We booked for a fancy eight course French breakfast /lunch on Saturday morning at the Koga Residence – one of Kamakura’s three ‘Official Western Buildings Of Interest’ (one of the few to withstand The Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 that destroyed almost everything in its wake) for D’s upcoming birthday, having seen it down a lane a couple of months ago after being unaware of its existence our entire time living here, feeling like celebrating in style, just to try something different.
Perfume-wise, we both wanted to try something new that we had never worn before. To mark the occasion, D opted for French Cuffs by Pink MahogHany, a very elegant boisé animalic tobacco by perfumer Chavalia Mwamba that is just on the perfect cusp of suggestiveness – the husky smoke breath of the rich pipe tobacco melded with woods and what smells like vetiver inverting the usual scent pyramid so that you get a full, rich, but mellow and unobtrusive base accord on first spray, very suitable for the environment we were in (an interesting mix of people, from old couples to close friends gathering for their own special events, all apparently getting happily wasted in the a/m with the generous wine-tasting option which paired wines, poured with a generous elbow, for each of the chi-chi courses that were delivered and given overly lengthy explanations by the gusto staff; some of these old girls sipping their seventh glass of rosé could definitely drink us under the table while still keeping their dignified chops – just I did see the odd wobble and hesitant step on the way to and back from the bathroom). French Cuffs, though is an excellent, and really quite erotic scent ( I feel slightly restless just thinking about it again) with lost Cuban memories of Molinard Habanita, nicely balanced, even if the end accord is not quite as exciting as its beginning (just an attenuation of the first). This is a definitely a scent though with an emotional pull and core of soft gravitas that is gentlemanly – but definitely a living gentleman with a libido.
For myself, rushing to get ready in the morning after a really exhausting and hard week at work, my eyes barely open as I showered and tried to spruce up for the overly rich food ahead (Japanese French is never our favourite: just a once in a blue moon kind of thing as you are always deluged with a whole fine array of luxuriantly appointed lipids; foie gras and conger eel, beef cooked half rare, duck fat drenched pumpkin mochi, all kinds of lovingly prepared dishes followed of course with even richer dessert; for us there was almost an amusing sense of dread of what the hell was coming next; for me the joy is experiential more than gastronomic ). I had been trying, frantically, to find the sample of the Gent, also by Pink MahogHany, which is a curious, milky-fresh creation that felt very talcum decadent and obliviously nonchalant in the manner of Caron Royal Bain De Champagne, or Creed’s regretted Acier Aluminium (1973) that would have been ideal to grace my own person but I simply couldn’t find it in our chaotic perfume/ bedroom chamber that was in a hell of a mess but which we didn’t have time to tidy up. Instead, I decided on a last minute duo of Guerlain Habit Rouge on the body (that long-neglected perfume had come floating up into my consciousness the night before), and a few spritzes of Fedora on the wrists and hair, a tight, mint-fresh tea citrus cologne (lovers of Herba Fresca should definitely try this one) that felt perfect as I left the house under my umbrella in the light mists of rain and got into the taxi, the always strange soft contradictions of the Guerlain highlighting the herbaceous gracefulness of the Fedora.
Photos of the Koga Residence and the antique shop we went to after to get a birthday present (The Boy) by D himself.