Perfume Story: June 2012 Archives

June 2012 Archives

Perfume lover interview: A lovely lady from Shanghai

Female attorney

At the end of March in 2012, when the weather was as hot as summer, I had a chance to meet a female attorney in her office at a five-star hotel in Shanghai. My first impression was "a pretty woman" with a lovely smile. Her bright impression had certainly an effect on me. I started to smile.

The scent was "Fresh"

I asked her about perfumes. She mostly buys them at duty-free stores after sampling the scents. Her favorite is "Seishin (fresh)", which is refreshing and cool. It is like a spring morning, she said, the scent of fresh-mown lawns, and lavenders of Southern France. The way she smiles looks refreshing indeed. Asked if this scent represents her character, she said with a smile that even if she tried more mature and gorgeous perfumes, she always returned to her usual favorite. She does not wear perfume every day. She only does when she feels like it. She was not wearing perfume on the day of interview, since many Japanese guests she runs into in the elevator of this hotel don't use it.
Perfumes can be found throughout her house, including the entrance, bedroom, and bathoom. In the office, she has three perfumes in the drawer of the desk. Her favorite brand is Lanc?me. Before she attends important meetings, she takes them out of the drawer to use. In this way, perfumes give her energy.


Many years ago there was a system that enabled one to easily become an attorney after studying in Japan. This was the reason she wanted to become a lawyer. However, she thought she needed to study more to become an excellent attorney, so she commuted to Shanghai for extra studying during her stay in Japan. She passed her second Chinese bar examination and returned to Shanghai. At that time she did not have any extra money, so she spent everyday working part-time to pay for school. In the late 1980's, she was introduced to Poisson by her friend and started becoming interested in perfumes.
The Chinese tend to like extraordinary and gorgeous things. They like bigger cars, big souvenirs, and big gifts at year-end office parties. She thinks that she may be an exception to that way of thinking.

The attorney's job is a modest one.

As a lawyer, she must deal with tough situations which require logical thinking and analysis. Chinese businessmen aren't satisfied when their profits grow by 30%; they want to double their growth. When hired by these businessmen, the work sometimes becomes difficult. However, the attorneys should stay objective and calm. At home, she is also a mother. She understands she should not be an attorney when she is with her child. She seems angry when she thinks about work. When her child points it out, she feels bad. But her mother always supports her, saying to her grandchild, " your mother has a hard job as a lawyer." She thinks she has two faces, one at work and one at home.
Her nature is bright and fun-loving. When she is with her friends, she is always herself. She could use that opportunity to build her professional networking, but so far that is not happening.

I want to convey the real China to the world.

While working as an attorney, she also serves as one of the six attorneys on the Shanghai Political Consultative Committee. It is her last year of the five-year term.
Her job is to advise the Shanghai government, to point out problems, and demand solutions. Today she was given some replies from the government. She hopes that she can convey the real China to the world. In conjunction with the NGO Association of Public Diplomacy organized by Political Consultative Committee, she is planning to hold a Q&A forum where parents of international students, Japanese schools and teachers discuss how to communicate with the Chinese people.
The teachers of international schools are generally sent from overseas. Except for P.E and music, students spend more time with foreign teachers. The same is true for their parents. Fathers have no time to socialize with the local Chinese since their work is too busy. The mothers socialize among only expatriates' wives and are not comfortable with the locals. She hopes that the expatriates could socialize with locals more, understand each other, and experience life in China. That way, they could act as diplomats, an important role in Shanghai's community.
Chinese people tend to think that foreigners are above the Chinese since the foreigners have maids and chauffeurs here. She feels if they could communicate each other, they can get along.

This example also applies for Japanese schools. She works with the Board of Education in order to hold meetings where Japanese and Chinese people could exchange opinions and information in the very room of the Garden Hotel I was interviewing her. I said, "That is an excellent plan. Please make it happen. It might be better to work with Japanese schools since the Japanese parents might hesitate to appear at government-related offices rather than a hotel. Japanese may prefer more unofficial and relaxed meeting over tea like here." She said immediately that she knows a Japanese school administrator that used to work for Epson, so she would contact him soon. She must be a brilliant attorney and very quick to act.

Her life philosophy " Effort is everything."

Asked what is her life philosophy, she quickly answered, "Effort is everything." This philosophy came from her life experience. I answered, "Then you must be very good at focusing." She said, "Yes, I am." She must understand our brains are more or less similar, and the difference between us comes from the power of concentration. I admire her life policy.
I can meet wonderful ladies across the world when I interview them for perfumes. The perfume market in Shanghai will gradually grow because it is supported by wonderful women like her.

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