I've had an enjoyable time getting to know China White. At first, I found it confounding, but it eventually fell into place.
At its core, it's got all the trappings of a classic powdery amber - vanilla combining with incense and sandalwood, sweet but more perfumey than edible. Top that with an unexpected cinnamon apple combo and an abstract chemical undertone along the lines of nail polish remover mixed with absinth, and you have a decent idea of how China White smells.
As gross as this could have turned out, it deftly remains sweet but not edible, rooted in history but ultimately modern, and artsy but still approachable. It's strong and, being composed heavily of concentrated basenotes (it's an extrait), it lasts pretty much forever.
Finally a decent Nasomatto under my nose. This is nice, even good. A minimalist, clean, yet not dull super-synthetic concept à la Helmut Lang, Costume National and Geza Schoen, with just a touch of nature, a really shaped and restrained incense note, a rarefied, narcotic and somehow sensual blend of green/herbal notes with a fruity heart (osmanthus?), a nice tobacco/tar base, dusty but velvety, with a bitter shadiness which is almost leathery, ambroxan perhaps, cedar woods and cashmeran – in short, the "pencil sharpener" effect. To be honest this heavily reminds me of another scent which I do not recall, perhaps one by LesNez or Coze 02, or Chamarré by Mona di Orio, however I have this "dejà-vu" feel. Anyway the scent is simple, delicate, subtle and ultra thin, undoubtably "easy" from the point of view of the composition (I mean the easiness of achieving this synthetically), but in its own way it's utterly sophisticated, elegant, somehow distinctive and fascinating, most of all because of an interesting green-dusty tobacco axe and an overall tasty "dustiness" which is not soapy, not "concrete-like", not earthy, slightly medicinal and herbal, just quite unique – in short, this time Gualtieri quite nailed it if the reference was cocaine (something he did not with that pathetic Afgano thing). A totally contemporary feel, a palpable, clean, neon-like and aerial transparency, elusive and delicate but "there". A bit too much delicate perhaps, and with a ridiculously short persistence (what's the point of selling an "extait" of this?). A nice, a bit trendy rendition of a trendy drug. At half of its price it may be worth a purchase.
Nasomatto China White: Each time she visits this brownstone off Central Park, it is both worn
and exquisite: a red carpet on a severely warped staircase... A
square shaped Chinese grandmother insists that she eat a warm,
skinless pear covered in herbal medicine. The girl promises to eat it,
then hides the bowl under the sink in the bathroom. They are both
sure of themselves. They go for a walk to the park at sunset so the
girl can jump over and over onto her own shadow.
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Radiant, dusty, irony and post modern. One of the strangest fragrances out there, a new modern, quite chemical and "new age" powdery cloud of aldehydes (may be), white musk, synthetic pharmaceutical talc, powdery sandalwood, sharp florals, herbs, spices (pepper?), detergent kind resins and incense. I catch the cold touch of the violets (the fragrance at least smells like that) and the woods. The chemical tone is probably produced by the combination of grassy and aromatic resins, spices, synthetic powder, incense, musk, may be some anise or angelica and metallic violets. I think some rooty vetiver, together with spices (ambergris?), produce out there a really masculine temperament. Turning on and narcotic. Unique beast.
I smell vetiver + rose at the beginning. For being such a extremely sweet fragrance, China White doesn't feel too heavy or sticky at all. The supposed narcotic feign works 100% here. Intriguing, indeed.
This is a half-dry and spiced white musk that seems to move around the edge of the clean-floral concept but from an exotic or avant-garde perspective.
The development oscillate between the clean and the aesthetic.
In some aspects, I get the dry-spicy aura of Antaeus, in others .. the soapy violet vibe of prada amber pour homme.
A strange work, hardly classifiable that suggests to me the analogy of a flower moon.
You have to try this!
I can't describe it well, but it smells warm and very sexy!
For me this is too floral and too feminine to give a thumb up, so - neutral. But very pleasant neutral
Sort of floral woody and smoky -- China White is really lovely, but there was something nagging about it and it took me a time to identify that it is very similar to Corso di Como (go compare),so a neutral only.
Had the brand new 'Black Afghan' from Nasomatto shoved under my nose -- this is something else -- deep, dense, dark, eastern -- a must buy later.
China White is probably built around violet, iris, white musk, a bit of patchouli and some other bit of light green floral. But whatever goes into the mystery formula, it is clearly dry woody violet along with white musk that creates the dry chalky floral base. It has been presumed that this Nasomatto is named for street grade herioin; but, when I first smelled it I immediately had associations with dry white china - bone china. White, dry and very minimal, the dry chalky floral nature of China White would also describe the famous white dinnerware created from bone ash and china clay in Stoke on Trent. I prefer my associations with bone china dinnerware because it also describes the feel of the fragrance perfectly. It is very similar to Narcisso Rodrigeuz for him but much lighter and subtler use of violet, iris, and white musk. Along with the violets, maybe iris, there might be a touch of honeysuckle or angelica to add a bit of green floral gentleness to the familiar dry violets and musk. Chalky and white, clean and unsoiled, a very nice fragrance - China White.
It reminds me quite a lot of my favourite from this line - Absinth - it has the same characteristic green/herbal/aromatic bitterness. China White doesn't have the spicy/woody warmth of Absinth though, it's a much cooler scent. Drier too, dusty dry the way cedar scents can sometimes be, though not particularly woody. Ashen, yes. It's sort of annoying and addictive all at once. I don't get any of the flowers others are mentioning, but I suppose violet (leaf) or iris (root) may contribute to its cold, and there's also a hint of a sickly-sweet note that reminds me of candy rather than flowers. I think there's vetiver root in there adding to the green sharpness, but it might be some other bitter herb as well. Could be good old oakmoss. China White is like a mix between some old-fashioned leathery chypre (Bandit, say) and some hyper-modern, metallic, synthetic, cold, sharp CdG creation. Oh, and it also reminds me of an über-masculine, dry, loud, woody/herbal concoction like Yatagan.
Gualtieri refuses to publish pyramids or discuss the notes that constitute his perfumes; still, they are, for the most part, remarkable for their tenacity and sillage. I suppose that's why people are content to pay his prices without knowing what's in them. I find China White to be oddly floral, powdery, and spicy while keeping a somewhat chemical or medicinal air about it. It's both mysterious and straightforward; by this, I mean it seems quite determined and forthright, yet it is difficult to wrap one's mind around, hard to parse. The upshot is, I like it. Next to Duro, I find it the best of the line so far.
Nasamotto doesn't want their notes disclosed on their scents and with good reason. My experience with this is a lovely powdery violet/green incense that's great for wearing to bed. Soothing and calming for me. I like.
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It is a bit powdery, but that is not the sole attraction. To my nose, it is a woody fougere, and the sweetness from the powder balances it a little. However, on my skin, things really dry out, so I can imagine that this powder can take over on some people. On me, the sweetness does not last long at all, so the powder turns very dry and green (ie chypre).
Maybe the twist in this frag is that it has both fougere and chypre things going on. It is vaguely ammoniac to my nose (maybe that is the bitterness mentioned above). Whatever it is that smells like ammonia to me is in quite a few fougeres. I think it is a lavender note, one of the more bitter herbal ones, and maybe synthetic. That part is not pleasant.
To sum up, it is dry on me, not cloying in the least. It is not feminine, either. It reminds me of Caron Pour un Homme with oakmoss. This is my second time sampling, and my second impression is definitely not as good as the first!
Billed as a powdery floral, I will agree that it is so, with a difference—China White has a dusty, dry, green powder over sweet, fruity florals. The combination is both jarring and interesting. While the powder is tart and salty, the florals are as sweet as caramel. This powdery chemical is close to providing a leather scent. All in all, it is odd and fascinating.
Simply extraordinary! A strange exterior chemical/farmaceutic envelope of I dont'know what, with a flower (violet?) heart. So strange, so wanderful! Try it.