My generation of Japanese men tend to think fragrances are for women. I believe it’s the same mentality that makes hard-core surfers in Southern California frown on guys wearing cologne (Brahs in Hawaii use it, but that’s another story).

I have to make an exception. For the first time in my life, I bought a fragrance for myself today. I smelt Kenzopower yesterday by chance and simply loved it. A very talented young perfume at IFF called Olivier Polge (whose father is Jacques Polge of Chanel) has created the scent.

There are not many fragrances that appeal to the Japanese, and I can often tell whether a fragrance is going to work in Japanese market or not. Kenzopower will do great in Japan among both men and women.

Why did I like it? Kenzopower reminds me of the region where I went to high school, surfed, and dreamt of the future – the shoreline of my ‘soul city’ Kamakura.

(note: it doesn’t smell like ocean or anything related to it.)

photo of Olivier Polge: © 2006 Hajime Watanabe