I can’t really put it off any longer: my iPhone has been at Fujisawa station for three months and it is time for me go and collect it. The deadline for collection is approaching, and then it will be sent to be crushed in a landfill, or disappear in electronics purgatory somewhere irretrievable.
I lost it when I lost it: regular readers will remember the incident at the beginning of the shut down when only I had to teach – it didn’t go down well. I have no memory of how I could have mislaid it ( I blame pure rage ), but let’s face it: this isn’t the first time. I have lost my phone at least six times now and it always comes back : this is Japan.
If Tuesday was the first time we went back into a restaurant, today will be the first time going back on public transport. We are both quite leery; will be masked and seeking out the most sparsely populated areas of the train, but it can’t be avoided. It is only a few minutes on each ride, if three different trains. I will be careful.
Police stations are naturally intimidating places – even if in this country they are usually very courteous and helpful (though god help you if you are suspected of committing a crime…, you might never see the light of day again). It is going to be strange indeed going inside a packed office full of clerical staff and pokey administrators after avoiding offices and institutions for so long. I need to narcissistically differentiate myself from the guaranteed murk and mental mould that is going to present itself. What scent to wear?
Last time I went to a police station in Tokyo, (see this piece, here), I wore Loulou (!). I am not in the mood for wearing Loulou today, but I was wearing a bit of it last night on the back of my hand, I must confess (I swoon when I smell the vintage). Obviously, the uninterested officers will be masked, but I like – for me – just to wear enough scent to osmose through such material to make my presence felt and ground me in (un)reality.
So what are today’s contenders? I briefly considered Ungaro Pour Homme I, but it might make me feel like a sleaze. Eau D’Ikar? I don’t want to waste it on them. Ermenigildo’s Haitian Vetiver? I can’t bear to appear so respectable. I flirted with the idea of Zoologist Dragonfly, which has alit on the back on the hand as I write this, a peculiarly translucent rice and cherry blossom, heliotropic lotus, ‘rain notes’ and peony-flitting little fragrance that is aquatic, pleasant, and quite realm-transporting to a higher plane for those that are frightened by life – but no : I fear I might come over to them as pathetic.
No. Something bolder. How about Almah Perfume’s Way To Wakatobi? An extrait strength Indonesian patchouli, dark, sinewy with a touch of agarwood and myrrh and just a lick of alleged chocolate that is quite grounding and very dry, this might give me the gravitas I need. Darkness I can settle into if the fluorescent lighting is too bright. Nuzzle myself into a deep and woody place. Or will the patchouliness start to irritate me? Sometimes I need to be in the really right mood for that note or it can get too insistent. Mmm……. (I am definitely going to buy some patchouli essential oil, though today, a few bottles if possible – I need it to make my homemade incense; I always like to dip Japanese incense sticks – camphor and patchouli- dominated already, in the thick essential oil; coat them, dry them, burn them – the smell is headspinningly dense and pitch black, a smell I really love). I really want some vetiver too, some grapefruit and lemon. Some bergamot. My god ………………………shopping. )
Rogue’s Chypre Siam is another possibility I have mulled over this morning- a nice, leaf-filtered warm green and yellow oakmossy ode to perfumes like my beloved Chanel Pour Monsieur – but I know prefer the latter; definitely cardamom over kaffir lime. Still, this is relaxing, sheltering and centred and I will probably come back to it. Too comfortable for a police station though.
So how about a Japanese Japanese scent?
Di Ser is a Hokkaido based all natural perfumery that creates very aromatherapeutic, air and light-filled fragrances. I have only recently become aware of the brand: D – who I am meeting in a couple of hours – is wearing Di Ser’s Mizu today: he has a bottle in his work bag – a very light, refreshing yuzu, rosemary, lemon and tonka scent that is reminiscent of Terre D’Hermès but less nailed : a delicate and refined composition that gives you room to breathe.
As does Kazehikaru, a cheerfully serene and delightful aromatic lavender, with shiso, Japanese rose (hamanasu), neroli and vetiver that takes me back to the days when I used to get through huge bottles of Roger & Gallet’s Lavande Imperiale when I was living in London: I love lavenders when they are remixed a bit into something else (in the case of the latter, a delicious addition of nutmeg, which is a note I am naturally drawn to); Kazehikaru (‘glowing wind’) is also so uplifting and tranquillising it almost reaches spiritual territory – as does the range as a whole, which I am thinking of reviewing at a later date.
Do I really want to smell like a purified Shinto priest at a grubby, municipal police station, though?