Perfume Story: January 2013 Archives

January 2013 Archives

Feeling the Wind of Seoul

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"Feeling the Wind of Seoul" / 서울의 바람을 느끼고

An encounter transcending a quarter of a century

Doctor of Kansei Science: Dr. Miyong Lee / 이 미 용

The view of Yeouido Plaza from a ferry in 1988

In March of 1988, the view from the mighty Han River which flows east-to-west in the center of Seoul was imminently brimming with the vitality for the Olympics. The Seoul Olympics were called pal-pal which means 88 in Korean. Everyone in South Korea anticipated and provided cooperation for the Olympics bringing about its outstanding success. The high-level economic growth in South Korea is called "the Miracle on the Han River" and has received accolades from around the world.
In the early morning in Seoul, the morning mist and the smog which was proof of the economic growth mixed to produce a fantastic atmosphere.
In 2002, South Korea held the FIFA World Cup jointly with Japan. The South Korean team made it all the way to the semi-finals giving the world a glimpse at what it can do.
25 years after pal-pal (88), South Korea has led the Asian economy along with Japan and continues to make rapid progress even today as a leader of Asia.
It has been a half century since the Olympics. South Korea has provided constant stimulation as a suitable partner for Japan in a number of political, economical and cultural facets.
In September of 2012, I met Dr. Miyong Lee at a group exhibition held at an university in Seoul (ANDB: Asia Network Beyond Design, The native of Seoul is currently teaching at a Japanese university as a doctor of Kansei sciences. She carries out research day and night on how the shape of objects influences human sensitivity.
The modern Seoul Station stands next to the former Seoul Station which is a historical architectural structure. I sat down for an interview with Dr. Miyong Lee at a top-floor buffet overlooking the rapid transit (KTX) platform.

Present Seoul Station
Inside Seoul Station
Former Seoul Station Building: Registered as a Korean historical spot No. 284
Rapid Transit (KTX) Platform

She wore very little make-up and was neat and trim. To sum up her appearance, she looked like a very stylish Korean woman. She had the aura reminiscent of a Korean actress. She was born and raised in Seoul. She majored in design in the university and worked for a design company after graduating. After that, she wanted to pursue how shapes influence sensation in humans. Presently she is teaching at Hokkaido University in Japan while carrying out specialized studies on "Kansei evaluation" every day. She showed interested in the shape of the glass containers of Koa Glass.
In her university days in Seoul, she dealt with the total package design of body care cosmetics by herself. She told me of the difficulties and enjoyment of working together with glass craftsmen at that time.

Pictured :
Designs of body care cosmetics from university days (She carried out total design from creating the concept and the bottle shape to the label design and the packaging)

She enjoys drinking and talking with many different people. Her favorite drinks are Japanese alcohol such as beer and sake. Since coming to Hokkaido she has enjoyed taking up calligraphy and skiing and wants to enjoy her new hobbies for a long time.

She does not have a cosmetics maker yet that she particularly prefers. For skin care, she emphasizes maintaining moisture in your skin by using face lotion and milky lotion normally morning and night.
She uses lipstick, eye shadow and mascara moderately. Recently, nail art has been popular among young girls in Seoul. This is said to partly be influenced by Japanese celebrities. She does not use perfume frequently. However, she likes miniature bottles to adjust to her mood and who she's going to meet on special occasions. The first perfume she used was 15 years ago. The perfume she used was called eSpoir from the Korean cosmetics company Amore. She remembers feeling a little giddy like she became an adult woman by applying the sweet scent. She thinks the basis of make-up is to give a sense of cleanliness. Using perfume is having consideration not only for yourself, but for those around you. We chatted about her friends who put on CHANEL No 5 after eating Korean cuisine.

The famous sightseeing spot of Bukchon in Seoul

She feels that the number of people using perfume will slowly increase not only among the youth in Seoul, but everywhere in South Korea.

After the interview, we took a walk through the streets of Seoul bustling with the early autumn wind. From the peaceful Bukchon we made our way to the lively area of Insadong. The small bars in Insadong were crowded with citizens of Seoul both young and old. You can feel the power of South Korea here. It has been a quarter of a century since I've strolled down the streets of Seoul. Seoul was built focusing on the principles of Feng Shui. It is believed that the invisible forces of Heaven and Earth bring in good fortune from the surrounding environment.
While feeling the comfortable early autumn wind, I left behind Seoul Station and headed back to Japan. It has been a quarter of a century since my first visit to South Korea. This meeting with this magnificently intelligent woman may have been brought about by Feng Shui.

A beautiful hydrophilic park of Cheonggyecheon, a place for the people of Seoul to take a break

January, 2013


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This page is an archive of entries from January 2013 listed from newest to oldest.

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