retaW: Neneh (Cherry)

Slightly off-the-wall discovery of the week; Tokyo-based fragrance brand, “retaW”. Cool packaging, interesting fragrance concepts and tongue-in-cheek names such as ‘Clooney’ and ‘Neneh’. ‘Neneh’ is a Cherry-based scent. Neneh Cherry. Geddit?

‘Neneh’ (the fragrance, not the woman) is extremely sweet – it smells like Love Hearts. I’d go so far as to say it’s the sweetest fragrance I’ve sniffed in the last twelve months. But do you know what? I like it! It’s wacky and cool and kitsch at the same time, a bit like many things that come out of Japan. Can I say that? Or is that a sweeping generalisation?

I’ve Tried-and-Tested Neneh (again, scent not woman) in two different forms; a ‘Fragrance Shampoo for Body and Soul’ and a ‘Fragrance Tablet’. The Body Shampoo is lovely –  the formula is actually far more sophisticated than the sugary fragrance lets on. The sweet smell of sherbet and cherries manages to be somehow ‘grown-up’ – perhaps because the shampoo is packed full of certified organic essential oils, as well as collagen and hyaluronic acid to keep skin hydrated and soft. A very unusual and unexpected washing experience!

The fragrance tablet is also rather unusual. Each square (there are eight altogether in the pack) is impregnated with a mammoth dose of Neneh (not the woman, the scent) that will fragrance an entire lingerie drawer, car interior or small office. They are like ultra-hip air-fresheners; ‘Magic Trees’ made for the fashionable, too-cool-for-school consumer. Although ‘fragranced paper’ is nothing new (think scented drawer liners, perfumed stationery and so on), the tablet takes the concept a step further by being portable, discreet and multi-purpose.

Perhaps the biggest draw for me is that the retaW products are so niche and hard-to-find. Apart from the actual store in Aoyama, Tokyo (literally on the same road as where I used to stay when I worked over there!) you can find retaW in Colette, Paris, in Baxter Finley Barbers, LA, and at Niven and Joshua in the UK. If you’re looking for a gift for the woman (or man) who sneers in the face of mainstream brands, then retaW could be a good bet. Reassuringly expensive (as all rare imports should be!) and with extra ‘cool’ points for the Japanese labelling, I can foresee retaW popping up soon in a minimalist bathroom near you!

retaW Body and Soul Shampoo, £25 and Fragrance Tablets, £8 both from Niven and Joshua.

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.

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