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VINTAGE MADAME ROCHAS (1960) PARFUM DE TOILETTE vs COLOGNE vs PARFUM……… EXQUISITE HAUL OF TREASURE AT ‘KURUKURU’ ZUSHI RECYCLE SHOP FOR £6.60

Once I had semi-extracted myself from my morass, one of the goals of this holiday was to go to Kurukuru. This antique/ ‘recycle’ shop is a (for us, but probably not for most people) beautiful, chaotic garbage heap next to a supposedly haunted tunnel / busy thoroughfare at the intersection of Kamakura and Zushi full of treasure that I am always more than delighted to cycle along the coast to, when in the mood – D’s bike is broken, so I walk and do figure eights and go down alleys and circle and come back- he has always been a brisk mover ; this time we walked in : : and I immediately saw, among the junk – the Jane Austen-esque familiarity – I have always loved the original presentation – of an entire unused Madame Rochas collection.

Look at this shit. Admittedly, I love Mystère more. But there is something, something sweaty and powdery and Mysore-ish and talcum rose about the Madame Rochas that really suits me. It is, in some ways, my ultimate sandalwood. And although the parfum, as I expected, was defunct and turned: mon dieu – seriously, the parfum de toilette is I think by far the best iteration of this perfume I have ever experienced. Firstly, the label on the box is to be fetishized. Like the most delicous, cold, creamy walnut cake from the 1960’s. Secondly, the perfume within – the flacon, as you can see, is full and in absolute, optimum, pristine condition. Oh mama, you better believe.

The eau de cologne will certainly be used. I am actually quite transfixed by it. More masculine. More Kamakura taxi driver. But it was so pleasurable, having bought all of this for less than ten dollars; along with various, aesthetically delightful household contraptions, to then cycle along the coastline and dreamily watch the sun go down with Mt Fuji at Kotsubo; carefully (well not really), taking out the treasure from the bag to try the varying Rochas configurations on my skin and enjoy its timeless confabulations. Who left this collection? Who was it that owned all the bottles in these different strengths, and incomparisons of beauty?

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