Mainstream Monday – Sniffing a Popular Perfume
A few years ago when I was in Hong Kong on a major skincare spree¹, I picked up two bottles of perfume from Shanghai Tang. Most of the perfumes that are sold in Hong Kong are also available in the U.S. I bought the Shanghai Tang ones because I haven’t seen them before (and the sales associate was so incredibly nice).
Some of you may be looking at these bottles and their names and rolling your eyes at their kitsch. That’s fine. Shanghai Tang is a luxury Hong Kong-based department store. When I was visiting, their tagline was “Re-Orient Yourself”. Now it’s “Modern Chinese Chic”. I’m in no place to give commentary on the line but I can give my opinion of the store. I though their stuff was gorgeous, high-quality…and I couldn’t afford it. They showcase Asian designers, arts and crafts. I’ve heard Americans or Europeans simply dismiss this brand as chinoiserie, but I think that’s being overly dismissive. From what I could tell, the brand does well in Hong Kong, which says a lot because there’s a ton of retail competition there.
The brand has home fragrances (which are gorgeous) and launched The Silk Road Fragrance Collection. This is a collection of eight fragrances (because 8 is lucky, I was told). The sales associate helped me narrow down my choices to three florals. She said, I seemed like the sort of woman that would like “big white florals”. She was absolutely correct. Not being familiar with the line, I basically let a stranger choose my perfumes for me.
Gold Lily with notes of jasmine, orange flower, patchouli and musk. Launched in 2014. PERFUMER – Carlos Benaim
I’ve read that this is their number one perfume seller from the collection. I bought Gold Lily because of its black licorice opening (beating out Rose Silk, the other fragrance I liked). It opens with a spicy, waxy black licorice over heady white florals. Gold Lily dries down to a “sexy” musk in that Narciso Rodriguez style. It’s not an overly complex fragrance. It’s a slightly spicy, fresh white floral with a modern musk.
Projection and longevity are average.
I could see someone liking it if they like perfumes like Narciso Rodriguez, Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely, Philosophy Live Joyously and/or Estee Lauder Modern Muse.
Spring Jasmine with notes of bamboo, jasmine, flowers and olibanum. Launched in 2014. PERFUMER – Carlos Benaim
Spring Jasmine is a humid, dewy floral. It’s one of those pretty, fresh jasmines. There’s a hint of honeysuckle and possibly a honeyed, wisteria. The dry-down is soft and delicate. It’s woods and resins but they’ve went through the wash and are hanging up to dry in sunshine.
Projection and longevity are average. The overall feel of the fragrance is airy, something that is perfect for hot, humid summers. In fact, that’s why I’m reviewing these now, years later after purchase. The past month I have been wearing Spring Jasmine at least 5 nights a week.
I’m usually really thoughtful with my perfume purchases. But, I was on vacation and living in the moment. If these were in the US, I probably wouldn’t have bought them. Yet, I don’t regret my purchase at all. I do wear these even if some may say they’re “boring”. They’re easy to wear and smell good. Plus, they remind me of Hong Kong, so I have to love them. When I travel internationally, I always try to associate a “new scent” with my travel experience.
Bottles are 2.02 oz. I personally love the bottles. As far as price, I think they’re about $120 (there’s an exchange rate, etc.) They can be found at Shanghai Tang, duty-free shops and Escentual (UK).
Speaking of travel and perfumes, what are some perfumes that you associate with some of your travels? Do you try to buy a perfume there or do you travel with perfumes from your collection?
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¹I’m in NYC and I still think about how awesome the shopping was in Hong Kong. I can’t wait to go back.