Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Ginza Shiseido

My visit on Christmas Eve was fun but a little disappointing.

I was expecting white steps, but they've become wooden steps at some point. White Rose Natural ホワイトローズナチュラル and the older fragrances are located around the corner from the stairs in a display shelf. It's rather unnoticeable and we had to ask the sales associate to help us find it. She gave us a sample on paper but I really wanted to test it on my skin. It could have been my imagination but there was the smell of nail polish on the paper. A beautiful rose, and then a whiff of nail polish. It was very confusing. But White Rose Natural is definitely beautiful. Someday I will test it on my skin. The fragrance comes in a stoppered bottle so I wasn't sure how to safely test the fragrance on my hand without polluting the bottle.

The Serge Lutens fragrances are in a dark elegant alcove to the right of the first set of shallow stairs. It was fun to see them in person after reading so much about them. Again, I didn't try any. I was trying to keep my perfume lemmings under control.

There was a Shiseido rose exhibit a couple blocks away so we went off to see a set of huge pictures of roses in various stages of bloom and decay. The exhibit has Shiseido's limited edition Rose Rouge fragrance scenting the air. It felt a bit warm and soporific. White Rose Natural is much prettier in my opinion. Rose Rouge is about the same price: the parfum is 32 ml for 20,000円 (about $200), and the eau de parfum is 50ml for 6,000円. White Rose Natural is only available in parfum.

Upstairs we saw a little exhibit of the history of Shiseido and various key products developed. The first White Rose came out in 1911, if I remember correctly. White Rose Natural appeared in 1936 for 20円 (about 20 cents), and was re-released in 1954. There is a White Rose ink dating from the 1920s. And I developed an instant lemming for Shiseido Rosarium (Papa Meilland) ばら園(パパ メイアン)which smells just like tea roses. At least the powder does; there were samples you could sniff at the exhibit. At any rate, the papa meilland version has been discontinued and can only be found in the refill form online. The regular Rosarium available today is fairly boring. I believe it is a re-release.


katiedid said...

Sometimes certain fragrances have a bit of acetone (nail polish aroma) in them, to amp up other notes. It's sort of dirty little secret in a way (no one wants to admit to acetonal qualities in their perfume.) Maybe you weren't imagining it at all - I get acetonal qualities in Magie Noire, and while I don't know that anyone else I know has ever mentioned it, I am sure I'm not just pulling that impression out of thin air. Shoot, now I do want to try this White Rose for sure. That's neat that you got to take a gander at some of the vintages, though. Sounds much more interesting that just a regular perfume fair type deal to me :)

kuri said...

Wow, I had no idea! I didn't get any acetone from Rose Rouge so I wonder if it has anything to do with the old formula of White Rose?

The vintages were interesting. But, that was about the only thing that was interesting, so I think it might be a little anticlimactic to take an overseas trip for it. Plus, the exhibit is all in Japanese :)

I think I'll poke around to see if anyone sells samples of White Rose.