Cypress, Pepper, Iris, Cedar, Pine, Vetiver
The Short Story
The hipster cousin of Dior Homme.
The Long Story
When Hedi Slimane was making all these reformulation of Dior Homme, he should have really come up with Sugi. It is different enough and yet reminiscent enough of the original to make a great addition to the line.
That being said, Sugi is a child of Comme des Garcons and it carries all of the signature features: a perfect balance between unique, progressive and very wearable. To me, Sugi represents modern Japan – a mix of traditionalism and modernity. In the same way, Sugi is based on traditional perfume notes (cedar, pine, iris, and vetiver) used in a way to create a very modern and unique fragrance.
This mix of traditionalism and modernity also exists on another level. Sugi is built around the note of Japanese Cedar (Yakusugi) which is traditionally used in Japan to build temples and bath tubs. Comme des Garcons have taken this very traditional Japanese element and recreated around it an utterly modern fragrance.
Sugi is minimalistic without being boring. It opens with sharp cypress and pepper, which slowly gives way to an iris-cedar based heart. The iris note in Sugi has the same leather make-up bag properties Dior Homme is known for. While Dior Homme tends to stay more to the warm side, the cold cedar and pine notes, keep Sugi mostly cold. It almost feels like a walk in a pine forest on a chilly morning.
My overall impression of Sugi is that it is non-traditional in a very Comme des Garcons way. What makes it unique is that it achieves its non-traditionality by using very traditional elements. Sugi is unique, cool and accessible. It is sort of like that really hip and cool cousin you really like even more so because if his approachability.
Four thumbs up for Sugi. Comme des Garcons continues to shine.