This morning I woke up and knew that the Shalimar thing couldn’t continue. For the party tonight I wanted to smell a bit macho, and yet I couldn’t quite decide what I wanted at that moment,  so I took in my bag with me up to Tokyo my Ungaro, Grey Flannel, and Eau de Campagne just in case the Shinagawa flea market didn’t yield.


I left naked today. Unscented. Strange for me, but I just wanted to see how I felt when I got there, knowing that at the market there might be something ( or nothing ); and so we walked down the hill, Duncan in his Parfums D’Empire Eau De Gloire ( which I think I like:  it is at the very least emotive: and evocative of something): me bizarrely blank canvassed (this is VERY rare), wanting to take the day as it came….


I haven’t been to the flea market for a while, but lord that place excites me, always, just in case. And today I got a vintage N°19 parfum for 1000 yen (ten dollars) – my favourite perfume – so was yippy aye ey-ing about quite happily as I also came across a beautiful stop-watch (pictured, with the aforementioned Chanel)…………………I have no interest whatsoever in timepieces but for some reason it grabbed me;  I had to have it, and I really love it for some reason. I feel something from it, something quite strong. ……



I also, ridiculously, found a LADY GAGA SINGING TOOTHBRUSH.




WTF I hear you cry, and exactly, and so I had to have it, though it is a bit loud for night time use, a bit too stimulating (at the party we went to, the fact that the toothbrush was playing music louder than the mini stereo system they had on produced quite the hilarity), and as for perfume, well, I stumbled upon a bottle of The Perfumer’s Workshop’s  Tea Rose (1975) for nothing, vintage it looked, but who cares when it smelled so instantly rosy and perfect and thus the plan was set: five minutes from the house which we eventually reached I sprayed on tons of the stuff plus Ungaro, and ooh was it good: a bit Arab; splendid, engorged, the dirty rose lavender patchouli of the Emanuel playing off rather nicely I must say with the preciously fresh rose petals of the Rose (seriously, for those of you who need a simple, straight, unpretentious red rose perfume this is PERFECT)……..



‘How do I smell? ‘ I asked.



‘Like an echo chamber’ said Duncan……………… ‘heady’ (and that was enough for me….



– and worried though I was that I would stink the place out, people at the party did seem to like it…… )






An interesting place, actually. On the top floor, and they had this West Side Story like fire escape, from which I took this picture. There was a piece of metal sticking out which produced an odd reflection. But I think you can feel the enjoyable atmosphere of the place, the neighbourhood.






god I love Tokyo.


Filed under Flowers


  1. Hurray for naked rambling! I love that you went out unscented ready to take whatever the day brought forth! And behold it delivered! Good stuff Mr. The party sounds wonderful – I love those views from the flat! What does la Gaga sing while you brush then?

  2. brie

    Thrilled to see you having so much fun with both your friends and your perfumes! beyond jealous ….vintage 19 and tea rose? I had completely forgotten about perfumers workshop until just reading this post! both for a song? How I envy you!

    And that stop watch is fabulous!

  3. Marina

    God I love Tokyo and the way Duncan puts it

    • I know: the echo chamber thing struck me as truly divine. We were walking along in the sunshine on the way to the place, and Roppongi park was at our left, and I was smelling quite strongly, or so I thought, but that was just how he smelled it. An echo chamber. I adored it.

    • Marina he also picked me out a lovely tropical short-sleeved shirt for 500 yen. Not Aloha -shirt, or naff in that way, but perfect for our Java trip. I can imagine meeting the head vanilla honcho in it. I have no sense of what size I am: I always buy either too big or too small (seriously, my spatial awareness abilities are on par with the cretinous), but the D can suss it out.

      Hurrah for fun weekends, and hurrah for love xxx

      Can’t wait for you appearance here at our house!

  4. Lilybelle

    God I would love Tokyo too if I could find vintage No. 19 parfum at the flea market for $10. I used to wear Perfumer’s Workshop Tea Rose in the 70s when I was a teen. I still have a bottle, though it isn’t that old, and I think the older ones are better. In NYC in the 1970s the entire ground floor of Bloomingdales smelled like Tea Rose. It was sprayed into the ventilation system, or so somebody said. Pefumer’s Workshop had a counter in the cosmetics department with a perfume organ with all kinds of essences/oils in small brown glass bottles that you could buy to wear alone, or mix, or dilute in larger brown glass bottles of diluting solution that they sold for that purpose, to personalize your own fragrances. You would have loved it, Ginza! I used to buy the oils to wear alone mostly. I had tea rose, freesia, gardenia (their gardenia was gorgeous, oak moss (!!), oppoponox, I forget what else. I think I diluted the oak moss in a brown bottle of solution to make my own oak moss eau de cologne. I didn’t know what those essences were, I just went with what my nose liked. The tea rose perfume oil was super potent – way more so than today’s spray version. So you can imagine how people smelled you coming. My room, my bedding, my clothes reeked of tea rose. We wore our fragrances like colorful flying banners in those days. Well…just reminiscing here. I hope you enjoyed your party. 🙂

    • I did, and am enjoying its aftermath very beautifully even more in your glorious descriptions.

      This feels vintage to me, this Tea Rose, though I can’t know for sure as I haven’t smelled the current version. But it has some kind of heft and colour to it. Please let me send you some!

      • Lilybelle

        That’s kind of you to offer! I won’t impose on you, though, as I’m going to move soon. I don’t know what is going with me, or what into storage. Everything will be topsy turvy. Thank you very much anyway! You’re sweet. 🙂

    • brie

      Lilybelle- You are from NYC? Lived there the first 31 years of my life! and don’t even get me started on oakmoss! Bought it straight up for the first time to use in one of my blends…holy cow! It is glorious on its own…Brittany (my eldest) walked into the kitchen and her eyes popped open “Mom what smells so great!!!_ she exclaimed….

      Neil, in my next package (awaiting a trip to the Connecticut Mall during Memorial day weekend to get you samples from the LaVanilla line-all natural) I am going to send you my oakmoss sample from Eden Botanicals…you will swoon!!!

      And I hope you are not reading this right now for it must be 3am in Japan!

      • Lilybelle

        I’m not originally from NYC but it was home for many years. I sorta grew up in NYC and sorta in the deep south where I was born. It’s complicated. 😉 Do you remember a shop called Aphrodesia? It used to be on Carmine Street and later moved to Bleecker. It was a shop that sold dried herbs, spices, roots, flowers, seed pods, tree bark, resins, powders and all manner of things in rows upon rows of apothecary jars. They even had mandrake root and poisonous stuff. You helped yourself by scooping out whatever you wanted into brown paper bags and weighed it on a scale. There were all kinds of essential oils, and books. It was great. I don’t know whether or not they’re still there.

      • Don’t remember that shop but I wasn’t much in the Village…more of an Uptown girl with my haunts being Lincoln Center, Columbus Avenue, 5th Avenue etc. But that sounds like a fantastic shop!!!! There was one similar to it around the Times Square area…tons and tons of essential oils…I used to go crazy in there! I highly doubt that either your shop or my shop are still around the city has changed so….

        sorry Neil for carrying on but perhaps this will entice you to come to NYC soon!

      • serafinarose

        Ooh Lilybelle and Brie, that sounds like a shop called Arjuna in Cambridge, UK, where there were huge jars of herbs, spices, roots and barks just like that! Neil knows this one too!

  5. Funny, was wearing Shalimar today . . .

    As always, I am always very impressed by your flea market hauls! I haven’t worn Tea Rose since high school. What wonderful memories!

    And it looks like you have some great new ones too 🙂

  6. Dearest Ginza
    That settles it, I’m moving to Tokyo… with parties in locations like that and No. 19 at prices so low it would be a crime.
    Well, it must be done!
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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