Wednesday, September 19, 2012

New York Summary Post

I got the chance to go to several stores in New York that I'd not been to before, and sniffed a lot of perfumes. I thought it might be interesting/helpful to share my thoughts with y'all, should you ever be in New York and want to smell perfumes! For a thorough summary of perfume stores in the area, see The Non-Blonde's awesomely helpful post. And, so that you don't get overwhelmed with perfume rambling, I've included random pictures from the trip.

A little boutique on Crosby Street with a truly unbelievable array of perfumes. The boy and I went there and were the only customers, and we felt rather out of place, but the sales people were really nice and patient and let us wander and smell to our heart's content. I highly recommend stopping by there! I already mentioned Tauer Carillon Pour Un Ange as being an absolute gem, but it was far from the only thing we smelled. From Amouage, I liked Lyric, both the men and women's versions, and Dia Woman, and quite disliked Epic Woman. From Parfum d'Empire, I tried and liked WazambaIskander, and Ambre Russe (though I would need to try them on skin to say for sure), and really disliked Aziyadé, which did the Amouage Jubilation thing and smelled like curry to me (and the boy as well). The fruit came out more when sprayed on a blotter than when just sniffing the bottle, but it was still entirely too spicy for me (I like spice, just not cumin and cardamom as a perfume!).
Conservatory Garden in Central Park
From Tauer, in addition to Carillon pour un Ange, I smelled Un Rose Vermeille, which smelled edible and would need to be tried on skin, Le Maroc Pour Elle, which I disliked at first but which got better over time (and which I definitely want to try on skin), L'Air du Désert Marocain, which seemed possibly overly spicy for me but, again, I would like to try further, Lonestar Memories, which smelled like smoke and dirt and cowboy, Rêverie au Jardin, which was green and lightly floral (and which I think Z would like), and smelled the nozzles of Eau d'EpicesVetiver Dance, and Incense Extrême, which all seemed promising. They don't sell Un Rose Chypree, tragically, so I was unable to smell that, and I also neglected to sniff Orange Star and Incense Rosé, as well as the Pentachords. I will be placing an order with Tauer sometime soon, since he offers 5 samples of 0.75-2 ml size (depending on which perfumes) with free worldwide shipping for $33.50. Yes, it's expensive, but Carillon Pour un Ange needs to be in my life.
The boy and I in Conservatory Garden
Other brands worth considering at MiN are L'Artisan, Xerjoff, Etat Libre d'Orange, Montale, and Heeley, among others.

Bergdorf Goodman
So much perfume, you guys. So. much. perfume. Unless you are a champion sniffer, you'll want to pick and choose what you smell here. For my part, I smelled:
––All the Chanel Exclusifs; I like 31 Rue Cambon, Beige, Coromandel, and Sycomore, though the last 3 still need to go through more testing, as I only smelled them on blotters.
Wafels and Dinges waffle! With whipped cream, nutella,
chocolate sauce, bananas, and strawberries. Just as delicious
as the last time!
––Many Guerlains; the sales woman was very hovery and made it hard to enjoy my sniffing, but I was still able to try several. She first sprayed several perfumes from a couple of smaller collections. From the Les Déserts d'Orient collection (recently made available at Bergdorf only outside the Middle East) I tried Rose Nacrée du Désert, which was way too strong for me, and also rose, which is not my favorite note, and Encens Mythique d'Orient, which was much softer and one I quite liked. From the Les Voyages Olfactifs collection, I smelled London, which I liked (though I don't remember details), New York, which smelled like a holiday oriental (nothing too remarkable), and one other that I don't remember (sigh).
About to enjoy my waffle, OM NOM NOM
Then on my own, I smelled Chamade edt on a blotter, which I liked, but then when I sprayed Chamade parfum on my arm, I found it to be too powdery/green floralesque for my tastes. Jicky parfum was clearly Jicky, but dirtied up and with the musk base emphasized. I prefer the edt, because I am a perfume heathen. The boy's thoughts were "this doesn't smell like something a person would wear". Certainly not me! I also sprayed Mitsouko parfum, just to see if it were better than the changed edp, but no, it still smelled wrong. I could cry, y'all. At least I have my teeny tiny vial of vintage parfum, which I've yet to try, as I must ration it carefully. DAMN YOU, REFORMULATIONS! Also tried Shalimar parfum, which was a darker, richer version and which I would like to get a vial of for winter (pity it's so flipping expensive), and Vol de Nuit parfum, which smelled very similar to the vintage edp I have, which is definitely a good thing. Lots of galbanum and moss and smelled very classic, and I wouldn't mind a sample of it in the least! I had meant to smell Vetiver pour Elle, but forgot to, boo.
Two different weird buildings along the High Line park
––A couple of Clive Christians. I tried X, which was interestingly fruity and floral without being cloying, at least for the first and last stages, though the middle stage was a little sweet. Definitely not worth $355, though.
More High Line!
––Annick Goutal Songes (which is pronounced [sɔ̃ʒ], not [sɔŋges], as I was embarrassed to discover––French is stupid), which smelled amazing, like tuberose and gardenia and jasmine and wood and happiness. I need a sample vial, stat.
Other things of note at Bergdorf are the JAR boutique (the only place you can buy their perfumes outside Paris; there's quite a ritual associated with it, though, and the prices are prohibitive, so I chose to skip), Tom Ford, By Kilian, Creed, Amouage (this is new!), and Serge Lutens, among others. I also recommend going by the Le Métier counter there. I saw the new-for-fall lip kaleidoscope, and you guys, I need it. But it's $95, so that need will almost certainly go unsated.
Went to La Tarte Flambee with the girls to preemptively
celebrate S's birthday. 3 savory tarts, and this sweet one
to finish it off: strawberries, crème frâiche, and chocolate sauce.
I went with L to Barneys to smell the exclusive line of Serge Lutens, only to discover that they did not have testers available. La Myrrhe will have to wait! For me to go to Paris, I guess? We still smelled a lot, though––like, a lot. I'll keep my thoughts brief, since just about everything I smelled is also available from Aedes and I will therefore be ordering samples of those I liked.
When we got back to Oregon, the boy and I went to Nicholas in Portland.
Look at that pita! Hand included to show scale (though slightly less effective since
part of it is cut out of frame, but whatever)
Frederic Malle: Le Parfum de Therese, which is not available from Aedes so I sprayed it on my arm. It's a nice fruity floral, but it's nothing all that remarkable, and the melon note smells a little off on me. Impressive longevity, though––it lasted all day and through a plane ride! Iris Poudre, which I liked a lot more than I expected to, and L'Eau d'Hiver, which smelled like ice and winter and which I will be ordering come cooler weather.
Arquiste: Having loved the two Arquiste samples I have (L'Etrog and Flor y Canto) I made it a point to smell the rest of the collection. I liked Anima Dulcis, and didn't dislike Infanta en Flor and Alexandr, so will be ordering samples of those (and probably also Fleur de Louis, the masculine version of Infanta en Flor).
The boy, making a very Amy face.
Serge Lutens: There were a lot of Serge perfumes to choose from, but I tried to limit myself somewhat––Un Bois Vanille, which was just straight vanilla and therefore not interesting enough for me to want to buy a sample, Chergui, which smelled promising, Five O'Clock au Gingembre, which was interestingly spicy and Christmassy, Arabie, which smelled reminiscent of Ambre Sultan and is therefore a scent I want to try, and Nuit de Cellophane, which smelled like shampoo.
L'Artisan de Parfumeur: So many perfumes! Bois Farine, which was weirdly gourmand (supposed to smell like flour, which I guess it did) and may be worth trying a sample of, Le Chasse aux Papillons, which was floral and happy and lovely, Dzongkha, which smelled like wood and spice and was not at all what I was hoping it would be, Safran Troublant, which was floral and lightly spicy and really very nice, and Passage d'Enfer, which smelled like straight-up incense.
Entry 2 in the "boy with tiny drinks" series,
at Stumptown Coffee in Ptown (available in
New York as well)
Annick Goutal: They didn't have all the Annick Goutals I wanted to smell (in fact, they had very few of them; will need to order samples of Mandragore, Sables, and of course Songes), but I did try Eau du Sud, which I did not like, though I cannot remember why.

New London Pharmacy
Gaia mentioned that they sell Parfums de Nicolaï there, so I wanted to go and sniff the collection, but they didn't have any testers out and I was too shy to ask. I did, however, smell Maitre Gantier et Parfumeur Fraiche Passiflore, which smelled like summer in a bottle (or on a blotter, whatever), all tropical florals with none of the synthetic screech some such scents have––it actually reminded me of Ormonde Jayne Frangipani, but I can order samples of Fraiche Passiflore from Aedes for much cheaper than I can get samples of Frangipani! And also Tubéreuse, which smelled like a promising not-too-heavy tuberose.

Other places I would have liked to go, had I had more time, include the Hermès boutique (the only place where you can smell the Hermessences), Henri Bendel, the Frederic Malle boutique, and Aedes. I'm still quite pleased with the sniffing I was able to do, though!

Do you have any favorite perfume stores in New York? Or other stores? Have you been to Wafels and Dinges?
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