Originally Posted by LuciusVorenus
I spent 7 weeks in China, during the summer, visiting Beijing and Shanghai. I found many shopping centers and malls that sold the usual western designer fragrances. But I regret that I did not look for the "underground" chinese parfumerie. There must be a huge market for less-expensive perfumes and oils, that can be afforded by the average middle class chinese. One thing I can tell you: jasmine is everywhere in China. I drank jasmine tea every day, and even ATE jasmine in sweets. Some people carry jasmine leaves with them, attached to a little metal thing. It is sold on the streets.
I did ask several people about perfume and I was told it was only recently in China that people started to wear perfume reason being that it is often too hot and they'd rather repel insects than attract them. Also to them it is very western to wear perfume and that's a good reason to follow suit, but they need to be recognizable western brands.
I think the jasmine you smelled on people could be from the many many many massage rooms, I think it's common for people to smell of the jasmine oil they use.
My friends there were interested in my perfume but they didn't recognize the brands so they weren't that interested for long, they thought it was a funny idea there could be some local perfume scene while all the ' kids' are into prade, gucci, d&g perfume simply for the name.
I got a nice parasol instead..very useful in Iceland. I felt very local having one in shanghai though, taxis actually stopped then!.