Hi guys – reporting back already!
I’ve pretty much spent the entire day trekking around Berlin hunting for the numerous shops I was recommended to visit – a few were a complete waste of time but there we go :)
There are two shops right by my hotel… Delfi Parfums which stock a great range including the entire M.Micallef line including some I thought were discontinued, still – the bottles are b-e-y-o-n-d hideous, and I couldn’t bring myself to take them seriously :( It was also nice to see all the Montale bottles lined up, a great selection there and a few I wanted to try (Sandflowers, Sweet Oriental Dream) as there are no shops in the UK you can find these. Still, the line never really takes my fancy, even if I think I’d wear Aoud Lime a ton just because it is so straightforward and easy to wear.
Just around the corner is Belle Rebelle which is a lovely little shop that stocks Mona Di Orio, Profumum and Humiecki & Graef amongst many others. The H&G line has always fascinated me and the bottles are just as lovely in person as I’d hoped. I tried the new Candour which was a lovely, spicy powder… it’s starts a bit herbal, lavender? but dries down to this milky (vanillic), slightly powdery violet/iris combo with some spices and greenery… it smells a bit laundry-ish, but still, yet another nice addition to a lineup I really admire. I also sprayed Blask on my hand which I have wanted to try for ages and that was just as I hoped, I don’t really get the whole walnut and red wine thing, but it’s almost impossible for me to describe after just one sniff. All I can say is it is warm, with red fruits, some slight sour/acrid notes – grapefruit?, the only reference I got to red wine was that “tannin” smell? There’s a rich, obscure woodiness underneath and it is definitely something I will try again – was very impressed with this (and not so much Eau Radieuse which I also tried). I really want something from this line, and still love Bosque, although Blask comes a close second. But 150 euros? Eek D: Not sure what country this brand is going to be cheapest in.
Ka De We is a gigantic department store and it’s absolutely beautiful inside. They had a few of the Ineke fragrances for only 47 Euros on sale (Evening Edged In Gold, Gilded Lily) and whilst it’s a masssssiiiivvveeee bargain, I still don’t like them enough to buy :( They also had Muscs Koublai Khan in a spray bottle which I was quite impressed with! Didn’t know it’s still stocked in stores other than the Palais Royal. The thing is, I got the urge to buy it there and then but resisted, I’m off to Serge Lutens in Paris so why buy it now when there is so much in the line I prefer? So I was good :) They also had the new Blood Concept fragrance +MA… which I liked!! I can hardly remember the opening other than “It’s a bit stomach churning” and then it settles into a similarly stomach churning, super sweet milk – literally. On my skin now (about 4 hours later) it’s a sweet, clean, heavily lactonic, milk fragrance. Blood Concept say they ditched the metallic notes in this one, I can still pick something metallic up, but nothing as heavy as the other four fragrances. I’m gonna see if they have a 30ml bottle like was originally advertised when this was released, because I may just have to pick it up! Wished they had the RED+MA (the blood and milk), might go back and see if they do :)
Quartier 206 is another super super posh department store which had a nice fragrance lineup, and apparently is the only place you can buy Lisa Kirk’s Revolution (the fragrance said to smell like tear gas and mace etc.) – I found it a very tame civet-leather with a hit of harsh spice… a little less potent than expected. Will retest it some day though :) The testing display was crowded and I couldn’t be bothered to work my way through everything else they had… it was just tons and tons of niche, that I could find much easier at Ka De We :)
The Different Scent was a niche fragrance store I pretty much walked in and then straight out of, it was ok… but it was nice to see the Magnetic Scent lineup there :D One thing that surprised me was the packaging for this brand (which I’ve been writing about recently) – I thought the boxes were made of like… coconut wood or something. Instead, it’s cardboard, not quite what I imagined but there we go :)
Breathe Cosmetics seems to specialise in avant-garde perfumery and there were a couple fragrances I had never heard of (and didn’t like!) – the shop was much much smaller than I expected with literally a handful of fragrances on offer. Yet again, they seemed to specialise in the Humiecki & Graef line, same price – gutted! But the main reason I visited was to sniff the Sissel Tolaas’ fragrances Made In Norway and HSIDEWS… both hugely disappointing.
So yes – Berlin is overloaded with niche fragrances, most of which I haven’t even mentioned (but Ka De We in particular has almost every brand you can think of). So unless I grab myself a bottle from Blood Concept (which I hate to admit because it’s so typical to be drawn to something so cheaply avant-garde, but hey! :P I don’t care!), I think I’ll go on to Zurich without a German purchase. But that’s cool – I have my eye and nose on so many things in Rome and Paris, my wallet could probably do with be handled carefully here. Time for some actual sightseeing now – the touristy stuff :)