Among other entertaining aspects of YouTube beauty channels that I started watching in the last couple of years, I find it especially amusing when I hear, “I’m obsessed with XXX!” (Where X is a lipstick, blush or mascara.) from creators who professionally review makeup. I always think that with the sheer number of items in each category that they cover at least 3-4 times per week, I can’t imagine when they manage to repeat wearing the same product enough time to qualify for such an exorbitant reaction.
After such an introduction, I want to confess: I’m obsessed with yuzu.
It started with a friend introducing me to Yuzu Hot & Cold Tea, which I loved, and my search for a perfume that would smell like that marmalade (I told the story here). Demeter’s Yuzu Marmalade was a disappointment. So, of course, I kept looking. And what’s interesting, after testing a handful of samples (Yuzu by Acqua Di Parma, Tacit by Aesop, Oyedo by Diptyque, Tokyo by Gallivant, Smeraldo by Sylvaine Delacourte, Yuzu Rouge by Parfums 06130, Kazehikaru by Di Ser, Peche au Yuzu by Kyse and Note de Yuzu by Heeley), I did find my perfect Yuzu scent – Yuzu by J-Scent and a “runner up” – Jo Malone Yuja.
So, I have the perfect perfume that I enjoy wearing and a perfect yuzu marmalade (I found an online store where I could buy it for a reasonable price). Wouldn’t you think I would stop there?
I didn’t. I kept testing perfumes with this note.
Portia sent me a sample of Yuzu Fou by Parfum d’Empire, created in 2008 by Marc-Antoine Corticchiato. I like the opening mint. It’s unusual. Orange and verbena. Lemon. I’m not sure I recognize yuzu, but it still is appealing and not banal. I wouldn’t describe it as “crazy,” but unusual. Cedarwood is slightly bitter and grounding. For my nose, it has something cumin-like, though notes don’t list it. I think Yuzu Fou is more masculine than I like my perfumes.
Speaking of masculine perfumes, when I was looking for yuzu fragrances, I read more than once that Issey Miyake l’eau d’issey Pour Homme was a good representation of this note in perfumery. So, finally, I decided to buy a sample. No, no and no. Not only is it too masculine (and doesn’t smell like my beloved yuzu products), but it also has something quite unpleasant in the background, which I cannot pinpoint but would not want to smell either on myself or on my vSO. I think it’s whatever makes this perfume “aquatic.” I’ll leave this 1994 Jacques Cavallier’s “classic perfume” to others who might appreciate it better.
Yuzu Soda by Strangers Parfumerie, created by Prin Lomros in 2021, sounded promising as an idea and because of the long list of notes: aldehydes, yuzu, bitter orange, camphor, basil, cream soda, musk, petitgrain, Nashi pear, mint, rosemary, pineapple, seaweed, iris root and vetiver. It starts sweeter, then dries down citrusy and maybe a little minty. It is OK but not that memorable and is not particularly yuzu-centric. My tiny STC sample is all I need; I won’t be looking for more.
I had high hopes for Zoologist’s Macaque Yuzu Edition. It was created by Mackenzie Reilly, with notes: yuzu, juniper berries, mandarin, hinoki wood, myrrh, labdanum, olibanum, sandalwood and oakmoss. It is pleasant and quite unique, but it is more woody than citrusy and rather masculine than unisex.
The perfume I liked the most out of the bunch I tested in this round was Eau de Yuzu by Nicolai Parfumeur Createur (did you know that they’ve changed the name? I didn’t realize it until recently). It’s mouthwatering citrus (literally!) – crisp, refreshing and … high-pitched in the opening, slightly woody and with just a hint of sweetness that increases in the drydown. I like it even though I don’t smell yuzu, at least in the form I recognize (since I haven’t smelled real fruit yet). I don’t think I’d wear Eau de Yuzu, but it is enjoyable and worth sampling if you like this type of perfume in general.
I wouldn’t have called it an obsession had my interest stopped at perfumes. But I liked the scent of my yuzu marmalade so much that wherever I saw yuzu as an ingredient in anything, I would immediately want that product.
It was innocent at first – a shower gel and a hand cream. The shower gel was neither here nor there: I’m still using it, but I’m not enamored of it, and once I’m done, I won’t replace it. The hand cream was a disaster, though! Forget yuzu! It doesn’t matter if it does or doesn’t smell like it. I find the whole aroma completely repulsive. The first night I applied it, I had to get up and wash it out. I wouldn’t have even mentioned these products by name, but I must warn you if you decide to try them. Both hand cream and shower gel are from the brand ShiKai (unless I’m mistaken, both were at least mentioned, if not recommended by Robin from the NST).
I was much more successful with the next yuzu-centric beauty product I bought – Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask from Saturday Skin. I love-love-love it! I mean, since my skin isn’t dry, I can’t say if it works or not, but I enjoy the subtle scent of this mask. And it has a slightly unusual texture: it feels as if it contains some citrus pulp or pieces of the rind. Most likely, it doesn’t. I read that it freaked out some people. But I enjoy using this Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask, and I’m on the second jar of it. The link is to the official site, but it is available at different retailers (run the search in your country). If you’re in the US, Amazon currently has a good Subscribe & Save price for it, and if you’re a member of Costco, the price is fantastic (but it’s sold in a set of 2). Even Rusty seems to like it.
I liked the Yuzu Vitamin C Sleep Mask so much that I immediately jumped once the brand released Yuzu Vitamin C Bright Eye Cream (not shown in the photos because I bought it later). I don’t know what I expected. In retrospect, I realize that an eye cream cannot possibly smell yuzu or any citrus, for that matter. And it doesn’t. It doesn’t have any scent, which is probably a good thing nowadays. But I was disappointed. And its texture is denser than I like it to be in my eye creams. So, while I will go through the jar I bought, I will not be repurchasing it.
After that came the food items. Miracle Mile Yuzu Bitters – good in cocktails though not the most prominent yuzu note when used as directed. Ikinokura Yuzu Shio Salt – rather a novelty, but I like to use it when I cook salmon. Mariage Frères Yuzu Temple Tea – a lovely tea, but I’m not a huge fan of green teas.
The most recent yuzu product I tried was Mighty Leaf Tea & Company Organic Chamomile Yuzu tea. I’m not sure whether I would be able to tell it apart from my regular Chamomile Citrus tea from the same brand, but it looks like I won’t have to think about it since the Yuzu one seems to be an experiment that didn’t pan out, and I don’t see it offered any longer.
All-in-all, I don’t think that I’m done with yuzu. I still haven’t tried yuzu essential oil, vinegar or powder. And I might still find some body products that I like.
Do you have any interesting yuzu products to recommend?
Images: my own