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  1. #1
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Yes I know, too much time on my hands but Hey Ho. Reminiscing with some girlfriends last night about when we were young and a certain high street gift shop came up in conversation.
    I recall them selling what I believe was a perfume, however I might be wrong. As far as I remember it was sold in the form of either a yellow sphere or a yellow bird; one thing for certain is that it was attached to an elastic cord that you hung from your ceiling. We're talking about the 1970's. For some reason the name Kiki or Kiwi comes to mind. If this has been posted in the incorrect place, please excuse me.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    It was called 'Kiku', by Faberge.
    see:-
    http://www.basenotes.net/ID10211343.html
    Last edited by lpp; 3rd March 2013 at 12:00 PM.

  3. #3
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Quote Originally Posted by lpp View Post
    It was called 'Kiku', by Faberge.
    see:-
    http://www.basenotes.net/ID10211343.html
    Yes, that was my first thought, too!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Another case solved.

  5. #5
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I shall sleep tonight.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    My bf saw me googling some pictures of this and immediately wanted a bottle. Had to disappoint him by telling it's a discontinued ladies' fragrance. (In Finnish kiku is a contortion of a word meaning weenie...)

  7. #7
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Quote Originally Posted by androidi View Post
    My bf saw me googling some pictures of this and immediately wanted a bottle. Had to disappoint him by telling it's a discontinued ladies' fragrance. (In Finnish kiku is a contortion of a word meaning weenie...)
    Lol! No wonder they discontinued it...
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    @misterhyde You're welcome!

    @teardrop - from memory, the bottle was the best bit

  9. #9
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    lnteresting fact regarding the name Kiku;

    Most websites translate the word as chrysanthemum, but l'm reading a book at the moment called The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby (set in 10th century Japan, it's a kind of embellished autobiography of Murasaki Shikibu, the author of The Tale of Genji, reputedly the world's first novel). Among other fascinating facts, the book states that the word Kiku also means "listen", & relates to the fact that in Japanese this word is used to describe the olfactory sensation of registering the scent of incense. lt sounds as though they don't (or didn't) have a verb meaning "to smell".

    This was fascinating to me because when l'm sampling a fragrance, l can't stand any loud music around because it seems to stop me from "hearing" the scent. l've never seen this idea expressed anywhere else.

    Sorry this is a bit off topic, but does anyone else experience scent in this way, or is it just me? ls there anyone here fluent in Japanese who can shed light on this idea?
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    To smell, in Japanese, is nioeru. Difficult word, I know. A smell is nioi. Pronunciation is with the "ni" said like "knee".

    "Smelly" in an offensive way is kusai. As in buttah-kusai, "stinks of butter", the way the first Europeans in Japan made their impression.

    Someone who has put on too much or strong a fragrance is said to be pun-pun. Pronounced almost like "poon" but with a shorter sound in the middle.

  11. #11
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Thanks, Jardanel!

    l did some further reading on this tonight, & it seems the word kiku is used only in relation to the kodo ceremony of incense burning. Something to do with opening oneself up spiritually to experiencing the scent, rather than simply smelling it. A very interesting idea, l think.

    On a slightly different topic; it seems that in Japan centuries ago perfume was in common use, at least among the aristocracy, & yet l read that in modern times Japanese people are often offended by perfume-wearers. l'm curious as to when & why this changed. ls it because they are forced to live in close quarters with one another in crowded cities like Tokyo? l can imagine that a cacophony of scents might be overpowering on a packed metro. Or perhaps it goes deeper than that?
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Personal fragrances as they are known in the West have never been as popular in Japan, but fragrance and the appreciation of scent on a daily basis is definitely present. In the past, clothing was often stored with a fragrant sachet to keep insects away. It is interesting to note that oudh (known in Japan as "jinko") was often an ingredient in these sachets, as it was in incense.

    There is a specific Japanese sensibility in the way daily items such as soap, cosmetics, etc. smell in Japan. It's not just "light and fresh", but has subtlety and an easy to live with character. I've mentioned in other posts a very traditional cologne in Japan that is made from the loofah gourd. It's called Hechiman Cologne and is kind of the Jean Nate or 4711 of Japan.

    I'm thinking of several Japanese ladies of my acquaintance who did wear fragrance regularly, and here are some of the ones they liked:

    Miss Balmain
    Miss Dior (classic)
    Cabotine
    Cabochard
    Calyx
    Parure(!!)
    Sikkim

    Last but not least, I really don't want to send anyone on a fool's errand, but the long-discontinued Inoui by Shiseido was so truly Japanese in character and elegance. When it was meeting its demise in the marketplace, I had my agents scouring stores in small towns and suburbs in Japan to score the bottles that will have to last me till the end of my days.
    Last edited by Jardanel; 17th March 2014 at 11:16 PM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Apologies for having taken this thread off track.
    Getting back to Kiku, the original subject. I do remember the fragrance and its emblematic yellow sphere. There was a big campaign to sell Kiku during one Christmas season in the '70s, and the television ads had a jingle for it that I can hear in my head to this day. It referred to "a golden ball of Kiku" and was an ineradicable ear-worm if I ever heard one. As for the scent itself, it was not at all sweet. It was a slightly bitter floral, not lush or dewy, but dry and with some woody notes. So in my opinion, it did reference the scent of chrysanthemums themselves, just not literally. And certainly not the way Serge Lutens did in his scent De Profundis!

  14. #14
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    Thanks for your thoughtful input, Jardanel!

    l don't remember ever smelling Kiku, but l do have vague memories of the TV ad from the 70s, narrated by a chap with a gravelly voice. l can't find anything on Youtube, & there's very little info on the net about the perfume itself; just two brief reviews here, & it's not even listed on Fragrantica. There's a fair bit of it for sale on ebay, but priced pretty high!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    And another thread that went full awesome!
    We want a 'Niche' forum.

  16. #16
    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can anyone put me out of my misery

    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

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