Passing time yesterday before meeting up with some friends in Ebisu, we strolled the gentle back streets of this pleasing area of Tokyo and came across a shop called Genio Antica. An Anglophile, eccentric specialist in British and European collectibles, the shop owner, sat bearded and monocled at his desk fixing some delicate, old curiosity, had crammed his charming little shop from floor to ceiling with old cigarette boxes, quaint postcards and…..perfume.

‘Oh, Neil‘ says Duncan, in that familiar tone of ‘look what I’ve found’, summoning me hound-like to the other side of the table, upon which, to the glory of my eyes, was standing, compact and buxom, a big, full parfum of Miss Balmain. ‘Bloody hell, I have got to get that,’ say I; then, eyes scanning the shelves further: ‘Jesus – look at this huge, pristine bottle of vintage Jolie Madame! Look at it! Oh my god that is so beautiful; just a sec, I have to just go to the cash point. I will be back…’

A mysterious, leather bound Patou. An obscure and alluring Patchouli. Beautiful, story-hiding objects layed out on every surface. More British than British. I thought I should show you.
































































Filed under Flowers

39 responses to “LOOK WHAT I FOUND

  1. Lilybelle

    What treasures!!! ♥ ♥ ♥

  2. Hard to imagine just stumbling across a place like this. Good thing your heart is strong.

    • Shame that I don’t have more willpower, though. I will never be able to save my way out of Japan with all these perfumes.

      There was NO WAY I wasn’t going to buy those Balmains, though. Pristine. And Beautiful.

  3. Wendi Rogers

    Once again, you made my day! Thanks for sharing these yummies!

  4. Marina

    What a glorious find! Thank you for sharing.

  5. Dubaiscents

    I am drooling on my keyboard! What a fun and amazing shop! I love the last photo and how they decided to be open on Holidays as an after thought 🙂

    • Me too. It is a lovely place. Do you know either of the Balmains? Actually, this might be something I can send you: the Miss Balmain is a touch amorphous in identity, but I know you like the animalics, and this is a musky, powdery, very naughty little thing. Would you like some?

  6. What a beautiful site to behold! What treasures! I wish I could find a shop like that!

  7. Wow! You’ve struck the vintage mother load. It makes me wonder about the original owners of these bottles and various ephemera and about the lives attached to all of this old stuff.

  8. I can see the start of a world famous perfume museum here. A Perfumista Pilgramage to a shrine with hinoki walls. Can Yōroppa no own property in Japan? An Osmothèque curated by The Black Narcissus.

  9. Patou
    Does the back have a corset kind of laced leather closing? If so then Joy would be the perfume as that is an antique Jean Patou Joy travel perfume flacon. Travel it did. Right into your hands.

    • No, I couldn’t afford to buy that one as well (it was virtually empty in any case). Not sure about the corset, but having a shifty sniff I have to say that it didn’t smell like Joy.

  10. Tora

    Oh what a fabulous store!!!! That patchouli!!!! Have you tried on the Balmain yet? Thanks for all those photos!!!!!

    • The patchouli I didn’t buy ( I have financial limits! ) but that crystal stopper is plaguing me and I might have to go back.

      The Jolie Madame smells as new: very violet ( I have only ever had the vintage parfum before, which I adore). This is also nice though. The Miss Balmain is as thick and heavy as a sweet, leathery oilslick. I love that one as well – will have to review it. Do you know both of these?

  11. Marsha Smith

    Whoa Nellie!! That looks like my kind of place!!

  12. Sandra

    What a gorgeous find! Please let us know how Jolie smells – curious over here.

    • I must write about it, but the violets explode from the bottle and the background of the scent is leathery and stern. Very wearable, modern-smelling despite its obvious vintage. Are you a fan?

  13. fleurdelys

    Oh sure, rub our noses in it! HA! You have the Devil’s own luck, as they say. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong places, but I never find such treasures here in the US. Am I right in assuming you bought the Balmains and the Patou?

    • Couldn’t afford the Patou, but the Balmains, yes. The bottles look so nice on the wooden cabinet next to my bed (which you can see in the picture) that I am happy each morning just to wake up and ogle them.

      I would actually like to share the wealth, you know, to send out vials to everyone. Part of me wants to do that, but I also can’t bear to alter its lovely, full appearance if you know what I mean. Also I am terrible at actually getting round to sending things I have promised people. It can take me months and months to put vial to envelope and make my way to a post office.

  14. janeykate

    This is the kind of shop I dream about stumbling across! Such lovely treasures.
    Jane x

    • I mean the shop isn’t cheap: all those little trinkets cost quite a lot, but the perfume WAS cheap; the Jolie Madame, for a huge, vintage, pristine bottle, was about 28 dollars. You could have paid more for an old powder case or something. The fleamarket I write about is great, but this place has the added bonus of looking so lovely, and being English myself, so bizarre, right in the middle of Tokyo.

  15. emmawoolf

    wonderful. Digressing I know, but I was completely intrigued by the chamomile and rhubarb pills. I looked them up and they are for stomach complaints and afflictions of the liver! Although they may not work so well 120 years on…

  16. Martha

    What a beautiful place! That old Emeraude bottle made my mouth water.

  17. Sally M

    I want the Emeraude bottle! And the patchouli bottle!! Oh – and the Patou… A treasure trove indeed…

  18. Dearest Ginza
    That Jolie Madame looks so magnificently medicinal.
    And then the original Emeraude… the Miss… oh, Joy (if only there had been some Joy amongst the Patous).
    Sadly, these places are dying out in Blighty (London at least) result of the blight of inflated rents. There would be a Starbucks on the spot if it were anywhere near town.
    Yours, heavy hearted, ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

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