Heidi ho, APJ family!
Last month, I went to Beijing for a week of random pottering around. It was actually to escape my family and responsibilities, but it sounds so much more romantic to state the other. Admittedly, I didn’t really do much other than eat lots of street food and go to a few of the sights I hadn’t been to on previous visits.
Still Beijing Autumn Air
Finding scent that works
What struck me about Beijing this time was the Still Beijing Autumn Air and the lack of rich scents. I could smell the copious amount of cigarettes smoked by the young women with porcelain skin, but beyond that, nothing struck me as being interesting in an olfactory way. Beijingers are pragmatic people with a huge ambition to be serious players on the world market. They work hard and relax just as hard. They enjoy life to its fullest, but trying to eke out a scent worn by anyone was almost an impossibility.
You know what I caught a whiff of twice? Chloe. Chloe Eau de Toilette (2015). I expected this but I also hoped I’d find some hidden gems favoured by locals. No such luck.
Beijingers don’t ordinarily wear perfumes. There are no major issues with body odours because cleanliness is taken so seriously. The dry, crisp Still Beijing Autumn Air does not dissipate odours like they do in the humid Aussie heat, or the windy spring days where the finest pollen fills our air. I did follow a Western fellow who was wearing a divine fougere, and it sliced the air in two. He wasn’t heavy handed with the fragrance, yet it was enough to leave a trail as obvious and as harsh as a neon laser beam . It just did not work. It felt offensive.
I took some fragrances with me to wear. I barely wore them. They seemed so out of place. I had three Hermessence samples, Bleu de Chanel edp and a couple of random scents I hadn’t tried from my Myscent subscription pack. They were not hard hitting scents, but totally wrong for the ambience. The little I did wear lasted three times as long on me as they normally do. I got 12 hours out of Bleu with only three little spritzes!!
In retrospect, I should have taken my more gentle scents, like Bodhi (Teone Reinthal), Chance Eau Tendre (Chanel), Keora (Couturier), Reveal (Klein) and Intrusion (de la Renta). These scents linger on me as a skin scent. I’d have gotten an aura of personal scent without disrupting the Still Beijing Autumn Air. They would have interspersed into the air as I walked, rather than creating a pocket of scent ballooning in the air. I may have enjoyed Intrusion so much more than I do at home!
Have you found scents that work better in a completely different climate or culture? Or discovered new facets of your favourites in a place far from home? Are you planning on travelling and are you looking at which scents you might take?