Living in Japan I sometimes stumble across perfumes from Shiseido’s storied back catalogue I have never heard of. But the bottle and the box of Hanatsubaki Kai Sumire were enough for me to need to immediately snap up this gem from an antique shop – something almost Keatsian about the painted violets; the heart shaped glass-stoppered flacon.
What does it smell like? Intense. Rather ‘adult coquette’. A dry, musked, almost salty, wily, feminine violet soliflore – like Jardins De Bagatelle (Guerlain) with the metallic white flowers removed but still leaving traces – exuberantly confident; pretending not to be.
6 responses to “SHY? :: HANATSUBAKI KAI SUMIRE (VIOLET) by SHISEIDO (1989)”
Ah! All week I was thinking about what a lovely name Sumire is. I wasn’t aware of its meaning. The bottle, the old ads, truly beautiful. I can’t smell violet without thinking of the Canel’s brand gum from Mexico. Love it anyway.
I love the sound of that gum!
That presentation! Such a sublime mix of western and Japanese esthetics, the heart shaped frosty bottle, the watercolor (gouache?) impressionist violets on the case. Exquisite!
Glad you liked it. And I agree – the ( I think it is) gouache on paper is extremely appealing. Quite unusual. I saw another one yesterday.
Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous, N! The scent, the bottle, those sweet painted violets. It’s like a great right-handed artist was working quickly with their left hand. Almost childish, but accomplished. I can’t get over how appealing all this is to me right now. Nice little mood boost, my friend!
Oh good. Sometimes all you need are some hand painted violets for a meaningful enhancening of the spirits. x