Category Archives: religious hatred and death






I had promised myself I wouldn’t write anything today as I am feeling mind-wiped, but seeing this just-out-in-Nippon release in Takashimaya ( a take no prisoners, self confidently fresh and sharp mandarin tuberose neroli that she would never wear in a million years though I might ),  I am simply putting this up to pique the amusement of my best friend Helen – who is anything but heartless










– though she can be severe and cut to the core and tell it like it is because she seems to understand me better than possibly anybody else: a soul twin, telepathic understanding that, though we speak far too little ( as we are both lazy and crap ) we know, as long as we remain intact, we will always have.







( the picture above is H giving me a pep talk before my Perfume Lovers London talk of 2014 ….. god how time so quickly flies……)









Helen has talked me through many a difficult situation: like my mother (in the earthquake, my operation, both were amazing ) they tell me just the right combination of reality and boost. A hotwire to my sensibility;  fraternal umbilical straight to my fevered, potholed  brain.













We are also both hypochondriacs. So god knows how she would feel being here where I am today, in Yokohama,; the biggest China Town in all of Asia, where a cruise ship is quarantined off shore walking distance from where I have lessons with passengers coming down like flies with the coronavirus, and where, as you can see, masks are selling out and there is a very uneasy feel in the air – as there is globally – as people are wondering what to believe, and whether they are over or underreacting; where being on packed trains feels unpleasant and dangerous, and where tempers get frayed —





– —- my ragged own, especially ( I had an argument with my closest Japanese male friend on the bus earlier this afternoon. about a common colleague who was espousing theories the other day about only the ‘weak’ being in danger of contracting the virus and being very arrogantly ‘unconcerned’ about the illness –  —- so would that include me, then?  having had very serious pneumonia in my left lung twice before ; I didn’t like the almost Nietzschean Ubermensch implications of what he was saying (and what of the immune stressed sleep deprived students, just before the most important exams of their lives ?); my friend said it was a linguistic misunderstanding: I responded with something below the belt about the man’s appearance…., oh when I get on the defensive I can be very venomous ; bile slips from my tongue with slippered ease.,..  …. never mind Heartless Helen; it is more like Noxious Neil (so should I wear the partner in the set, then  : the devilish and dastardly woody tobacco scent, Terrible Ted? )






No : I think Helen would suit me much better : we need proud nosegays in these pestilential times; bright flowers (Penhaligons calls this a ‘fearless conquistador’), and everybody knows that I love oranges.  don’t think about it, H would say, rationalize, hone in to the very best perspective; reverse or brake my hysteria  —-   ———- or at the very least, just try and  steer me towards a more pacified lucidity










































Filed under art and politics, autobiography, B0RN TO BE TROPICAL, Bitch, Flowers, FUCK EVERYTHING, I really do have a bad feeling about all of this, incomplete perfume reviews, inexplicable happenings, Japan, JAPAN PHOTOGRAPHY, LUXURIANCE, Neroli, neurotic meltdowns, occasionally sickening scents, PERFUME AND PERFORMANCE, postcards from the edge, pretentious aesthetes, Psychodrama, Rare, religious hatred and death, SCANDAL, SELF-OBSESSION, this is not a perfume review, Tuberose, Uncategorized, Urine, Vietnam travelogue, when an artist spins in his grave, Writing




Filed under Catastrophe, Celebrity Scents, groping motherfuckers, I really do have a bad feeling about all of this, occasionally sickening scents, pigs, religious hatred and death, Republican, Uncategorized





Burning Bush, a creature from my imagination made flesh by my person ( see above ), an occasional entity I find quite necessary to embody in these dumb, fascistic times (no matter how ‘horrifying’ some of my old friends and family may find it), performed at a Tokyo cabaret this last Saturday night, singing a slowed down semi-acappella piano version of Kate Bush’s yearnful song from 1978, The Man With The Child In His Eyes.

It was an incantation : an exorcism; pure catharsis.

The scent: :  Dior Poison Esprit de Parfum Proche; Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion, and Roja Dove Tuberose Parfum.


Filed under JAPAN PHOTOGRAPHY, Psychodrama, religious hatred and death, Republican, Tuberose

MITT, now you GIT on down to New Orleans right NOW and take out that MAN!!!!! I MEAN it!!!!!! (SENSO, by UNGARO, 1991)

I originally wrote this jubilantly just after Obama’s re-election in 2012.

Oh the pain now …….

Source: MITT, now you GIT on down to New Orleans right NOW and take out that MAN!!!!! I MEAN it!!!!!! (Senso, by Ungaro, 1991)


Filed under groping motherfuckers, I really do have a bad feeling about all of this, Orientals, Psychodrama, religious hatred and death, Republican







Filed under Bitch, Fruity Floral, groping motherfuckers, Prune, religious hatred and death, Republican, Urine, Voyeur



As I imagine it has been for many people, it has been difficult this week not to be completely appalled and disturbed by the shocking events in Paris. It preys on the mind, the conscience. The thought of human beings going about their usual business, on a crisp sunny day, at an editorial meeting over coffee, then suddenly being massacred by masked gunmen in a bloodbath of sheer hatred, is horrific.

But while ‘freedom of speech’ is an essential tenet of Western thought, and something I believe in upholding (witness the worrying new Secrets Act by the Abe government in Japan that will curtail press and individual freedoms), at the same time I don’t believe in deliberately insulting religion in the name of satire.

Living in Japan, a country where I always feel that people are overly reverent towards figures of authority, far, far too unquestioning and obedient (sometimes almost terrifyingly so), I am instinctively drawn to the satirical, the lampooning of public figures in magazines such as Private Eye: the dressing down of the so many megalomaniac idiots across the globe who abuse positions of power ( I laughed so hard at Team America: World Police I can’t tell you, and would love to see The Interview, in which Kim Jong Un is assassinated by James Franco). Without freedom of press speech, and the wit of the best political commentators who keep things in intelligent line, the trespasses and transgressions of those who control us might go unpunished: the ability to criticize and vilify corrupt politicians and public figures keeps them healthily in check.

The same goes for leaders of groups such as The Islamic Front, for whom I have nothing but contempt for a multiple of reasons I am sure it is not necessary to elucidate here (we could start with one, though: were Shariah law to be instigated in the UK, the punishment for my sexual ‘trangressions’ would be being crushed under a toppling wall of bricks. Great. Fuck that).

At the same time, though, there is a big difference between mocking people in positions of authority, and purposefully desecrating religious images with the aim of outraging the religions’ followers. To me, doing that seems like an assault on religions, and thus even particular cultures or ethnic groups, themselves.

I myself am not religious, though I am always curious about different interpretations of the meaning of life, and think that spirituality and a questioning of what may lie beyond, are natural components of the human animal. Obviously, faiths do become perverted ; twisted by religious leaders for political aim or personal gain, and such people are ripe for mockery by such magazines as Charlie Hebdo. Paedophile Catholic priests, those who destroy the lives of children with their vile predations, deserve everything they get, as far I as am concerned. But does that mean that Christian images must also be defiled? Must we really see Jesus Christ or Mary, naked, on all fours, in a state of degraded submission? Doing so surely means a conscious effort on the part of the non-believing ‘satirist’ to upset Christians (for the sake of upsetting them, it seems, merely for the sake of childish mischief, a gleeful sense of naughtiness). And while this is something I can identify with to some extent, as I am a bit of a ‘provocateur’ myself, I do think there are limits.

If you know full well that the prophet Muhammed cannot be shown in the form of images, but then not only proceed to do so, but also in a pornographic context ( I have just looked at some of these images on the internet and found them shocking), then you are intentionally causing deep offense to millions, even billions of people (many of whom happen to be minorities in your country, a kind of underclass. Could the pictures not, then, be seen as an insidious form of racism?).


As much as I can understand that whole ‘fuck it, there are no holy cows, free speech is free speech and I will write whatever the hell I like’, ethos, I don’t see the benefit, nor even the humour, in printing deliberately ‘blasphemous’images that offend entire communities. It seems like an attack on those groups themselves, rather than  the sadistic and cruel, psychopath leaders of the terrorist groups who pollute and destroy what originally can be quite beautiful systems of belief:  blind, seething fools who absolutely deserve our derision and scorn and should be the targets of vicious cartoonists (can’t they find something better to do with their lives than shooting innocent people in supermarkets ?  Such dickheads).



I hate these extremists. I detest what they stand for (though I do also understand, where their rage originates: just seeing one of those Abu Graib images in the newspaper this morning was enough to make me remember: it was also, incidentally, what makes the series Homeland so compelling, the intricate, and relatively balanced portrayal of both sides of the story). At the same time, I hate Islamophobia as I hate any form of racism or prejudice.



This may seem incidental, but when we stayed in Indonesia one summer ago, we were staying with a lovely extended Muslim family on the vanilla plantation in West Java, and every morning would wake up to the beautiful, plaintive and soul stirring singing from the mosques that rose up from the valley below. It touched me on some deep level, not merely some Eurocentric, exoticist, ‘Orientalism’. I felt something. We were connected. And then down in the village, when I asked to be shown around the local mosque, if it was possible, the imam not only let us do so, but also took us on a tour through the religious academy at back, where we were talking to the students who were staying there, and they were the sweetest, and most friendly, and unaffected people you could imagine. They were deeply religious, but also entirely open to us, curious about England, what we were doing in Japan, and I see no reason to offend them merely for the sake of offending. Surely respect for other belief systems and cultures is one of the central pillars of contemporary liberal multiculturalism?



What happened in Paris is dreadful: those journalists did not deserve to die, and like everyone else I feel for their families. I have a terrible sense of foreboding of what is going to happen, as it feels as if the world is coming apart (despite what I have written above, religion sure does have a lot to answer for (to put it mildly). It has been the cause of so much bloodshed and hatred it is mindboggling (why do Shiites and Sunnis kill each other the way they do? Catholics and Protestants? It is so damn moronic, and directly contradicts what the religion the adherents claim to be believing teaches. I am sure that in both in Christianity, and Islam, and in any other religion, killing and murder are not generally held up as ideals). Maybe, in fact, ‘multiculturalism’ just isn’t destined to work in Europe, although I passionately hope that it will. But to me, while most of the world is parading placards saying ‘Je Suis Charlie’, I am afraid I can’t quite do the same. What I read in the newspaper this morning sums up my opinion best, on the subject of whether newspapers should reprint the cartoons :



“Some websites and newspapers did print the Muhammed cartoons. But many, especially in the U.S and Britain, did not, saying they violated editorial policies against wilfully giving offense. The Associated Press has decided not to run the images, explaining, in part, that the international wire service ‘tries hard not to be a conveyor belt for images and actions aimed at mocking or provoking people on the basis of religion, race or sexual orientation. While we run many photos that are politically or socially provocative, there are areas verging on hate speech and actions where we feel it is right to be cautious’.

To me this speaks of common sense and a more balanced way of looking at the Charlie Hebdo massacre. Must everything now become black and white? Must we all now stake out our positions so starkly, to continue to pour more gasoline on the fire?

I mourn what has happened. But I am not Charlie.


Filed under Flowers, religious hatred and death