In enjoyably mossy mode on Sunday evening; scented quite heavily – slightly against my will – with vintage Paco Rabanne, which has one of those old style hissy vaporisateurs that sometimes malfunction and stay on the spray button, even when you have angrily berated the bottle that you have had enough (particularly when the blighter fires straight for your eye, one area of my person I generally don’t perfume) : suddenly I had a yearning to put on some Shiseido Inoui.
Very forestry and green, mossed and languid jasmined, this is one of those once in a blue moon scents that I should probably keep as a future eBay sell rather than wasting – d got it me from a junk shop for about £3 but I am very aware that this 70’s chypre is highly sought after now by Inouisistas and goes for top dollar. I do like it, but some die-hard Inoui worshipper probably does need it far more than me. I had forgotten, though, that this Eau de parfum – I also have an extrait somewhere – still has a pristine secreted leaflet tucked inside.
There is something rather pleasurable, even fetishistic, about these little paper manifestos, reiterating the glories of the perfume located within as well as drawing your attention to the often vast ranges of auxiliary products that used to be easily available for most popular perfumes : with far fewer powerhouses in their stables, the houses would diffuse their jackpot recipe through full bathroom artilleries of soaps, bath oils , body cremes, deodorants ( both stick and spray; always smelling slightly distinctively different ), powders, hair setting foams – Aramis once boasted 40 different products that the discerning Aramist could collect and use enthusiastically each day, asphyxiating all in his officially Authoritative Presence.
Shiseido, in its own miniature inner pamphlet, makes the spectacular claim that Inoui is ‘by far the most luxurious, elegant, sophisticated international fragrance ever created’.
To me there is something cerebrally cooling, relaxing, about perusing these old, hidden leaflets : like the hush of an archaeological museum, or the clandestine papery pleasures of finding a particular book you were looking for in a university library. To my knowledge,the practice has faded out of use now ( do niche perfumes tend to have extra information about their contents secreted inside ?).
I don’t know. I slightly geek out on them.