I bought Duncan a full, very discounted bottle of Gucci’s now discontinued ( and very much sought after ) cult scent Envy the other day. A spiced incense – but not in the mahoganied, lifeless, niche and mainstream current manner ; the accents are all tilted and upturned towards ginger, mainly ginger, over pimento and cardamom and opoponax and woods and all good things, very deep and lower registered, a factor I used to find disconcerting and strange, but which I now find draws me in. To think that this was once just a mere high street designer number strikes me now as astonishing. How thin, mean, fatless yet aggressive our day to day perfumes seem now in comparison with this suavity.



The boy hasn’t been wearing much scent though recently, it must be said, having bizarrely sustained hydrangea poisoning ( who knew they contained cyanide?) when using armfuls of flowers ripped from our garden and strapped to his body for a performance piece at our Trapezista a couple of weeks ago.







Result? Full dermatitis and insomnia- it has been a ratchety and highly strung, sweltering couple of weeks, I must say, but I think he is getting better now, well enough anyway to wear the Envy, just sprayed, instead of on skin, on the fan you see above, for the fireworks festival tonight in Kamakura.




We had been invited by our lovely neighbours and ‘Japanese family’ the Mitomis to view the proceedings for the first time from the serene environment of an old, famous Chinese restaurant established in 1947 called Kaseiro, just a minute down the road from the Great Buddha.




Thank God. I had rushed out of my workplace into a panic inducing, if beautiful, thrum of young men and women in summer yukata kimonos, families all excited for the occasion, young lovers, school children, old timers, foreign tourists, but it was too much. Apparently 200,000 people all crammed onto the beaches last year and it really felt like it this year as well. I am not very good in the throng, and  was very relieved to be able to turn down a side street,  and then make my way to the restaurant, which I had never noticed before, and which was a picture ( and taste) of that old fashioned, Japanese Chinese.





Delicious, actually. And when the room got a bit too warm as we came to the end of the fireworks and our meal, the low, warm incense smell of Envy emanating slowly from the waves of a black fan was the perfect accompaniment to the old furnishings, the swish of the waitress’s pink satin kimono, and the lingering excitement of the fireworks outside, beyond the glass.






Filed under Flowers

9 responses to “GUCCI ENVY FOR MEN (1998)

  1. Nancysg

    Wishes for Duncan’s continued recovery. I love hydrangeas and are one of the few flowers I grow, but no idea they could cause such problems. Also, I find the picture of the Grandfather holding the little girl utterly charming. We have two of our grandchildren with us for the summer and perhaps we will mange some similar moments with them in the midst of camps and swimming lessons and running around outside.

    • I hope you do. The world has been so depressing lately and sometimes you just have to recreat back into meaningful if simple experiences with people close to you.

      As for hydrangeas, though, I have come to rather hate them. We actually live only a ten minute’s walk away from one of the most famous hydrangea temples in Japan, but I have grown really sick of seeing them now. They proliferate EVERYWHERE here, and our garden is now overgrown with them. Being poisoned by them is the icing on the cake!

  2. Poor Duncan! Glad he’s on the mend.
    Another elegant bit of writing from you, most evocative, and wonderful photos.

    • Thank you. I actually wanted to write a fuller piece but we couldn’t download the photos. As a result, I just did a tapped out version on D’s iPhone instead and it kind of worked out anyway. First impressions straight from the brain. Japan does do this kind of thing very beautifully, actually, summer festivals and the like.

  3. Beautiful post- so much imagery and colour. I have bever smelled Envy for Men, but I stockpile Envy for Women, whilst scratching my head about its discontinuation.

    • I love Envy for Women as well and wouldn’t mind a bottle as a work perfume, just in small doses. It was highly memorable and effective (that slightly haunting, bitter green transparency, so well done). The men’s version is predictably much much more macho and is unrelated, but it is one of the best ginger scents there is – a grave, elegiac ginger if you like, very rich and elegant with unusual undertones.

  4. OH my goodness, poor Duncan. I am happy to hear he is on the mend, how frightening that all must have been.
    This piece is so beautiful and evocative, I feel like I was experiencing it with you…which I wish I was. The end of the meal, with the beautiful scent wafting off of the fan, must have been glorious.
    Hope you are feeling better yourself, I know you were feeling a bit off as of late. Looking forward to more wonderful posts from you.

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