by Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke, heroine of “The Blonde Samurai”
You shall recall in a previous posting that I introduced you to the Duchess of Sussington, the naughtiest lady in London who makes her rounds to parties and soirees sans her drawers.
Today I shall give the Duchess her own post for she has insisted on imparting to you the secret beauty rituals of the geisha after returning from her recent visit to Japan [I shall leave it up to your imagination as to what esteemed gentleman of state accompanied her there].
Beautiful, elegant and a lass with an audacious smile, may I present Madeleine Malmesberry, the Duchess of Sussington. According to all the gossip columns, she is “to the manor born” as we say back home, the daughter of a British lord and a genteel lady of quality. She married the Duke of Sussington, an elder statesman, when she was but seventeen years. After the duke’s untimely death, she devoted herself to numerous charities, including founding a home for destitute young girls in London’s East End.
She appeared on the London social scene a scant two years ago after her husband’s passing and has since turned society upside down with her hair the riotous color of a crimson rose and her naughty, naughty ways.
Duchess, if you please…
Thank you, Lady Carlton, for your illuminating introduction.
I admit I was among those in Society who snubbed Lady Carlton when first we met. She was a bit too free with her opinions, speaking of political goings-on and not hiding her avid interest in Japan and her handsome samurai.
I soon changed my mind.
Her passion and enthusiasm won me over as well as her vast knowledge of the Orient and the unique ladies there who use their art to seduce a man and not their body. A notion I found not only appealing but unheard of in London Society.
I journeyed to Japan to find out for myself, where I uncovered the secret beauty rituals of the geisha. It is with great trepidation that I reveal them here, knowing that doing so will only add to my scandalous reputation.
Yet it is with a sincere passion to share these rituals with you that I affix a positive attitude to my posting and so you have them:
• Geisha use nightingale droppings to polish their skin (first introduced to Japan a thousand years ago by the Koreans). Yes, I make no mistake in my words. I understand that you may find it off-putting, not to mention unpleasant to your sense of smell to use bird excrement to give your skin a pearl-like pallor, so I offer you another solution: Fill a small drawstring silk bag with powdered rice bran then soak it in a hot pan of water.
• When the milky liquid seeps through, the rice bran bag is ready for use. Massage your skin in upward motions for a gentle sloughing of dead skin to polish your complexion and to give you the bloom of a young girl about to have her first Season.
• When a geisha enters a room, she is never rushed or out of breath. You can make a brilliant entrance at your next dinner party in the same manner. Remember, poise is almost synonymous with pause. Give yourself a moment to relax and plan what you are going to say to that handsome duke eyeing you as if he knows what is under your petticoats (perhaps he does?).
• You may raise your eyebrows at the idea of the geisha adding black kohl-like liner to add depth to her eyes, but I implore you not to ignore your brows. The geisha find the eyebrows are a most distinctive element and give them great care. You can give your face a natural “lift” by tweezing your eyebrow until you attain a natural arch.
• The first time I heard a geisha speak I thought of the gentle sound of a running brook. Hushed, soothing sounds that lifted my spirit and relaxed me. The voice of a geisha is one of her most seductive tools. You can train your voice to be more seductive by focusing on the bridge and sides of your nose down to and around your lips. Your voice will open up and become flexible, giving it expression and warmth. Practice by reading out loud to his lordship from a racy romance.
• On a cold day, I often insert what the Japanese call a kairo inside my muff to warm me. I have heard that geisha use what are known as ben-wa balls to provide a different kind of heat. (One ball contains a blob of mercury and the other a tiny tongue of copper.) You insert the silver balls inside you (must I explain where?) and as you sway to and fro, the vibrations produced as they knock together send a range of sensations from pleasurable to ecstatic throughout your body.
I hesitated to enter the last item in this posting, but I could not resist since I make use of these balls often. I find they bring a blush to my cheeks and a smile to my lips that I find quite satisfactory.
You may wish to ignore me when next we meet at a soiree or at a fashionable shop and you notice my secret smile. If you do, I will know you have read what I have written. Yes, I am a tease, but that is what makes me naughty, does it not?
February 2010: meet The Blonde Samurai
“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”