(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?


Filed under Flowers

26 responses to “MY FUNNY VALENTINE

  1. Matty

    Please continue, I love your posts. XXXX

  2. Matty

    Is itr enough to say I never got a Valentines’s card . Ha Ha XXXX

  3. Lady Murasaki

    This was such a delicious text to read today. It really added a spoonful of sweetness to my day.

    Maybe because I can really relate to the longtime relationship story… I already get looks when I tell people I was friends for 3 years before me and my SO (and best friend) got together, and it’s been 2 years since. So curious. But I confess I think it’s just magic that a love story could last over a quarter of a century, it’s absolutely inspirational!

    And maybe because I am a fanatic for Feminité du Bois. I think it’s one of my favorites ever. The atmosphere of a wet, mossy forest on a cloudy day with the aroma of a sweet cinnamon infusion coming out of a mysterious little cabin hidden inside…

    Btw, I still need to find a perfect one for my SO. I liked Pour Monsieur Concentree by Chanel, though.

    Please continue these delightful train pieces, looking forward to it.

    • Thankyou. YES ; Feminite Du Bois in the original is just so multilayered and multi textured it echoes through itself like a wooded echo chamber and keeps getting better. It must have had amazing ingredients. I think I only have a drop left now or two, but this is really perfect on D.

      I was a Pour Monsieur apres rasage man for years, and then got the concentree version by mistake one Christmas : the thick, vanillic sweetness of it shocked me at the time and I couldn’t quite get with it, as nice a smell as it was. Recently though I started craving it again out of the blue – I can imagine it lingering very sensually on the face and body of a significant other.

  4. MrsDalloway

    Nice piece and I love that Berlin photo! Hope you had a great evening.

    We’ve been friends for 26 years and married for nearly 13. We don’t observe Valentine’s but normally manage an anniversary something. Guerlain Héritage, L’Instant de Guerlain pour Homme, Heeley Phoenicia, Equipage Geranium.

  5. Tara C

    Congratulations on 26 years! At this rate you may match Gore Vidal and Howard Austen’s record. I have been with my sweetheart for 18 years, married for 5. We were both previously divorced and gun-shy, but we figured after 13 years it was going to work out.

    He wears SL Musc Koublai Khan & Fumerie Turque, and occasionally nicks my Amouage Dia woman. It smells great on him.

  6. DH and I met 31 years ago, married 29 years ago. He smells great in classics like Old Spice, but also Nicolai’s New York and Lutens’ Vitriol d’Oeillet.

  7. empliau

    I have been with my husband for nearly 34 years, married for 29. He doesn’t wear scent as such, but smells wonderful in Taylor of Bond Street Sandalwood shaving cream. Also, he cuts himself shaving less when using a good cream.

  8. Ann

    You should print that post for Duncan…it is a wonderful Valentine’s Day Card!

  9. Leiann Kaytmaz

    Congratulations on 26 years! Unheard of in this era. The love of my life and I will be celebrating 26 years next January. How time flies. Love him more today if that is possible…
    He’s set in his scent choices and does not like changing. He’s worn Davidoff’s Cool Water forever or at least as long as I can remember. Most recently I’ve turned him on to Hermes Terre d’Hermes which smells amazing and suits him very well. Would love for him to branch out so I’m buying him Creed Aventus. Said he likes it and I’m thrilled that he would consider another brand.

  10. David

    My husband and I have been together for 25 years. When we met in Japan, he wore Jean Paul Gualtier, Issey Miyake, Angel, and the Body Shop Musk. I remember we both discovered Comme des Garçons in 2000. We were crazy about their Shiso fragrance (sadly discontinued). Now he doesn’t wear much fragrance, maybe just Dior Homme. He tolerates my vintage finds, but I have to admit, even I am getting bored with all that. Today he is in the countryside, so I am alone. I’m wearing one he hates, Bond N.9 West Side. Most Bonds I don’t like (too screechy), but something about this rose I like.

  11. Congratulations! Being together for such a substantial time is such a wonderful thing. I wish the two of you many more years of joy and bliss.
    Feminine du Bois is a glorious scent! I always felt it would work so well on a man, this proves me correct.
    I loved the photo of you both in Berlin. It must be such a magical city!

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