Monthly Archives: December 2017

what scent? it’s a SEXUAL EMERGENCY

It’s definitely time for another perfumed, lethal dance party now that I can dance on these legs of mine again.

 

 

Possible contenders currently include:

 

 

External Affairs

 

Pleasure Victim

 

Love Goddess Of The Cannibals

 

or

 

Eros & Psycho

 

 

Whatever the chosen theme, I shall be soliciting your suggestions x

The Black Narcissus

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Periodically, usually twice a year or so, in various locations around Tokyo, Yokohama and Kamakura, the D and I will host an event. In the whirl of work and every day living, of catching the train, getting off the train, getting back on the train, of tapping the same old keys on the computer screen, walking back up the hill and getting into bed;  getting up again, putting on the coffee, washing the coffee pot, getting back in the shower and ironing your shirt, checking your workbag and plugging in your phone, clocking in at the office, months and months can go by living in your own little world without catching up with people. I am a solitary creature in my own way and definitely do need my space ( we both have entirely different work schedules and basically only properly see each other three days a week), but you…

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ONE FOR THE CHRISTMAS OFFICE PARTY:::INDECENCE by GIVENCHY

 

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via ONE FOR THE CHRISTMAS OFFICE PARTY:::INDECENCE by GIVENCHY

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for the love of three oranges

 

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It’s curious.

 

It has been almost a year of perfume on the Black Narcissus, but also my life. Strangely, you have been privy to it. The extremities. The pain. The pleasure. It has been like a diary. Have you felt voyeuristic? Put upon?

 

I near the end of term. Just two more working days next week with the odd lessons here and there but now the evaluations are over -I GOT THROUGH IT, people!- I have retreated into total dreaminess and cutoffness. Any infringement on my utterly willing loping off to my spaced out inner world feels like a cut through a membrane I really want intact.

 

I am wearing more perfume to work than I should be. Fuck it. I am wearing it. Nuit De Cellophane. So perfect right now but I made it even MORE perfect: crisp, clean, the clasp of the mind-imagined mandarin made more air-slicing and contemptuous, lovely, with my new hand perfume. A jar of new vaseline filtered with 25mls of pure essential oil: blood orange, Chinese mandarin, and Japanese iiyokan ( the most fragrant of peels); a salve that will infuse further as the winter progresses,become more potent and cleansing, and which I will deport into little transparent containers and give away as gifts. The heart of the Orange. The three, complementary oranges that swirl and fuse with each other and embellish and farther the perfume to delicious effect.

 

 

 

 

In these times, when antagonistic and inflammatory actions endanger our civilization for transparent and selfish, hollow victories, and the world feels like it is sliding towards World War III, I require my protections, my vitaminized disappearance into sensory delights. Farce, Tragedy, Lyrical Poetry, these were the oranges of Prokofiev’s peculiar opera, a story of romance and trickery and hypochondria.

 

 

 

I need my wits about me.

 

 

 

 

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NUIT DE CELLOPHANE by SERGE LUTENS (2009)

 

 

 

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Atami, aside its natural geographical beauty, is something of a trash town. And that is exactly why we love it. Faded chintz, decaying net curtains, and broken neon signs, it is a ghost town of the past that believes the future is 1982.

 

 

 

On my birthday we strayed after dinner into what we had believed was a saucy burlesque show. To spare your virtue, I will gently euphemise the details of what it was in reality, save to say that the lady in question, ‘Fire Yoko’, had particular abilities pertaining to her Venus; could bend spoons within like Yuri Geller, and indeed, spray flames of fire without, all while getting the eager, if strangely castrated, all male audience to shout along with her the word “FIRE!”  in what eventually (a)mounted to a most hilarious –  if genuinely –  truly, shocking – and properly educational, ‘divertimento’. We stumbled out onto the street afterwards, speechless, and were still laughing about it (while earnestly discussing its myriad of implications), yet chuckling to ourselves, intermittently, throughout the rest of the next ambling, sun-filled, lazy seaside day.

 

 

 

At the almost tragically old fashioned, dusty, doll-infested ‘shopping arcade’ on the Sunday, also, Duncan, miraculously, among the sequin-affixed dreck and shiny, frilled, becheapery, patiently rummaging through, to my surprised delight, found me a bottle of Serge Lutens Nuit De Cellophane, seven eighths or so full, for a mere 1000 yen (or six pounds fifty): a scent I haven’t had for quite a while (as I drained two bottles of the stuff when it first came out) and a smell I am quite in the mood for exactly right now, in this brilliant December Japanese sunshine, despite, or even because of, its negative reputation among the perfumistas.

 

 

 

 

For me, despite the flatness in the latter notes which I do concede are a tad unexciting (a beige coloured sandalwood/almond/musk accord that is pleasantish but at best unobtrusive), I was always wild, myself, for the gorgeous, plasticky sheen of those untouchable, glimmering top notes – a mandarin-shone, apricot-fused elixir of shampoo fresh osmanthus and jasmine that went perfectly with the provocative name of a perfume that in itself reminds me of the aesthetic perfectionism, but also the sadistic, ultra mannequined artifice, of the very best Helmut Newton photographs: feminine but too objectified; archly fashionista, on point, cool, yet dead-eyed, coked-up; manipulated; a duality of perfume that is very pleasing and beautiful up to a point, but like the very apex of fashion itself, has a shallow, nihilistic nothing at its heart

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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yuzu of atami

 

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such a fun and fresh birthday weekend

 

 

such a fresh and evocative citrus scent

 

 

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IT’s MY BIRTHDAY and I’ll NAHEMA If I WANT TO

 

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Thanks D.

 

 

I LOVE it.

 

 

 

 

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SANDALWOOD TEMPLE + TIGER BY HER SIDE ( SANA JARDIN PARIS, 2017 )

 

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In the cold it’s difficult to get away from the cliches of heat, but it can’t be helped : as the temperatures drop we are as instinctively drawn to rich, heavy fragrances as we are warm, fuzzy blankets.

 

 

Both Sandalwood Temple and Tiger By Her Side, new releases this Autumn, feel well suited to these winter criteria; thick, chewy, scents to block the draughts both literal and figural; sweet, textured ( if somewhat simplistic ) perfumes to seal out the blues.

 

 

 

Sandalwood Temple is all about the santal, even if it is lamentably the ‘East Indian’ variety, not the liquid, buttery rose gold that is the essence of Mysore: meaning that it is slightly flatter, less voluptuous, than the worshipped, essential variety. Still, buttressed with cedar, vetiver, and Madagascar vanilla, there is a nutty, palpable heft to this perfume that is appealing; just the right sweetness, an illusion of coconut, and a fortifying aura of calm, soul-thickening contentment.

 

 

 

 

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Tiger By Her Side, ‘inspired by ancient myths of Egyptian priestesses, whose perfume adorned powers enabled them to walk with the tiger by their side, and connect to their true power, unleash their innate wildness’ is an amber patchouli rose incense theoretically, but in practice a sweet, spicy gourmand not unlike Hermessence Ambre Narguile: undaunted, glistening streaks of cinnamon in amber: oily, potent and playfully strengthening. While not quite a tiger ( more a puffed up pussycat, really ), I would still recommend this one as an early winter booster and furred, stretched out playscent.

 

 

 

 

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