The Highs and the Lows

Registration Information for the Chicocoascentsation event on Saturday 9/13/08 can be found by clicking on this line!

Nose — only marginally better, but thanks for all the well wishes.  I’m still insane with trying to catch up, and I always feel terrible when I don’t have time to respond to comments, but I know you guys understand.

So with the nose on half speed, you might have to take today’s reviews with a grain of, um, salt?  Well, something like that.  I’ve started uploading photos from our trip to my photoblog (link on the left there).  The biggest problem I had taking pictures in Tuscany was that you would look at that view, put your camera up to your eye, take the picture, look at it and know that you just really hadn’t captured it.  You’d gotten some of it, but essential parts were missing, and the person looking at the picture couldn’t really know what it really, really looked like.  That picture above, I probably have about 50 shots taken over the course of four or five hours and into the night because I wanted to just, you know, “get IT.”  And it wasn’t going to happen.    So I carry around that countryside in my head, along with how the walled City of Siena looked, and that’s where parts of it will always stay.

Nasomatto, with the annoying lack of perfume notes listing, has a new perfume, China Rain.  I’m a huge fan of their Absinth, though I haven’t found any of the others so far compelling enough to add to my personal collection.  China Rain is, um, interesting.  Soft and a little woodsy powdery’ish, but it has an underlying tinny earthy, almost humanish smell, just something that I can’t put my nose quite on – I sorta get it, but then it’s clear that I’m missing something, so I keep sniffing.  I’m going to chalk not having a better feel for what it could be up to my nose not being up to par for now, but I find it weirdly compelling – not really beautiful or classic, just an interesting freak in the vein of freaks I like.  Whether it’s $148 for 30 ml of extrait worth of compelling, I can’t say for anyone but me, but if you’ve liked the line and found it interesting or you like your perfumes to run to the more odd, you probably want to try this one.  With a name like China Rain… it sorta reminds me of some parties I went to in the late ’70s and early ’80s.  You know.

Then my sister left me a little of her Banana Republic Woodrose that her and Samanatha fell in love with.  You know, it’s really just a nice, fun, pretty little perfume.  I like it.  The rose isn’t overly sweet, but it certainly feels very feminine, and the woods side of it isn’t earthy and uber-woodsy, just takes away a little of the sweetness.  If you don’t like rose, this won’t change your mind. I’m assuming it runs in the same ballpark as the rest of their edts, about $30 for 100 ml or so, but it’s a great little soft perfume.

There, you’ve got the high and the low – interesting/expensive and cheap/wearable.  To make up for my lack of commenting yesterday, let’s do a drawing!  This for a sample of the Nasomatto China Rain.  Just comment on the post, and you’ll be entered in the drawing!

  • Jessemy says:

    It would be fun to have an illicit drug-scent themed post…or at least formerly illicit drugs. There are plenty of absinthe-related scents out there, a few cannabis,and I’d wager a handful of opium-poppy scents. Hmmmmmmm…hopefully there are no heroin or crack-themed perfumes just yet.

    • Tania says:

      True – I know of at least three absinthe scents, and I guess there is ‘Opium’ (though just for the name).
      Of course, if you fancy smelling like a coke-wh*re, Kate Moss and Paris Hilton have perfumes….;)

  • Elizabeth says:

    I’m going to trust your nose, and I like freaky.;) Count me in, please!

  • Jacki says:

    Years ago we used to burn a horrible oil called China Rain. At the time I didn’t think it was so horrible and truth be told if I smelt it again today I’m sure the memories would come flooding back.
    I’d love to be entered in the draw. I haven’t quite found my summer scent mojo yet, nothing is working for me with this Texas heat.

  • Gretchen says:

    There’s no photograph that can convey the essence of a place, so just enjoy the picture as a picture. Yours is a lovely deep blue mystery.
    Why yes, enter me in the drawing.

  • Tania says:

    Please enter me in the draw – thanks! I’ve never even heard of that range.

    If that photo doesn’t do the landscape justice, then the real thing would probably leave me speechless (I do that when faced with awesome nature stuff. The Grand Canyon kept me quiet for hours!)
    I think that is a lovely photo, it evokes a kind of happy melancholy. Now I’m trying to think of a perfume which evokes the same response in me…

  • Jennifer S. S. says:

    Aren’t there a lot of perfumes called China Rain? Please enter me in the draw. Thanks.

  • violetnoir says:

    Woman, is that you in some of those photos in the Loire Valley? Honey, you look like a teenager!

    I love the photos of Paris. They brought a proverbial tear to my eye. 😉 Love the photo of the kitty in the windowsill. You have a great eye, Patty.

    I hope you feel better soon. Us perfumistas miss your keen observations on all things fragrant, although I have a feeling you are dead-on about the Nasomattos and Woodrose.

    Hugs, and welcome back, Patty!

  • Judith says:

    What a stunning photo! I am excited to look at the blog, too, but I am running now. I really like Absinthe, but the description China White didn’t sound promising to me. Nevertheless–I’d love to be entered in the drawing.

  • Elle says:

    What a breathtakingly beautiful picture of Tuscany! And am going to have to go back and spend more time looking at those photos in your photoblog later. The inside of the cathedral…deep sigh.
    Have yet to fall hard for any of the Nasomatto scents. Didn’t dislike any, just wasn’t knocked down impressed. But am definitely going to try this one – hope springs eternal and I love those bottles.

  • Karen says:

    Your trip with your sons sounded great! Please enter me in your drawing. I love rose scents. I just about boo-hooed when I found that Victoria’s Secret had discontinued “So in Love” (a rose scent, also with cardamom.) Ending on a more positive note, I scored a bottle of Guerlain’s Mahora (discontinued, from what I’ve read) at a sidewalk vendor a few days ago. She took $5 off the price, so I paid $38 for a 75 mil bottle. Plus she didn’t charge me sales tax. I read that it’s a winter scent, but I’m wearing it today, because it’s not supposed to be hot.

  • Theresa says:

    Lovely photo–makes me really want to go!
    Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks.

  • Billy D says:

    I thought it was called China White too, as a sly heroin reference? Either way, I’m not feeling the ceramic top (a little too mod/cheap looking for me) and, to be honest, the other bottles don’t really bowl me over either. And I need to be amazed to plunk down $150 for an ounce when I could spend a little more and get a bell jar. That being said, I did try Absinth and Silver Musc at Barneys a few weeks ago, and I really enjoyed the musk. The Absinth didn’t really do much for me, but I know a lot of people enjoy it (along with the Hindu Grass), so I may have to resample, despite the obnoxious salespeople at Barneys in Boston (Grrr).

    That’s a fantastic photo, btw.

  • Kathryn says:

    As a sister sufferer of allergies, you have my deep sympathy for your snuffed up nose. My allergies can make things smell quite odd sometimes. It’s sort of like what I understand the translation of the Italian Nasomatto to be–“crazy nose.” Since my sense of smell varies considerably with temperature and humidity as well, it’s a good thing I enjoy odd scents. Any given fragrance is likely to smell quite different to me on different days. All I ask is that it remains interesting and not totally obnoxious. I keep hoping to find something akin to the amazingly delightful changes in Dzing!, only a bit prettier, perhaps with some subtle floral notes. The new Nasomatto sounds like it might be something close to that except for what you describe as “tinny.” In any case, I would love to smell it. Please enter me in your drawing,

  • Lora says:

    What a great photo, even if it doesn’t capture all of the spirit and soul of the place. It’s been great to read about your family’s adventures.

    I’ve never tried any of the Nasomato line, and would love to be entered in the drawing. Thanks!

  • Shelley says:

    The elusive essence which a photograph may or may not capture…I am ultimately grateful that it is *my brain* which stores the most meaningful images, the image memories which include — should I say the soul? the spirit? the essence? — of a subject. I wrangled with the dilemma for a while whenever on vacation, and certainly after my children were born. People would comment, “Gee, as a filmmaker, you must have LOTS of photographs/video of your kids,” and I’d reply “no, hardly any.” I’d much rather be there to experience the moment than to fight the battle to capture as much as possible, or at least a metaphor, for it.

    Personally, I came to terms when I stopped worrying about “art” or “complete” and just remembered “snapshot.” Visual documents of personally significant events are, for me, simply markers. Cherished memory jogs. (And sometimes, they’re even pretty… 😡 )

    That said, there is something enticing about trying to capture something special on film, isn’t there? Your photograph is gorgeous, incidentally. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • rosarita says:

    Beautiful photo, Patty. Thanks for the drawing and glad you’re feeling (a little) better. 🙂

  • Musette says:

    Wasn’t there a group of faux-natural scents back in the 70s (maybe80s), one of them called China Rain? I remember it as being vaguely powdery-soft/sweet/green (crikey, that sounds awful!)

    Anyway, would love to be entered in the drawing!


    ps. for those of you who RSVPd earlier I will send out a link to the registration.

  • Bradamante says:

    China Rain? Isn’t it called China White?

  • Marrina says:

    I wish I could go to Chicago with you! :((

  • Anne says:

    Love to try the China Rain. Love the photo too. :)>-

  • Louise says:

    Lovely photo, Patty. But I think the Tuscan landscape “knows” what it’s doing in being a little camera-shy (elusive?)-’cause now you need to go back. None of my photos of Italy has ever really turned out well, so back we must go :d/

    Nasomatta seems like it should work for me, but none of them does-but, heck, I’ll try the China Rain 🙂

  • alba says:

    I know exactly how you feel about your pictures of Tuscany. I have so many happy memories of all those places (Florence, Lucca, Siena, San Giminiano…)that somehow what I miss is the glow of that happiness. Last year we took my parents-in-law to a rented villa near Florence. They were celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary and had never been to Italy. The pictures of that week are fantastic: we’re all tanned, happy, well-fed and relaxed. The landscape is just a feast for the eyes. But my father-in-law is not here to look at them any more, and I really miss him. I’m so glad that his last vacation was so special.

    • Bradamante says:

      That is were grief and joy meet, isn’t it? How fortunate to have this beautiful memory, I hope your mother-in-law is in a position to enjoy it too.

  • Divina says:

    The Nasomato line *really* gets on my nerves – only because they are supposed to be based here (in NL) yet they are NOWHERE to be found. ARGH! Needless to say, I haven’t managed to smell any of them so far.

    As for the picture never really capturing what the eye sees… *sigh* Story of my life 🙂 And I take photography quite seriously 😛 I keep saying to myself I will join a course for the past 3 years. Well, maybe in September..
    Or not!

  • zeram1 says:

    I went to Barneys to try some of the Nasomatto line; however, they were out of both Duro and Absinthe and also no China Rain. I did make a deal with the SR – an email when it comes in for a sniff of my Montale Black Aoud. Please enter me in the drawing as well.

  • Alica says:

    Thanks for entering me in the drawing! The pictures remind me last-year vacation at Lago di Maggiore – the Swiss part.

  • vida says:

    @-) PS Great pix of a wonderful trip!

  • vida says:

    Nasomatto…LOVE the bottles, meh on the juice. Have yet to find one in that line that talks to me. Maybe this is it? Would love to try a samp. BTW, the Musc Nomade sample was quite lovely, thanks, and may be the AG that I like the best!

  • tmp00 says:

    Glad to read that the sniffer is getting back to snuff. I am interested in smelling the China Rain, but wish they’d leave off with the heroin hype on it. It leaves images pretty unfabulous for me. Oh well.

    I think that photographs just have to be taken at face value. That is for instance a stunning photo, but I am sure that it only captures about 5% of what you were seeing, feeling and smelling at the moment. We can look at it and ooh and ahh (and we are) and you can look at it and remember how that damp air smelled, the crazy drive up, or the way the kids took a few seconds to drink it all in and create their own memories of it before breaking off into whatever it is that kids do. I’m bad, I neither take nor keep photos and now that 50 is no longer a vicious rumor I wish I had.

    Just not of me. :d