I've had a sample of Shiso for a couple of months now, courtesy of Cymbaline (thanks!). I'm not really sure what to make of it. It's a curious fragrance, to be sure.
Fragrantica describes it as 'an aromatic green fragrance for women and men. Top notes are clove and pepper; middle notes are shiso, pandanus and geranium; basnotes are sandalwood, patchouli and agarwood (oud) Mandy Aftel states that Shiso is based on an old Geisha formula.
To me Shiso smells very herbal, with a definite green and powdery aroma. I wouldn't say it is green as in sappy stems, but evokes powdered herbs. One note that definitely stands out for me, particularly in the first half of development, is geranium. Before I even read the notes, I could identify it. There is something about the use of geranium here that is apothecary in feel. I don't know if anyone has smelled the bath and body products by Neils Yard Remedies, but Shiso smells a lot like them, quite old-fashioned in a way, which seeing as Aftelier is basing this on a turn-of-the-century formula, is perhaps not surprising.
As the fragrance develops, it becomes even more powdery, yet quite woody at the same time. Later on I get the agarwood note, but not the patchouli and sandalwood very much. I had to look up Pandanus, which apparently is a tropical plant used a lot in Southeast Asian cooking, smelling a bit like bread or rice. I can't say I detect such a note in Shiso, but that doesn't mean there isn't one. Shiso leaves are used a lot in Japanese cuisine and apparently taste a bit like a mixture between basil and coriander and a little bit bitter. I can't vouch for that as I have never smelled or tasted Shiso leaves.
When all is said and done, I can't say that I am blown away by Shiso, but it is very distinctive and unusual. For that I do give it kudos and certainly am glad I've tried it. I could see myself trying it from time to time, but not wearing it as an everyday fragrance.