Saturday, May 26, 2007

Natsumi by Annayake : Perfume Review

As I have already indicated, I started this Annayake week because I fell in love with Hanami, Tsukimi and Annayake pour Elle, and it was only those fragrances that I was initially planning to review. After I started writing the feature though, it seemed like such a shame to leave Natsumi and Yukimi out, to leave things incomplete, even though admittedly, I have not become enamored with them in the way I have with the rest. Today and tomorrow then, we shall visit summer and winter; together we will complete our walk through the seasons of Annayake.

Natsumi is the fragrance of summer, and once again the name is indicative of the period the scent embodies. Natsumi means “beautiful summer” but the word can also be derivative of a verb, meaning “to pluck vegetables and greens”, creating a clever and thoughtful play with words, as the fragrance is identified as both vegetal and fruity. It represents a woman that is well organized and traditional.

I wanted to be transported to a summer festival with this perfume. I wanted to watch koi glistening in the bursts of light cast by fireworks. I wanted to smell the lightweight cotton of the summer kimonos, the yukata, blue and white, decorated with patterns of dragonflies or cranes. Instead, I find myself sprayed by light summer rain, high upon a mountaintop, lush and green. A burst of watermelon, it strikes my head like a red, juicy exclamation mark. “Why?!” I lament, and for a moment a child laughs giddily, reminding me that Japanese summer wouldn’t be the same without the traditional custom of splitting watermelons blindfolded at the beach, much like a crazy piñata game. I nod in understanding, but I am still baffled, for there is no sand beneath my feet, my toes are still protesting the wet feel of grass. It is chilly, so high on the mountains, I need a light cardigan. Mist surrounds the green peaks, everything is cool and fresh. The light is diffused by the summer clouds, but if I look down, shading my eyes out of habit, I see the cultivated fields, caressed by the sun. They are filled by ripe, blushing tomatoes, the sappy scent of their vines somehow wafts all the way up here.

Just as I am starting to enjoy all this, the scenery fades, like a dream. I am left on a disappointingly well-trodden path, visited countless times before. White roses, pure and mild, ylang-ylang softer than I know it. My hands sticky from the staple fruit of summer, peach. A holy trinity to which I’ve prayed to before, in temples better suited for worship. I’ll take a photo, but I won’t be coming back.

Pictures courtesy of:, and


Arhianrad said...

And just for that, I'm digging out my yukata already. Great review!!!

tmp00 said...

Wow. Just.. wow.

Fantastic review!

Linda said...

Dear Divina, Thank you for writing, and on Saturday, too! A beautiful piece of imagery, which makes me want to go on holiday - now! I think your closing sentence is really succinct in summing up the fragrance: am I right in thinking that it's almost a fruity floral, and as such is very pretty, but perhaps not a favourite? As always, I love reading your reviews,
Best wishes , Linda

Divina said...

Arhianrad and Tmp00 thank you so much for posting and for the lovely words! You always make my day!! :) *hugs*

Linda: I should be writing today as well...But I can't bring myself to it.. I wore a perfume last night that is still turning my stomach today - can you believe it?
And yes, you understood right :) I do get quite disappointed after I lose the mist-tomato-watermelon blend. Still, as with the rest of this line, this too is very well made. But probably my least favorite. Winter to come either tonight or tomorrow morning. Stay tuned ;)

Jenavira13 said...

Summer seems to be a hard scent to capture; it is so different the many parts of the world. Where I would live it would be the scent of fruit of the vine, golden grass, and extreme heat. Love the watermelon photo.

Divina said...

Hi Jenavira! I love the watermelon as well... I can't believe someone can carve with such detail!

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