After feeling (rather exhilaratedly) on the spot during the days at the museum I strongly felt the need to let LOOSE.

And so rather than throw away the flower arrangement displayed at the talk and the workshop, Burning Bush decided to go out for the night in the wonderful Chinatown area of Honolulu and wear it instead.

(jacket bought at Bailey’s vintage near Diamond Head, where Nicolas Cage buys all his Aloha shirts)

Our old friend Christopher – who we hadn’t seen for twenty years – picked us up for the evening : a gorgeously hot humid night ( had it not been for my get up – for once I was glad of the air conditioning ), on the road outside the second place we were staying at – the Holiday Surf Hotel, and drove us through the brutalist Honolulu architecture of downtown with all its lush tropical vegetation : an aesthetic I adore and became one with.

Duncan and Christopher outside of the Hawaii theater

He couldn’t stay long, but delivered us to the evening’s rendezvous secret location – a tiny club in the Old Blaisdell hotel called Katt’s Closet where we were to attend a screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Our host for the evening was another friend now living in Hawaii- Skyler, from our Tokyo cabaret network; frazzled in the big city before, now blissfully happy in Honolulu : we met in the secret location – invitation only – and proceeded through the beautiful old building to the venue.

Skyler was wearing Maher Olfactive’s Tempo Rubato ( literally ‘robbed time’) – a jazz term for improv – and on me, the what could be seen as overly ‘experimental’ overlays of stewed apricots, narcissus, leather, and a whole bunch of other ingredients was just not right. On S, though there was just the most perfectly controlled, delicately fruity sandalwood sillage that hovered exquisitely about their person for the entire, rather electrifying evening

letting off steam,to rage against the machine

As a great lover of red, I was more drawn to the more ‘difficult’, but for me more compelling, Sagan Dalya, based on perfumer Shawn Maher’s discovery of an unusual ingredient – the Siberian rhododendron. Floral, balsamic, coniferous., he combines this new essence with immortelle, honey and tobacco for a strangely addictive sweet deep medicinal blend that theoretically I should run a mile from, but that somehow ( perhaps because I came to really love the maple syrup licorice of Serge Lutens’ immortelle drenched Une Proie Pour L’Ombre and have become more accustomed to that nasal timbre) I am now very glad to possess. There is a depth. Heavy and rich – you feel yourself being pulled down inside this perfume. Also, I had spilled some costus absolute on myself a few days before, an essential oil I was smelling for the first time – an alarmingly dense, sweet essence similar to the feeling of Sagan Dalya, that I couldn’t get away from because it was all over me, getting stronger with the hours, as we walked in the city, along with oil of tuberose absolute that was intentional, sweating in my vest in the heavy air,……new smells all around us. unsure of some. but suffused with delicious saturation


Filed under Flowers


  1. Nelleke Oepkes aka Booknose

    You painted the town Brulant Rouge Absolute by Black Narcissus Collection Privee!!

    Hope you a had a smashing time.

  2. Sarah F.

    I’m so glad Burning Bush got to go out on the town! Looks like you guys had a lot of fun.

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