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.


Filed under Flowers

6 responses to “SHY? :: HANATSUBAKI KAI SUMIRE (VIOLET) by SHISEIDO (1989)

  1. Z

    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.

  2. 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!

  3. Robin

    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!

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