Winners of Giveaways (Patty)

Sosososososo far behind on announcing giveaway winners, especially that big one from before I went to India.  So let’s just push right through these and then see if we have time for anything else.

Kiss Me Tender samples:  pam, Dante’s Bra and Geordan 1244.

Nejma Puro samples:  Hemlock Sillage, jirish, Todd T., Ann N., Tammy, Sally, Jessica, Vinery, Beth, Panna, nancy, ScentRed, Natalie, Connie, Tiara, Alice C,  Irina, gator grad, Roberto, Style Spy, d3mOliciOn, violet noir and Isa.

Nejma Puro bottle winner is hongkongmom.

Whew.  Okay, winners, what to do – click the Contact Us button on the left, remind me which sample you won, send me your address, and I’ll get it in the mail eventually – I’m still a lot behind.

L’Artisan Bosphore thing?  Meh.  It’s okay, but it feels a little powdery to me.  I’m thinking that means I’ll love the Malle new thing.

Did we talk about the taxi dashboards in India?  This is the taxi that took us from Tashiding to Yuksom –  Buddhist prayer wheel, Buddha or Tara (can’t tell) on the dash.  Every taxi driver in India proselytizes via their dashboard.  Well, you’d think it’s proselytizing until you got in the car in Delhi traffic or mountain road traffic, and then you’re really glad to have the whole Hindu/Christian/Buddhist pantheon on your side and in your car.  Lanes are just guidelines. There may be three lanes marked, but there are six rows or more of cars/bikes/scooters/motorized rickshaws traversing – two cars or a car and a rickshaw and a motorcycle per lane.

I’m not sure who all was represented in this taxi, but Ganesh was around for sure.  Shiva surely.  One wouldn’t want to go through traffic without either of them.

I can’t find my picture that shows two-way traffic, but you realize that there are four sorta-lanes going one way out of the four lanes that should be going two ways because two of them are passing, leaving one teeny lane coming the other direction.  I almost had heart failure the first few times we were passing with no room, until I realized that the horn beeping that is incessant in India is a communication system.  And lanes have no meaning.  You go when you have an opening or you make an opening, and you hope the guy going your direction to your left and the guy going the opposite direction that’s almost to your right will give just a little and let you float through.  The last picture is a traffic jam in Bagdogra, where we did not want to have to spend the night if we missed our plane.  Nothing moved for about an hour because – well, we don’t really know.  Something about they were fixing the bridge, but the bridge looked pretty much the same that day as it did the day we went across it going the other direction.

Which gets me to why I fell in love with India.  India floats.  They worship the Ganges (Ganga) River as the fountain of the Gods that starts high in the Himalayas.  They float everything down that river – dirty clothes, elimination, bathwater, flowers, ashes of the dead, hopes, dreams.  Floating is life, and everyone moves in and around each other, floating, filling the spaces.  It was okay for the kids to come up and sit by us and have their parents take their pictures with “the Americans.” It was okay for young people to snap my photo for no good reason other than I was an anomaly being white and blonde. It was okay to sit down next to one of the beggars without a leg for a while and just talk.

If you don’t float in India, you will hate it, but once you just float into the spaces, it will fill you up and capture your heart.

  • Beth says:

    Patty, first off HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

    Yay, I won one of the Puro samples as well. I am a sampling fiend at the moment, and am adoring every moment of it.

    My brother spent 3 weeks in India and it’s so interesting to see pictures and read accounts … life is so different from my neck of the woods. My bro said to understand traffic there, you had to think of those videos of blood cells moving through arteries. Wherever there is room, something can be squeezed, and a few bumps never hurt anyone.

    Love the pictures, post more! :)

  • jirish says:

    I’m one of the lucky Puro winners! Thank you. And I love these India posts. The idea of ‘floating,’ I could def. use some of that right now, what with holiday stress being compounded by college application stress, and college financial aid form stress. Oy! Are you thinking of posting your photos from the trip on the photoblog here? I’d love to see more of them.

  • Connie says:

    I’m late with my thanks, Patty! Had to rush to work (tomorrow is my last day) and only had time to send contact info while it was still fresh in my mind.

    You were bewitched … just like everyone I know who’s gone. As I mentioned before, you may have just pushed me closer into going. I just need to find a willing partner (anyone here?).

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Thank you, thank you for the Puro sample!

    Thank you also for sharing your experiences. You sound so peaceful since your trip. Changed. I love reading about it, seeing your photos. It sounds like you truly had the time of your life. Be well.

    • Patty says:

      Peaceful? Not sure about that! I do find myself more able to block out some of the extraneous noise around me. Maybe that’s it.

  • tammy says:

    This post really moved me, and not just because of the sample! (But thank you!) (At least I hope it’s me, I suppose there is more than one Tammy on board!)

    I have always been a bit leery of going to India because of the extreme poverty, but reading what you’ve written here makes me think it would be okay. Thank you for that, and a wonderful post. I, too, hope we get to read more about your trip!

    • tammy says:

      Same tammy, by the way, just hate the old Gravatar!

    • Patty says:

      You are so welcome, enjoy it!!!

      There is extreme poverty, but that’s not the sum total of India. And we look at their poverty and call it extreme, when for most of them, that’s normal, that’s their life. I mean, most of the places we were staying, I’d classify as utter ghetto, but for the locals, it wasn’t. You just have to shift your view. Our standard of living in the U.S. and Europe is completely different, and you can’t take that standard with you. If you do, you will hate India. All of my friends, if they had seen the pictures of the places we stayed ahead of time, would have told you I would hate it, I love plush too much. But it wasn’t like that. It was plain, it was simple, it was clean, and I was grateful when I had hot water. :)

      Now, the toilets. Well, more on that later.

      • tammy says:

        Hey, I grew up in Appalachia with no toilets or electricity, so I get that you can be poor and happy; that’s a great perspective for me to have on it. I love posh, too, but clean is my only requirement, so I’d probably be fine. And frankly, plain ol’ dirt doesn’t phase me, either.

        Begging upsets me, though, especially painfully thin, limbless beggars, who may have flies crawling on open sores?

  • FragrantWitch says:

    What a lovely post! Your description of ‘floating’ actually brought a tear to my eye.
    More posts on India please!

    • Patty says:

      Oh, thanks! It took me a lot of thinking to find a word that fit completely, and once I hit that, it was completely right.

      There was a lot of bad, too, which I don’t want to minimize, but I don’t want to talk just about that because that’s the first thing people think of when they think of India – the poverty, begging children. That’s all there. You just realize quickly that you can’t “fix” India, and you just have to take it as it is.

  • maidenbliss says:

    Congratulations to all winners! Patty, your posts on India are very magical. I’d love to read more of them so I can float along with you. Wonderful pictures and I love those dashboards

    • Patty says:

      India is in the details, like taxi dashboards. A lot of the time, looking around the country, you felt like you were in California or Colorado, the mountainous parts. That’s just the view. It’s the culture that’s so interesting, the people. We spent probably two hours sitting down outside the Taj Mahal just people watching. The vibrant colors of the women’s dress – either punjabi or saris, the jewels. I’ve heard Rajustan is even better for lots of sparkle. The south is completely different from the north. So I *need* to go to both of those places!!!

  • Isa says:

    I won the Puro sample! I say the same that the other winners: you made my day! :)
    Thank you very much!

  • Victoria says:

    Patty, like Donna, I also hope to see more India posts from you! Lately I am starting to miss all of that madness, especially since my wedding photographer just sent us our photos and looking through them is like reliving through the whole experience. Plus, we usually are in India in the winter, but not this year, so I am playing Bollywood videos and cooking some spicy dishes in hopes to somehow step into those sensations again.
    Glad to hear that you had such a good time!

    • Patty says:

      It IS madness. :) But such lovely madness. What’s fun is when your taxi driver puts on the music, and it just sets the tone. India is full of wild, wonky noise that’s soothing in a really strange way. I see why you miss it, it gets under your skin.

  • Rappleyea says:

    Patty – I hope you still have many more India posts in you – they’re wonderful and I love reading your impressions. ~Donna

    • Patty says:

      I think INdia will unfold from me for a while as I just process it. It’s like eating an elephant, you can only do it one bite at a time.

  • Ann N. says:

    Lovely, lovely post, Patty! I’m very excited to win the Nejma Puro sample. Thanks so much! I know you’re making a lot of people happy today!

  • Musette says:


    Absolutely lyrical post!

    And congratulations to all the winners!

    xo >-)

  • Bev Frederickson says:

    What a lyrical way of describing India. “Floating.” I got it!
    You’ve helped me to understand the country I would love to visit.
    Did you check out the ouds?
    I truly enjoy your reviews.

    • Patty says:

      Did not get near any oils/ouds at all. India is an easy country to spend time in, which surprised me. I was expecting more angst with all the poverty, but you just have to roll with it.

  • marina says:

    “Lanes are just guidelines.” So like NYC then :)

    • Patty says:

      Way worse. I’ve done NYC traffic/lanes, but NYC doesn’t have all the motorized rickshaws, bikes, motorcycles, scooters, horse and wagon to fit in all the in between spaces. It’s NYC x4

  • hongkongmom says:

    omg,omg,omg,omg u r toooo good and i am toooo lucky! You have so made my day.
    A BIG thank you to you!

  • violetnoir says:

    Oh my gosh, Patty! I actually won a sample! Woo-hoo–You have made my day, woman!

    That traffic in India is something else, isn’t it? I looked over at some traffic one day in Delhi. I think it was supposed to be four lanes of traffic, but I swear at least twelve cars, taxis, motorbikes, and trucks were all lined up at the stop light, jockeying for position. I even saw a family of five one day on a motorbike, no kidding.

    And, the horns! You would swear that you were hearing mid-town NYC-bumper-to-bumper traffic, right? Then you look out of your room’s window, and there really isn’t that much traffic on the street at all! It’s crazy!


    • Patty says:

      Congrats! The traffic, OMG! But it was surprising how quickly you get used to it. And the things people put on their back on their bicycle. Some people were carrying what looked like rooves for a small building. Then there were the leaf men in Sikkim. With the band over their forehead with green plants or leaves or whatever just sprouting from the top of them to the road.

      the honking really jarred my nerves at first, it just never stops, even on empty streets or roads. But it’s a complete communication system. Once I figured that out, I just tuned it out because it fit somewhere in my brain.

  • Geordan1244 says:


    I love the concept of floating…What fragrance best signifies “floating” for you?

    I’m so happy I won! Yay! My contact info has been sent.



    • Patty says:

      Good question, and I don’t have an answer! But let me think about it and try to come up with something. Apres L’Ondee comes to mind immediately, but I think there are others that would fit that too.