I went to my friend Zubeyde’s house in Tokyo the other night to discuss a new project: an online vintage perfume boutique where we could share our beautiful Japanese flea market treasures with the world at fair and reasonable prices ; a place where we could send these forgotten but precious perfumes to people who would really value them, stare at them, USE them.
It would be fun. We both adore scent, and love the hunting, the exploration; the chase. The heartbeating excitement of a find. The opening to check if it is intact; the smelling ( I would only ever send off scents that I had personally validated first ).
Sounds fun, no?
I like the idea of collaboration, and the creation of something new. The collusion. The integrity. The ever elusive holy grails, trapped in some moribund apartment. Elixirs for us to grasp and take and assess.
Yes, it might be quite an enjoyable little sideline were in not for one huge, insuperable obstacle: it is impossible to send any perfumes out of the country. The rules and the post office are more stringent than ever: for individuals, at least, it can’t be done ( perhaps perfume businesses are exempt from all the bureaucratic bullshit I don’t know, perhaps we can try and attain that status ), but in any case, for now the idea is just a silly pipe dream. Not impossible, mind, but at this stage of affairs, extremely impractical.
Still, this did nothing to distract me from the pleasure of witnessing her loot, a stash of boxed treasures that she presented to me one by one over Bourbon and some of which she let me buy ( we gift and exchange, but when the balance gets too heavy on one side it’s only fair to reimburse..)
Michelle Parfum. I only have the dusky, more gauzy vintage eau de toilette, which is lovely, but how nice to get my hands on a bottle of the parfum, which is both fresher and deeper than the edt; sweet, coconut tuberose sapphic, almost chypric, clingy, emotional – I love her. Likewise, I had never even known that there existed an extrait version of the lovely Romeo Di Romeo Gigli; a crisp ( the crispest ever made perhaps) green orange blossom that was a precursor to the Cabotine/Tendre Poison vogue that came later in the 1990’s, but far more intriguing and superior to any of them. Romeo was released in 1989 and has the most glorious mandarin, mango, and marigold accord that in the top notes of this delicious parfum variant just scintillates like the most eternal of mornings. It is a revelation. You realize that sometimes, the proof of the perfume really is in the parfum, as though all de-embellished and diluted afterthoughts were just poor relations.