According to the Japan Times, this year’s rainy season was the longest and most interminable in memory, leading to a depressed and listless population already lethargic from the coronavirus. I know that I, after being energized by my return to the world after the first lockdown (another may be imminent as cases rise in all major cities) was also operating at a snail’s pace autopilot, a survival slug shouting through a surgical mask.
Promptly on August 1st the sun said enough is enough; this enforced sabbatical by Cloud Central is boring me to death I am pressing the On switch and sure enough the heat has descended, blasting out cobwebs (you should we the mould on our shoes, the mould that has crept over bus stops and train timetables, even our tatami mats it is vile); we spent the weekend drinking cava and flinging open windows and cycling and lounging around on the balcony letting the rays in and rejoicing in the dryness and the light.
Today I have to go in to Yokohama. I am writing this on the train. It doesn’t feel safe. I always open the windows as far as they will go, possibly too angrily and to the consternation of some passengers who just sit their impassively but no : I WILL have ventilation (I have been laying the law down at work as well, where a weird inertia has set in and students sit dangerously in classrooms with sealed windows.)
For dinner last night – a lovely place in Kamakura with red sun umbrellas, delicious cold Ebisu beer ( we really felt the need to get smashed this weekend : I had to just obliterate something in my conscious as I have felt hemmed in and screaming); perfectly cooked tempura and grilled fish with pickled Japanese ginger, Duncan wore Mizu by Di Ser ( a nice, fresh woody citrus that smells very natural), while I went for Uomo by Lorenzo Villoresi, a lavender aromatic similar to the Tuscany I was wearing the other day ( and which the mosquitoes unfortunately loved as well ; we decided to sit outside, not wanting the misery of air conditioning to ruin the first real Sunday evening of summer.)
Today it is baking hot. Ordinarily in this weather I would probably be going for tropical; frangipani, coconut; Lys Soleia. This morning I woke up for some reason craving deep sandalwood and cedar, something inward and fortifying rather than flamboyant Blue Lagoon. I knew what I wanted : my tube of Bois De Santal hand creme; rosewood and spice and sweet sandalwood, which goes beautifully with the edp tiny bottle of vintage Shiseido Feminite Du Bois I once found at a Berlin flea market. Rich, dense with plum and cinnamon with a heart of Moroccan Atlas cedar wood, vanilla and sandalwood, benzoin and a hint of buried violets, it is not quite as stunning as the ultra rare parfum I only have a couple of drops left of ( I like it on D even more than I do on myself; it lasts for hours, is ever-changing and never loses a moment of integrity).
Still, today’s combination, though anti-intuitive, perhaps, feels right to me; soothing and solidifying, like a great wooden temple in Nikko, where you can steal in for some stillness.