Home owners with impeccable taste and deep pockets head to Cassina INTER-DECOR (1,2,3F
Unimat Aoyama Bldg., 2-12-14 Minami-Aoyama, 03-5474-9001). Three floors of haute houseware
fill this beautiful space. Youíll find unique items from Catherine Memmi of Paris bed
and bath collections, including puckered robes, scented candles in muted tones, chic
blankets and fine bath linens. All the furniture here is as stylish as it gets: a Le
Corbusier glass table for the Cassina i Maestri Collection, Le Marie 4850 clear plastic
chair and cream L.W.S sofa specially designed for Cassina Phillip Starck and wide range of
Alessi products. The second and third floor are showrooms with bedroom, living and dining
room modules filled with Cassinaís modern furniture adorned with specialty items such
as Sharpís super-slim, silver LC-20V3 or the ultra chic Zettel Z note paper
Japanese department stores have been in the doldrums lately, but Isetan (3-14-1 Shinjuku,
03 3352-1111) continues to leave the competition floundering in its wake with its style,
vision and service. Their I-club not only offers non-Japanese members a 5% discount on
purchases, but you also get free tickets to the storeís art gallery. The Foreign
Service desk will also happily help customers with specific requests and a monthly
newsletter keeps them fully updated. The I-club card is available as a discount card or
credit card. Join at the desk on the 7th floor.
Lush is so packed full of fruity fragrances and the scent of herbs that you can almost
smell it from the station. Enter the store and your senses are drowned in a mix of aromas
and vibrant colors that explode like one of Lushís famous bath bombs. Try dropping
one of their Baby Suns or Rush into the ofuro and relax in fizzing refreshment.
Watch out for the suprises inside like the rose petals that emerge from Ai Rub You.
Exfoliate with the Aqua Massage bar and drop it in the tub and youíll emerge smoother
than Cleopatra. For bubbles a couple of drops of Blue Skies with Fluffy White Clouds will
make a heavenly bright blue bath.
If you are one of the jet-set a solid shampoo bar like Peppermint Sensei or Pika Pika,
will give you terrific tresses without unsightly leaks in your travel bag. For after bath
bliss try a dust down with Silky Underwear powder and treat your toes with Papa no Ashi
foot powder. Lush fanatics from back home may have to rely on their olfactory skills to
track down past favorites, as the distinctively quirky names often have a Japanese twist.
Donít worry, the helpful staff seem to be very good at reuniting old friends.
Haling from the UK, this precocious four-year old, has made it big internationally with
its fresh handmade products like the almost-edible facemasks that work a treat. Almost all
the products are made locally with natural ingredients, and due to local statutes there
are some regional variations-bad news for chocoholics, there are no chocolate based
products due to Japanese regulations.. The trademark hulking blocks of candy colored soap
stacked on butcherís blocks also promise lotís of good clean fun and you can buy
them by the slice.
(1-26-8 Jyugaoka, 5731-8091, 2-11-2 Kichijoji, 0422-20-7731, Shinjuku Isetan, 3352-1111,
Grand Mall 3-4-1 Machida, 042-788-2858)
For fashion conscious and frugal gentlemen yearning for designer style Magic Cinq (B1
& B2 Kawano Building, 3-26-18 Shinjuku, 03 3354-5238) has two tempting floors of
formal and casual wear. The quick turn over in stock means that you never know when the
perfect pair of fur-lined Prada shoes or Gucci suit will pop up. Most items are 50%
cheaper than regular boutiques and the imported stock comes in larger than average sizes.
The ďthankful service ticketsĀEthat give further discounts to return shoppers
are as welcome as the discounted Jill Sander.