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There is no city on Earth quite like Tokyo. It’s a sprawling metropolis, all clean and orderly, outlined by strips of neon, connected by expansive crossings and filled with more vending machines than anywhere else in the universe. It’s a singular, unique place awash with contrasts, where a fastidious obsession with perfection is the veneer that hides a dark underbelly of strangeness, and even darkness. There is beauty and art aplenty (in Japan, even pouring a cup of tea is an art form), and Dear Reader, the food is just out of this world.

I really do love Tokyo, can you tell? But I’m not the only one – British indie outfit Gallivant appear to be a fan too and they’ve created a fragrance inspired by this most unique city. Gallivant is a brand for “urban explorers” that creates scents inspired by iconic destinations. In their collection of seven fragrances they have traversed the globe, stopping off places such as Amsterdam, Istanbul, Brooklyn and of course, Tokyo. Much like the city – Tokyo the fragrance is my favourite. This review will tell you why.

What I am trying to evoke with this fragrance is that special feeling of early morning Tokyo. The air is humid and misty. Wandering the back streets, electric cables overhead, everything is tranquil and surprisingly quiet – like being in a village with small wooden houses. I also wanted to capture the tastes of izakaya eateries, fruits, spices, wasabi – sour and sweet – a zing on your tongue. The earthy dampness of potted plants outside shrines and wooden temples. It’s refined, spiritual – sandalwood and smoky incense. A calm elegance amid the big city neon energy.

 

– Nick Steward, Gallivant

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Shibuya by Night
Shibuya by Night

As you may, or may not know, I got married earlier this year. The wedding day was a truly joyful and fun experience (which you can read all about here), and as much as my husband and I were sad for it to be over, we have very much enjoyed the relief of not having to organise another event like it in a hurry! We’ve also had the excitement of a honeymoon to look forward to, and when deciding where to go there really was only one destination that would satisfy us completely – Tokyo

Japan is a place that feels far removed from any other place we have visited so far. The people and the culture seem to strive for perfection in a way that many Western countries do not and I have always been personally drawn to the conflicting sense of orderliness and chaos that seem so embroiled in the people. The food, the manga, the insanely high tech toilets – everything about Tokyo and Japan seemed new, otherworldly and exciting, and we wanted to experience it.

So on 15 September we hopped on a plane for a 9 day trip to Tokyo, Japan. From the word go we had an awesome time. Within the first 15 hours of the holiday we’d had complimentary champagne at 30,000 ft, shared a plane with Maroon 5 and experienced a small earthquake – all in all, it seemed like it was going to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip filled with new experiences, and do you know what? It absolutely was! We dressed up for Disney, went gaga for Ghibli and simply had an amazing time. What more can you ask for in a honeymoon? Let me tell you all about some of my favourite bits.