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Fragrant Travels at GINZA SIX Fragrant Travels at GINZA SIX
GINZA SIX EDITORS Vol.104
As you continue to refrain from going out, your time at home will inevitably be longer, and you will always feel depressed. Meanwhile, one of the pleasures I found was "scent". Elegant scent of perfume, nostalgic scent of used books, gentle scent of detergents and softeners, stimulating aroma of spice curry, delicious scent of wine and whiskey. Even at home, by discovering various scents every day, I found detailed pleasure in depressed self-restraint.
And the interest in fragrance will continue to accelerate. I want to know more scents, want to buy, eat, and enjoy. If you can go outside anyway, at the highest commercial facility in the city of the highest peak. So, this time, I went on a journey around various "scents" at GINZA SIX.
The first thing I went to was "Jo Malone London" on the 2nd floor. It's a lifestyle brand from London. Born in London in 1994, we continue to propose a simple, sophisticated and rich lifestyle wrapped in aroma through Colon, bath and body, home collection, etc. I like the original fragrance of "Jo Malone London" and love candles, but this time the aim is perfume. What kind of scent do you encounter? My chest is up.
At the "testing bar" in the store, the staff carefully explained each scent. Bestseller "English Pea & Freesia" has the scent of fresh pears and freesia, as its name suggests. Are these combinations such as "wood sage & sea salt" and "poppy & burry" smelling like this? It was a series of surprises.
All of them are worried about this with a wonderful scent, but purchase a cologne (100ml ¥ 21,500 / 50ml ¥ 15,000 * + tax ¥ 15,000 * or less) for “Darque Amber & Ginger Lily”. This series is inspired by traditional Japanese incense sticks and features a relaxed aroma of the kara. It is also attractive to have different expressions of aroma in top notes, heart is different. This time, I purchased only one of these, but the item of "Jo Malone London" is called "St. Pairing", and "scenting" is OK. I'll try to get around the hand cream this time.
The zipper is a black ribbon on a familiar cream-colored box. When I think again, I think that I'm attacking to adopt a black ribbon as a shoulder. With a good scent in one hand, head to Ginza Tsutaya Shoten on the 6th floor.
"Ginza Tsutaya Bookstore" is my favorite bookstore. There are many points you like, but one of the reasons is that they handle vintage art books and photo books. Today, I'm looking for a book about the scent while enjoying the scent unique to the old book.
First, go to the vintage book area. This bookshelf has the most valuable titles in the store. When I opened the door door of the glass, a faint scent drifted somewhere. It is lined up in Yozeph Boys' Coyote, Picasso's "A Los Tros" and "Shunsuke Matsumoto Drawing".…All of them are wonderful books I want to get someday. Just looking at the binding and the title will make you happy.
I was particularly worried about the special edition (145,000 yen) of "Kasba no Otoko Morocco Diary" published by Shinro Otake in 1994 by Gyuryudo. Not only the contents, but also the polite and flying clothes were very cool (I am sorry that I could not show them properly due to rights). Editing was active in "POPEYE" and "BRUTUS" in his heyday, and Keiichi Tsuzuki won the Ibei Kimura Photography Award for "ROADSIDE JAPAN Jinn Nihon Journey" (Chikuma Shobo). I also wanted to make such a wonderful book someday as a edge of the editor who handles paper.
In the corner of the fashion magazine, I also found my magazine "VOSTOK"! I was impressed with all the back issues and a very polite caption. I'm just grateful to the Ginza Tsutaya Bookstore. When I make a magazine at my own expense, I realize that paper media is really helped by the existence of such bookstores and bookstores. "VOSTOK" started with the idea of creating an original fashion magazine that can only be done by Japanese people, not just an overseas fashion magazine. Every issue I put my heart and soul into this, so when I see it being completed and arranged in this way, it's still impressive. By the way, the cover was taken from the left by Yuyuki Okuyama, Kyoji Takahashi and Mayumi Hosokura.
On the diagonal side of the fashion magazine area, there was a corner with books related to fragrance. From a picture book of perfumes and whole spices to a catalog of famous perfumes published by successive maisons, books with a wide range of aromas are slurried. This is a perfect lineup. This time, two books, a book written by Shoji Nakamura, a incense master at Shiseido, and a picture book of perfume plants spoken by the incense master of the southern Buddha Grace, explained by 38 cooks. Purchased. Both are very interesting and will be a long relationship.
After eating the scent and learning the scent, eat the scent! So the last thing I visited was TAMARIND, an Indian specialty store on the 6th floor. In fact, the commonly known Indian food such as Nan and tandol is North Indian food. The roots of this shop are Mandara, a famous North Indian restaurant in Jimbo-cho, founded in 1986, and owners who have traveled to India nearly 50 times are rare in Tokyo. Opened as a shop where you can enjoy. The entrance has a nice spice scent.
There are few Nepal cooks in Japanese Indian restaurants, but here there are five North and South Indians. That also shows the seriousness of the shop. It is also a nice point to see the rare cooking utensils and cooking methods in a state like an open kitchen.
Three items arrived immediately! You can also enjoy the technique of a chef who folds like a handkerchief named "Lomaliloti" (440 yen), which means a handkerchief in Hindi, with a spice shrimp frit called "Prone Amrit Sally" (980 yen). Bread, and "Malabar-style fish curry" (1,580 yen) in the coastal region of South India.
Every time you eat a bite, "Prone Amlitary" has a variety of spice flavors and aromas along with umami. Fish curry is also excellent with fresh coconut. "Lumariloti" also had a better taste than normal Nan and was the best.
The last thing that appeared late was Chrispee Crepe, which contains lens beans called "Revadosa" (1,580 yen). Great size and visual. On the dough, I was able to feel the flavor of various spices, including the spice of the southern Indian fruit Tamarind, which is the origin of the store's name. This is the first series of fragrances and flavors. A number of dishes that can only be tasted at Tamalind…. I will definitely revisit it soon.
Enjoy the various scents of London, touch the beautiful vintage book, buy books related to the scent, and taste the Indian cuisine with full-fledged spices. Despite the only three stores, I was able to learn and enjoy the new "scent" at GINZA SIX. However, in GINZA SIX, there are still many shops where you can meet a new "fragrance" at the coffee salon "GRAND CRU CAFPGINZA", the wine shop "Enoteka", the matcha "Tsujitoshi", and the new "scent". There seems to be. Next, what kind of scent can you meet at any store? The journey over "scent" is likely to continue.
Text: Sohei Oshiro Photos: Mitstaka Omoteguchi Edit: Yuka Okada (81)
Spending so much time at home can leave you feeling melancholy. To get by, I’ve found some respite in fragrance: the elegant aroma of perfumes, the nostalgic smell of old books, the gentle scent of detergents and fabric softeners, the pungent aroma of spicy curry, the delectable bouquet of wine and whisky. Even while homebound, I’ve discovered from day to day a variety of scents, which for me provided a subtle source of enjoyment in an otherwise featureless locked-down life.
My interest in fragrance has only blossomed since. I want to learn about, buy, try, and enjoy even more scents and aromas. And since we can now venture out, why not go to the ultimate retail complex in the ultimate Tokyo district? Today, my fragrant travels take me to GINZA SIX.
I go first to Jo Malone London on the second floor, a London-based lifestyle brand you’re certainly familiar with. Launched in 1994, the brand presents spare, sophisticated, enriching lifestyles with fragrance—through colognes, above all, but also bath and body products and its home collections. I like Jo Malone’s creative scents. I love their candles. But my goal today is cologne. I’m excited to see what I might encounter.
At the in-store testing bar, the attendant carefully explains each fragrance to me. The best-selling English Pear ＆ Freesia is, just as the name suggests, the scent of fresh pears and freesia. I’m also introduced to strange bedfellows, like Wood Sage ＆ Sea Salt and Poppy ＆ Barley. I’m astonished at the scents that emerge from the combinations!
With so many wonderful fragrances, I’m not sure which to choose. I end up buying the Dark Amber ＆ Ginger Lily cologne (100 ml, 21,500 yen / 50 ml, 15,000 yen; all prices listed before tax), a series characterized by a relaxing, agarwood aroma and inspired by traditional Japanese incense ceremony called Kodo. From top note to heart note to last note, the expression of a fragrance changes, which simply adds to its appeal. I bought just one bottle today, but with Jo Malone products, the practice of scent pairing—combining fragrances—is perfectly acceptable. I’ll look for some hand cream the next time.
The bag is the familiar cream-colored box with black ribbon. Come to think of it, the black ribbon is a bold move. Carrying with a good scent in one hand, I head to Ginza Tsutaya Books on the sixth floor.
I love this bookstore for diverse and sundry reasons. One is their vintage art book and photo collection. Today, while enjoying that great old book smell, I plan to go look for books on fragrance.
First up is the vintage book area. This shelf features some of the store’s most treasured titles. With the opening of the glass doors, the scent of nostalgia comes wafting forth. There’s Joseph Beuys’ Coyote, Picasso’s A Los Toros, a book of Shunsuke Matsumoto’s drawings—all landmark volumes I’d be overjoyed to own someday. Just looking at the bindings and titles is a delight.
I’m particularly interested in Shinro Otake. The store has a special edition of Kasuba no otoko: Morocco nikki (“Kasbah Man: Morocco Diary”) (145,000 yen), published by Kyuryudo in 1994. What’s inside, of course, is remarkable. But the craft and workmanship and radical design of the binding is almost as remarkable (it’s too bad I can’t show it to you more clearly—copyrights!). It’s edited by Kyoichi Tsuzuki, who worked at POPEYE and BRUTUS in their heyday and won the Kimura Ihei Award for ROADSIDE JAPAN (Chikumashobo). As a lowly editor working in print media, how great would it be, I think, to create an amazing book like this someday.
In the fashion magazine section, I find my magazine, VOSTOK! All the back issues are here, and the bookstore provides some really nice captions. Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone at Ginza Tsutaya Books! With print media, when you publish a magazine on your own dime, bookstores like this and their staff can really help. I wanted to create a Japanese original, a fashion magazine that wasn’t a pale copy of overseas fashion magazines. And that magazine is VOSTOK. I put my heart and soul into every issue, like there’s no tomorrow, so it moves me no end to see every single issue on display here. The cover shots, incidentally, from left to right, are by Yoshiyuki Okuyama, Kyoji Takahashi, and Mayumi Hosokura.
Located in the kitty corner of the fashion magazine section is an area with books on scents and fragrances. From encyclopedias of herbs and whole spices to catalogs of famous perfumes published by the major fashion houses—row after row of a diversity of fragrance books. Of course Tsutaya would have a lineup like this. Today, I buy two books: Chokoshi no techo (“A Perfumer’s Notebook”) by Shoji Nakamura, who was a perfumer at Shiseido, and L’Herbier Parfumé, an encyclopedia of aromatic plants with commentary by 38 perfumers from Grasse in southern France. They’re both profoundly absorbing tomes. I have a feeling I’ll be referring to them for a long time.
After applying and learning about fragrance, it’s time to eat some! So, lastly, I go to Tamarind, an Indian restaurant also located on the sixth floor. The Indian food most people know, dishes like nan and tandoori chicken, comes from northern India. This restaurant has its roots in Mandala, a restaurant famed for its northern Indian cuisine established in Jinbocho in 1986. The owner, who’s been to India close to 50 times, has opened the rare restaurant in Tokyo where you can enjoy both northern and southern Indian dishes. You encounter the great spicy aromas even at the entrance.
It’s not unusual for Japan’s Indian restaurants to have Nepalese cooks. In contrast, Tamarind has five full-time cooks from northern and southern India, suggesting its endeavor to represent genuine Indian cuisine. The kitchen is open to view. Part of the fun here is viewing the unfamiliar cooking implements and methods.
My first three dishes quickly arrive. The Prawn Amritsari (980 yen) is spicy prawn fritters; Rumali Roti (440 yen), which means ‘handkerchief bread’ in Hindi, is, just as the name indicates, bread folded like a handkerchief. The technique of the cooks is marvelous and fascinating. Finally, Malabar Fish Curry (1,580 yen), from a coastal region in southern India.
One bite of the Prawn Amritsari fills my mouth with the flavor of prawns and the flavor and aroma of spices. The fish curry is great, too—the fresh coconuts really work well. The Rumali Roti is just as impressive, more flavorful than regular nan.
Last to appear is the Rava Dosa (1,580 yen), a crispy crepe filled with lentils. Its huge dimensions are a visual treat. The crepe lets you experience a range of spices, starting with tamarind, the southern Indian fruit that gives the restaurant its name. The aroma and flavor are both firsts for me. So many dishes available only at Tamarind…I’ll definitely be back soon.
So I’ve taken in fragrances from London, handled beautiful vintage books, purchased books on aromas, and relished the authentic spicy flavors of Indian food. In just three stops, right here at GINZA SIX, I’ve learned about and enjoyed new scents and fragrances. Still more places at GINZA SIX remain to be discovered in this odyssey of new aromas, places like the coffee salon Grand Cru Café Ginza, wine shop Enoteca, green tea proprietors Tsujiri, and Diptyque. Where to go next? My fragrant travels stretch to the horizons.
Text: Sohei Oshiro Photos: Mitsutaka Omoteguchi Edit: Yuka Okada（81）
Editor. Born in 1988 in Miyakojima, Okinawa. Worked part-time since his school days at HUgE (Kodansha) before working as editor at Them magazine (Righters); turned to freelancing in 2018. Published the first issue of VOSTOK in March 2019 (fourth volume VOLSTOK issued December 2020). Representative of CHIASMA Co., Ltd .GINZASIX_OFFICIAL Instagram