Both of us had dreams/nightmares about Japan last night.
I can feel it coming closer, as this whirlwind England visit draws to a close. It has been amazing, actually – a real maelstrom of different emotions and people: Perfume Lovers London was petrifying initially but I ultimately loved it (such great people!), and I also just happened to walk away with the ultimate prize at the Jasmine Awards, the Literary Prize, which wasn’t bad either.

I have much to write about, but will just leave you with an image of the kind of scenery that will be there when I go back.

Don’t think it can ever really compare to the beauty of the English countryside, though….

The Black Narcissus


I took this picture yesterday in Engakuji shrine, just down the hill from my house. A cascading flourish of bamboo, some kind of Japanese catkins (or laburnum?), and in the foreground, with its fresh, delicate scent, white plum blossom.  An impetuous, stirring whoosh of incoming Spring.

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14 responses to “cascades

  1. Congrats on your literary prize!

    Sent from my iPhone


  2. ninakane1

    I love this pic. Safe journey back vous deux, xx

  3. Lilybelle

    How wonderful! Congratulations on the Literary Prize! And well deserved. 🙂 xo

  4. empliau

    I am only surprised you did not take a prize for photography, too – your blog is stunning both to the eye and the mind’s ear (and I suppose the mind’s nose, as your writing is so evocative of scent). Congratulations on your well-deserved win.

    P.S. Do you get any jasmine when you win a Jasmine Award?

  5. Holly

    Congratulations on your award, and well-deserved. I agree that your blog is visually a winner as well. I look forward to each and every post and thank-you for sharing your impressions in such an open, loving way.

  6. Rafael

    Congratulations and much more excitement in the coming year. Not to ask obvious questions but Neil which fragrance did you wear to receive your award? Did you layer? I really need details of the evening’s toilette so I can fall into these same deserved swells of swoon and rapture as all your other fans.

    • Darling for some reason it had to be vintage Givenchy Gentleman. I reeked of it, but nobody seemed to mind…..

      • Rafael

        How exquisite!How refined! Such taste and style! It’s so elegant to know that you can go all the way should you choose but then hold back in sensuous restraint. Makes me think of that Bernini sculpture of the The Ecstasy of St Teresa. I suspect that the only attendee that mattered for anyone there was you.

      • Olivia

        It smelled lovely on you. I love GG – unusual, distinctive, delicious. Perfect to lend a sense of talismanic put-togetherness for a day of such terrifying prospects (public speaking! Complete nightmare 🙂 ) You wear it well.

      • Thanks O.

        Delighted you have re-appeared; I had such a good evening you know and it was great meeting you, you enigmatic and beautiful creature.

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