(D and I about eight years ago in Berlin)
– a rushed train piece
The other night, at a Special Valentine’s edition of The Closet Ball in Tokyo – where we are sometime performers at the cabaret show of ‘gender subversive humour and performance’ but were there that night in the audience, the compere (the outrageous Tatianna Lee) asked if anyone was in a long term relationship.
’Seven years !’ chimed one person, to enthusiastic whoops from the crowd.
’Anyone longer than seven years?’ shouted Ms Lee.
’Twenty five!’ answered I, as the spotlight landed on my face, and the non-reaction of the audience (‘????? ‘) made me feel as if I had made some kind of faux pas. It did sound EXTRAORDINARILY long in the context of irreverent stage pieces on love and heartbreak, but anyway- this is our 26th Valentine’s Day together, even if, in truth, this is a time of year when we are usually at a low point (we are much better in spring and in summer )- neither of us being able to really take the desolation of the cold – and biorhythms are slowed down, and some kind of INWARDNESS occurs until the flourishing of spring. Usually in February we are both in semi-auto hibernation mode, and things are not exactly nine and a half weeks : fractious and argumentative Valentine’s Days are more par for the course, which, like Christmas, feel like too much commercialized pressure to feel anything genuinely, plus, D hates goo and sentimentality, and gift-wrapped ribbons and presents and corny messages and romance ( though I did slip, undetected, a giant Ferrero Rocher into his work bag this morning and he was delighted).
Uncharacteristically, we are going to meet up tonight after work for a steak dinner ( a rarity on February 14th, I can tell you ). My kind, gentle, fiercely dignified, pathologically private, yet wildly extroverted and beautiful stage artist with a taste for the absurd, the extreme : the beautiful and the true. I am looking forward to it.
I was going to write about all the scents that Duncan has worn over the years, and the memories attached to them (‘to all the perfumes I have loved on you before’) – but my train has already reached its destination for my evening classes.
Fuck it. Just a few more minutes…… who cares.
There have been many scents over the years that D has worn voluntarily or had foisted upon him, from the overly suave Comme Des Garçons Black Pepper and Penhaligons’ Sartorial, to recent anomalies like Guerlain’s Lui ( vanilla and carnation, on Duncan?!), which he has worn quite a bit recently but has come to find too sweet – I personally love how it smells on him : it feels like a new age ( which perhaps it is….)
Flowers don’t suit, really, except lavender (Guerlain Lavande Velours smells delightfully dapper on him): neither do citruses, really, and definitely no ozonics or oceanics, which smell absurd. No gourmands. No ouds or aggressive woods. He DETESTS neroli and orange blossom, and finds incense too self serious.
No, what smells best on him ultimately are warm aromatics, a hint of spice : Shiseido’s original Feminite Du Bois parfum smells exquisite on him – really inviting yet mysterious all at once ( he is, ultimately, mysterious, this cherished person; an enigma: a bit like the country we call home, perhaps …. I think that at the end of the day I am drawn to the unknowable, with depths that remain inscrutable); some perfumes accentuate this.
Others bring out more of his tender, receptive-to-everything-around-him side; his love of walking and fresh air but also how good he looks in clothes ( I am a comparative human garbage heap in that regard). A nice fitting winter sweater, with a scent like L’Occitane’s discontinued Eau Giroflee is a beautiful combination, as is Rocco Barocco’s delightfully mellow Vetiver ( only the more nutmeggy vetivers smell right on him)
… but I have to go ( I am already late )
To be continued, perhaps…
What do you love on your beloveds?