Last night was the final act of high jinx for the year : D’s performance at the Closet Ball Tokyo, playing Sisyphus with his imaginary sidekick Tiberius, pictured (me wandering around in the freezing cold at Shinjuku Isetan as Carlo and he did their soundchecks smelling perfumes
( this ludicrous crap was 550 dollars )
( this definitely smelled like Mitsouko)
then getting an urgent phone call saying ‘I need a white flower’: )
I bought an amaryllis. From an upscale snobbity florist – the only one I could see at that moment: flowers I have always loved, for their triffid thick stems and succulent, slow underbuds ::: to be used as a prop in their show.)
Reeking of vetiver and the aftermath of 19, I decided to top it up with one of my new birthday scents, Violetta Nobile by Erbario Toscano – a full, Parma violet that is not too sweet; luscious; extrovert with hidden heart of aspirin. I walked the streets wrapped in scarves and my hands in my pockets, the dry, soil dark vetiver on my black coats an invisible locus for the violets wreathing me firmly above. If it all got a bit floozy later on, I liked the portability : violets on the go, snuck inside your jacket or trouser poche for last minute Diaghilevian theatrics.
I have been exploring some of the lower priced Italian perfume lines recently and am liking what I have found. Erbario Toscano, a Florence based perfumery, has a wonderfully crisp green fig – Fico D’Elba that I also got for my birthday – I am saving that one for spring ( and at 12 euros for the small size – 10ml of eau de parfum – you can’t go wrong): the whole line unfussed;pleasingly effective.
Erbolario, a longer established brand with all manner of effective creams and balsams and lotions and toiletries – I would happily just fly to Florence with empty suitcases just to stock up on virtually the whole inventory – also has a fantastic range of products, created over decades, in every possible aromatic shade, from whole flower fields of innocent florali feminini to musky patchoulis, brilliant citruses, black junipers, amber, green herbals, roses – everything : all good quality – uplifting and bright – and at just 22 euros for a bottle of 50ml you don’t feel you are draining a holy reliquary under bulletproof glass each time you apprehensively apply an oiled, gilded drop of conspicuous consumption to your pallid and quivering wrists- – unlike many of the perniciously guarded niche fragrances invigilated by the white gloved assistants in Isetan. No. Erbolario’s Iris, for instance, an identical dead ringer for Lorenzo Villoresi’s Teint De Neige – I would say they are virtually indistinguishable, is powdered to the core, sweet with sillage: six or seven times cheaper than its Florentine counterpart, but undeniably just as soothing; just as nice.
It does make you think.