I have been to a fair number of weddings in my time and I sometimes enjoy them. I have never, I must say though, considered going to one in the middle of a viral pandemic. Not that Japan seems to be having one: as I wrote the other day, everything is business as usual here. Either we have dodged the bullet – which strikes me as impossible – or something else is going on. I do know that it is very complicated for non-Japanese to get tested for Covid-19 even if you do come down with symptoms (it sounds like a bureaucratic labyrinth from the depths of hell). I don’t know. We have been invited – it is on Sunday – and are still thinking about going. We don’t want to let her down. The bride’s family can’t attend from America, so it will be up to us to fill up her side of the aisle; her other extended family of quite unconventional people; gamers, anime freaks, cabaret artistes and death metal fans dressed in black.
I have never been to a Goth wedding. Which is an added bonus for me, something new (all the weddings I have ever been to have been delightful at times, especially when you know that the couple are made for one another but also exhausting: traditionally I have usually been asked to play the piano – I once also did a Vivaldi flute concerto accompanied by a professional string quartet – and so also have had a lot of stage fright). This one will be a little bit different I would imagine – I hope – and we would like to support our friends – Amber has DJed at some of our events, been Duncan’s back up dancer in one of his performances, along with Dayane
who will also be in attendance (as a bridesmaid). My own personal dilemma has been what to wear (in terms of clothes – I simply do not have anything whatsoever to wear right now and have spent all of this month’s money stocking up on food and supplies for Armageddon so would have to go out and buy a secondhand suit this week, do what I always dislike…..going shopping (something a little bit dandyish, perhaps, compared to my boring work suit?, I don’t know). Another option, of course, was to go as Burning Bush, but I am just not in the mood. Several of my other friends are weighing up which incarnation they would like to rock up in, though – it’s interesting to have this as an option. But no, I am just going to go as myself in something simple.In terms of scent,I am feeling like something deep and masculine but not too obvious ; either the original Gentleman by Givenchy (1974), an enveloping leather patchouli, or else Ermenigildo Zegna’s Haitian Vetiver from 2012 – staid, sturdy, dependable – which I have been wearing as a body scent and then topping up with other vetiver perfumes or citruses like Armani Pour Homme (which goes with it perfectly). I am more in the mood for being a subdued spectatorright now – if I go – and just let the young people do their thing. As Yukiro said last night, he doesn’t want to upstage the bride, if he goes as the ever beautiful Die Schwarze Frau.
(Atsushi. The best man? It is going to be interesting to see how some of the attendees dress: whether they will be toning it down for the groom’s family in attendance or going full out like the above, which would be somewhat astonishing).
One thing that I am sure none of us would consider wearing for these nuptials I think is Radiant Tuberose by Jimmy Choo, which Yukiro has just tried on downstairs and promptly washed off with great vehemence (he and D have spent the last two nights going through footage of their film; I have kept out of the way for the most part but looked in at times and what I have seen has been hilarious and outrageous; all of the people pictured here also feature in the movie). Our Swedish master of the macabre is not at all afraid of wearing florid flowers, not at all, and has received quite a few perfumes from me in his time as well, as do all my friends, but this one – a very chokeworthy if, yes radiant – as in, it irradiates through the room like leakage from a nuclear reactor – full of ylang ylang a little in the vein of Dipytque’s Eau Moheli, all peppery and pretty and tuberosey and bright as the lights in an operating theatre – is just too much. The kind of perfume that some ladies might wear to a wedding; done up a couple of notches too many in their orange foundation and false eyelashes; too keen to catch the bouquet – the scent you can imagine on those British holidaygoers stuck in Tenerife, clutching cocktails, wearing bikinis, and gas masks by the pool.
Pasha by Cartier is no less sexy – I think the Jimmy Choo could probably work okay in limited doses – even if it is as predictable as the morning sun. A brand new parfum version of the 1992 macho-fougère, it is fresh and spicy and lavendery and manly as you would expect from a perfume of this genre; Yukiro’s reaction just now; ‘My god, that would really add to the stress of the office …………..if I had to work in one’, and I know what he means. Despite its suave efficacy, it would bug me.
A touch too much of Pasha Parfum on the wrong obnoxious male could be an absolute headache. YES, a part of me will always like these classic ‘barbershop’ old style fougères such as Yves Saint Laurent Rive Gauche Pour Homme (because it is a recipe that is unequivocally erotic on the right man, and sometimes woman); and D has a crisp little thing called Eau De Berlin that we picked up in Germany one year and which he sometimes wears ( I also really rather like Grigioperla, grey pearl, which to me is like dawn light glinting on granite as the groom has pre-wedding jitters, smoking a cigarette on the patio outside with his best mates sprucing up after the inevitable stag do); this, though, obviously, is not the kind of fragrance that I would ever consider wearing in a million years, despite its competent construction (the oudh-amber base note, on me, which I have just had to shower off, is truly grim). There’s manly, and there is manly. And there is feminine, and there is ridiculous. And neither the bride, nor the groom, at this wedding, if we go, has any truck with traditional gender roles: I would be embarrassed to turn up smelling in either of these perfumes – not that we can hug or kiss anyone there, presumably – social distancing regulations undoubtedly strictly enforced – so they might not even notice.. But even so, I would feel like I was boxed up in restriction. Wafting from my wedding table, tucking into my amuses bouches. Smelling horrible. So I will have to think out mine and the D’s perfume selections a bit more carefully, to get it right – ( I still haven’t actually decided). Plus in truth, it’s highly unlikely that either of the wedding couple, it being Japan – will be wearing any perfume in the first place – though I did once give Amber a miniature bottle of vintage Vivenne Westwood Boudoir, her all time favourite and one I can wear quite impressively myself as well in truth ….all incense dens, leopard skin throws, salmon sheets and quilted hookah pipes………………………………………)