“Perfumers have signatures,” Mrs. Grojsman said. “You can pick up a fragrance and know who the perfumer is by the way certain ingredients are put together. I’m known for floral accords, bottoms and cleavage.” Noses talk that way. Translation: the bottom note is the scent on the skin several hours after application. There is, however, no bottom without a top — a note that lasts a couple of minutes after perfume is put on — and a middle. Without this layering, heaven forbid, a scent could turn out to be what Mrs. Grojsman called “a bottomless pit of infinity or nondescript.” Cleavage is the “sensual” part of the fragrance.
100% LOVE STARRING SOPHIA GROJSMAN
DIRECTED BY MISS LIZ
EDITOR: TAYLOR THOMPSON
MUSIC: SEAN MCBRIDE
PHOTO: LEONARDO BARRETO
Speaking of Bijin-Hakumei, perhaps none fits the bill better than this one.
She was phenomenal. Kanebo’s ad campaign in 1977 turned Masako Natusme (夏目雅子) into an instant household name in Japan, and many of us realized that a torso of a Japanese woman could be sexy and beautiful (most models in Japanese ads were Caucasians). She was possessed of a healthy charm. Her beauty was a blend of traditional and new. If the human being is a creature of age, Masako Natsume was the perfect icon of Japanese women during the height of the nation’s economic growth. So it came as a huge shock to most Japanese when she suddenly passed away in 1985 due to acute leukemia at the age of 27.
The image on the left was probably taken more than two decades ago. The one on the right was taken a few years ago.
Who is she?
- Her name is Sayoko Yamaguchi (山口小夜子).
- Sayoko was the first and maybe the only supermodel from Japan. Newsweek magazine named her one of the world’s top six fashion models in 1977.
- Sayoko Mannequin manufactured in ’77 by a British company was displayed all over the world through the ’80s. Fashion designer Anna Sui still owns two of these vintage mannequins and uses them in her shop.
- According to Yoshiharu Fukuhara, Shiseido’s Honorary Chairman and the grandson of the company’s founder, Sayoko was Shiseido’s liaison with Serge Lutens who often had done makeup for Sayoko.
- Sayoko was the face of Shiseido for many years. She had a very Japanese-looking face, but her physique was not (ie. tall height, long legs). She didn’t really make a great model for a kimono because of her not-so-Japanese-looking body, but here is Sayoko in a kimono in one of Shiseido’s commercials.
The word “bi-jin” literally means a beautiful person and mostly used for women. “Haku-mei” denotes ‘thin life’ which translates to short life. It illustrates the Japanese worldview of beautiful things being frail and grieving such frailness. Sayoko Yamaguchi died two months ago at age of 57. Sayoko’s life was almost 30 years short of reaching the average lifespan of Japanese women today. Her life exemplified this idiom.
Her death brought back to me an almost forgotten memory. One fall afternoon, when I was about 17, I was waiting for a local train at Yokohama station to go to Tokyo. When I looked over at the platform for the express trains to Tokyo on the other side of the track, I saw a pair of long legs in yellow boots stretched out below a short skirt moving in elegant strides. They belonged to a very tall young woman with long black hair whom I recognized from glossy fashion magazines. No sooner had I realized it was Sayoko Yamaguchi than I dashed up the stairs of an overpass to get to the other platform where she was. An express train came in before I could get close to her. I kept my eyes on Sayoko Yamaguchi in the distance to remember the car she was getting aboard till I got on the rear car of the train. I walked through the aisles towards Green Cars (the first-class coaches in Japan) as the train headed to Tokyo. When I reached one of the Green Cars I felt so lucky to find her alone, there was nobody else in the car. I probably felt as I was going up to Heaven. I don’t remember how I introduced myself or how I left the car half an hour later. I only remember that I stayed in the car sitting next to her until I got off the train at one of the stops in Tokyo. We chatted about fashion in general, about Issey and Kenzo.
Although she must have been at the height of her modeling career then, the tall, striking woman I met on that cloudy autumn day was extremely gentle and pleasant… far from what we imagine today’s supermodels to be.
Hl-art.net: find the glory hole.
My all time favorite gets a funky treatment by Taschen.
Art Edition. Una grande storia italiana. Valentino Garavani
Hardcover + Box + 4 signed prints 13 x 17.3 inch, 738 pages, $ 4000.00 (October 2007)
Limited to 100 numbered copies, each signed by Valentino Garavani and accompanied by four prints of original drawings
Una grande storia italiana. Valentino Garavani
Hardcover + Box 13 x 17.3 inch, 738 pages, $ 1000.00 (October 2007)
Limited to 2,000 numbered copies, each signed by Valentino Garavani
In 1988, I came across an awfully attractive chair made of neoprene (used for wetsuits). I immediately sensed the designer was a guy who had a strong background in surfing, not just because of the use of the material but also of the overall aesthetic. From just one piece of furniture, it was evident to me that he was going to be the most celebrated designer of our time.
Last May, Marc Newson’s cabinet went off for $1.05 million in New York. Next month in London, Christie’s will auction off his Lockheed Lounge chaise (shown below) for an estimated price of $2.4 million. This is by far the most expensive work by a living designer (he’s only 43) ever to be auctioned.
There is something striking about the image below…
It reminds me of a fragrance that perfumer Loc Dong was working on for S-Perfume® more than a year ago. You may not have heard about Loc Dong yet, but his recent achievement is compared to that of Jacques Cavallier when L’Eau d’Issey was created. Naturally, other suppliers are now waiting for a chance to lure Loc from IFF.
I have a sweet spot for Loc Dong for many reasons, but the biggest reason is simply because he’s a god damn Asian. Loc often said to me, “I want women to feel beautiful when they wear my fragrance.” His simple statement is very powerful, just like this stunning beauty in a white ao dai.
So, why didn’t we finish the fragrance? Well, I thought his great mods should fall into the hands of L’Oreal or P&G one day, and not in mine. Loc Dong’s fragrances should be appreciated by as many women as possible, and they are simply not meant for niche markets.
Gee, Clement and Laurent are busier than ever (new launches are showing no sign of slowing down…), and I don’t even get to speak to them these days But don’t worry, Katie and Marina, I received messages from both perfumers yesterday, and the mods are ready. All I got to do is to move my lazy xxx and pick them up. So, dear readers of this blog, a little more patience please. As we wait, Made by Blog will offer a special scent, and I hope there will be enough for everyone. But first read the following and check out the video before you jump to the opportunity.
Francis Kurkdjian speaks with Melissa Block, the host of NPR’s All Things Considered, about Chateau de Versailles’ recreation of Marie Antoinette’s scent. (an article on December 22, 2006)
NPR’s story: Straight from Versailles, Marie Antoinette’s Scent