the smell of those chips :-)

  12. mijitamaggi says:

    The film which launches at the beginning is an exact replica (in the voiceover) of Chris Marker’s San Soleil, with the masculine pronouns changed to feminine ones. Marker’s film is a brilliant meditation on memory, history, culture and filmmaking. It has long been an inspiration for many filmmakers, myself included.

    They don’t acknowledge the Marker film or note the influence and worst of all, thy combine the excellent writing with some really weak images and performances.

    It’s hard to see this project as anything other than wantonly stealing from another. I have no respect.

    the Marker text is here:

    http://www.markertext.com/sans_soleil.htm

    I know I sound like a grouch. But appropriation is sometimes just laziness. And I love that film so much. Geh.

    • Winifrieda says:

      Gah. That’s atrocious! You would think in this day and age, they would be risking a law suit. (And in this case deserve it!)
      Nothing surprises me about the ways people try to make a buck!
      And regarding perfume in general it must be so annoying to the original creators of ideas to have them ripped off and rebottled….

    • Robin says:

      I don’t know a thing about either film, so will stay out of it! Thanks for the info though.

  13. ahsu says:

    My sister-in-law owns this, so I have actually tried it. It’s very cedar-y, with a nuttiness to it, and some citrus top notes. I find it distractingly too cedar-y. Linear. Lots of sillage. Not very interesting.

    And the bottle is quite light, which doesn’t fit with how I thought it would feel in hand. No heft to it, and I guess at that price point, I’d have thought it would weigh more for some reason. The wood carving itself also isn’t very polished. I expected it to look nicer in person from the photos. Lots of gimmick, little substance.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks! I would have expected it to be heavy too, although come to think of it, cedar boxes never are.

  14. Zeezee says:

    Odd. Those bottles echo the type of shapes I’ve been loving in design the past few weeks and seeing around design/architecture blogs a lot, too. Lookit (Etsy link spam alert – Robin, feel free to remove if this is not the place):
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23506395
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=36661861
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37590236
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=37834556

    That inspiration though… what *were* they thinking.

    • Joe says:

      I love all those linked-to objects.

      And at least I learned something today via Wikipedia; I had never heard of the JRA. I guess I can understand the inspiration only as part of the larger art installation, with a “fragrance component” that can be taken away and not meant as a commercially available fragrance. I do like the idea of combining visual, installation, and olfactory art in an abstract way.

      • Robin says:

        Joe, I like the idea too. Wish we saw more of it. Also possible that I miss 95% of these sorts of projects.

    • Robin says:

      ZZ, oh, you’re so right! Interesting.

  15. Nice bottles, but the inspiration for this perfume is pathetic. What’s next: “Bin Laden, Eau du New York”? Anyhow the cedar theme was done to perfection by Christian Lacroix’s Tumulte pour Homme.

    • Robin says:

      Tumulte Homme is a great scent.

  16. laken says:

    Hmm, that was strange, that website. Especially at the end when I found myself staring blankly into blackness. I didn’t really get it. Anyway, that perfume is a tad too expensive for me…!

    • Robin says:

      Too pricey for me too.

  17. kb2003 says:

    A great Yuzu/Black Pepper/Cedar scent can be had for far less money (and zero political baggage) in Penhaligon’s Opus 1870.

    • Robin says:

      That’s a nice one too.

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