Shunkoin is a hidden gem from the Join the Club Collection by Xerjoff. It is, nonetheless, my favourite along with Birdie and Ivory Route.
Xerjoff describes Shunkoin as such:
“The power of nature mirrors in one’s mind and sings with loud chords of enormous tranquility. From the power of tiny fluffy cherry blossoms and surrealistic blossoms of plum trees in the shivering weather of early spring in Japanese gardens a weightless purity emerge”.
I totally agree that Shunkoin invokes the feeling of early spring when the temperatures start to get mild but the breeze is still cold, the sunny days are recurring and everything looks more colourful and exciting as cherry blossoms start to bloom. However, in my opinion, Shunkoin does not capture the image of Japanese gardens. It is a relaxing experience but not Zen per se. I would instead imagine a lazy Sunday afternoon, drinking tea, eating macarons and wearing a pastel-colored cashmere sweater. Shunkoin is smooth, tender, ethereal and extremely cute.
Shunkoin opens with a blast of vanilla, powder, coconut and cherry blossom. At the very beginning, the cherry blossom has a kids cough syrup facet and this is the only part of the fragrance that I do not enjoy. However, this part lasts literally for seconds, turning into a vegetal type of accord that is sometimes reminiscent of almonds, but not the marzipan type. Fortunately, the coconut does not smell like suntan lotion, but rather like coconut milk, creamy and soft. I would like to mention that coconut is not a note listed, but rather a sensation, probably provided by the sandalwood.
The other notes land in seconds: the wood notes prevent the scent from getting too sweet. The sandalwood makes the perfume creamy. The tea adds a slightly smoky facet to the perfume. I do not smell olibanum, but it probably enhances the “vegetal” aspect of the cherry blossom.
The remaining duration of the fragrance is linear, yet this is not a bad thing as the fragrance is stunning. The powdery vanilla lasts the entire lifespan of the fragrance and it is extremely high-quality. Shunkoin is quite powdery, the orris note delivers the texture of rice powder but never takes it to the lipstick territory.
Shunkoin is a sensorial perfume. Sometimes it feels like I am touching a cashmere sweater when I wear it. Sometimes I feel like I can see a fluffy cloud rising in the air. This fragrance is also mouthwatering, although it is not a gourmand. From start to finish, this perfume feels like a warm hug from someone you love – it is angelic and peaceful. I feel like the world is a better place when I smell it.
Shunkoin is an intimate scent. The sillage is not huge but noticeable. It feels like an aura around the wearer. The lasting power is great. It is perfect for spring, winter and fall, day and night. I would avoid it during summertime for being too powdery.
Notes of Shunkoin (according to Fragrantica): Vanilla, powdery notes, cherry blossom, tea leaf, woody notes, olibanum, orris root and sandalwood.
Shunkoin is a very peculiar scent but if you like powdery vanilla perfumes such as Cuir Beluga (Guerlain) and Kenzo Amour, or powdery musky fragrances such as L’eau d’hiver (Frederic Malle), give it a try. On the other hand, if you do not like powdery scents, run away from it – Shunkoin is the epitome of powder.
Written by Luciana Savaris
About Luciana Savaris
A designer with a curious nose! I was always obsessed about all things scented and my compulsive sniffing led me to become a perfume enthusiast. Perfume has been my hobby since a young age. I don’t have any professional training in perfumery, therefore, my insights on scents are from my perspective as a consumer, the way it makes me feel and the visuals it brings to my mind and less about notes and technicalities.