UME by Keiko Mecheri
On my skin, Ume is magnificent. It has the distinct air of sensually glamorous far eastern elegance and brings to mind Gion Kobu Maiko and Geiko magnificently attired in full performance kimono, dancing at the Kaburenjo theater at Miyako Odori spring festival.
A resplendently golden fruity opening unfolds with streams of zesty bergamot and sparkling mandarin followed by an entrance of succulently rich and deep plum. A glorious showering of luxuriantly spicy osmanthus petals then come showering joyously down across everything, covering it all in a nutty-apricot-tea-like velvet haze. A few delicate wisteria blossom strands flutter back and forth through the intoxicating mist, wafting tantalizing nuances of lilacs and cloves. A subtle splash of jasmine petals and freshly gathered patchouli provide an added element of refined sensuality. The magnificently blended moistly-crisp oakmoss is layed seamlessly atop an impeccably-clean and fresh-woody-cypress astringency which is distinctly of the Japanese hinoki variety, while the deep warmth of mahogany provides a flawlessly rich base. Rather like the sturdily elegant wooden stage boards of the Kaburenjo theater provide the perfect support for the exquisite splendor of the geisha performance above them.
I sense the glittering silk screen byobu backdrop of the Kaburenjo stage, the swishing silks of the ancient style hikizuri kimono, the fluttering long sleeves of the young maiko, the faultless finish of the powdered geisha makeup like early morning sunlight on a white cloud, the jeweled black eyes gazing serenely out above tiny cupid-bowed crimson blood red lips, lacquered raven black hair coiffed elaborately with priceless handcarved jade and silken floral ornaments nestled firmly within, effortlessly assuming positions of intense yet restrained expressiveness. The crowds immersed …watching in rapture…applauding their favorite performers. The scent of joyful fruity flowers, and silk, and woods, and delicate spices entwined throughout.
All this adoration, and usually I do not like chypre. I just love this one. Like the Gion Kobu geisha, famous for their unwavering and impeccable courtesy and grace, their sensual elegance, and their tremendously refined artistic demeanor…. this one has completely entranced me.
Domo arigato gozaimasu and okini to Keiko Mecheri-san.