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Olivier Polge’s Kenzopower

Olivier Polge
Olivier Polge

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.)

Olivier Polge

photo of Olivier Polge: © 2006 Hajime Watanabe

a (small) splash of color

Some noticeable tendencies found in contemporary Japanese houses:
1. very small
2. an interior with stark white walls or fair-faced concrete
3. using single letter in naming a project like “house h” or “k residence”

I don’t think 1 is ever going to change in Japan. The reason for that is obvious, no?

Then how about 2? I think white, gray and black have a fatal attraction for the Japanese, and Continue Reading

Jeff Koons Versailles

The major retrospective on Jeff Koons, the star of the ’80s Neo-Geo movement, opened at the Château de Versailles a few weeks ago. The exhibition runs until December 14, 2008.

If you are visiting Paris this year, don’t be lazy, go to Versailles first. Viewing a great American artist’s work in an environment with an incomparably rich history could be your once-in-a-lifetime experience.