SMELLYTHOUGHTS In Paris… Day 11

Hello everyone!
Thanks for all the support so far and the nice words about my vacation and the happy birthdays and all that, it’s been much appreciated :D

So, It’s my last day in Paris today, and it’s more of a “perfume shop visiting” diary than anything as exciting as what went down in Zurich :P But there we go.

The first stop when I got to Paris was Galeries Lafayette, it was hideously overcrowded with a stock I’d seen everywhere and I think I stayed about ten minutes…

Onto something more interesting :D The Serge Lutens Palais Royal!
Ok so the shop is gorgeous, the bell jars all laid out exquisitely with tester strips below them so you can smell the drydown and then fresh ones to smell the top notes. The sales assistants were surprisingly helpful, not the most welcoming in the world but as soon as they saw I actually had an interest they warmed up a bit (expectedly!).

Serge Lutens Palais Royale

There were a few things I’ve been really meaning to try properly. Sarrasins was one (and a lovely BN’er is sending me a sample to live with for a while of this one so I didn’t explore it too much) – but it’s a gorgeous, over-the-top indole heavy jasmine, I didn’t try it on skin, but I know I’ll like it :D
Mandarine-Mandarin is one that I keep getting drawn too although I had never smelt it before, and when I put it on my skin I thought it was love at first sniff. It’s a beautiful, dense, jammy orange – laden with spices and a rich, warm base – it’s loud, lasts forever, and I instantly considered it an ultimate comfort scent - unfortunately it got pretty tiring on my skin after a couple of hours of walking around and I managed to put myself off it :( Still, it’s a beautiful scent and one that seems to get overlooked a lot in the Lutens’ line up of exclusives.
I gave quick sniffs to tons of stuff: Rose De Nuit, Encens et Lavande, Fourreau Noir…
One worth talking about is the new release, Une Voix Noire (which I’ll have to find a sample of and write about soon). It really really impressed me, although it completely turned my stomach! The gardenia in it, isn’t really a gardenia, it’s not particularly accurate but it’s interesting. There isn’t a mushroom in sight, but it is without a doubt the cheesiest gardenia I’ve smelt. It’s not rich and pungent, but it reminded me a soft cream cheese like Philadelphia – that underneath all the sweetness and boozy notes was fascinating, and absolutely sicknening! I almost wanted to buy it, but with it sitting on my skin for a few hours, the drydown just smelt filthy to me! – and in a way I’d never experienced before. I would love to explore this one more as it was so unexpected. It’s a great release, a brilliant perfume, but totally unwearable for me.
Anyway, I won’t tell you what I bought just yet… I’ll leave that for my last post on my holiday!

Next I went to Jovoy which I visited today as well (this post isn’t all about one day!) – Jovoy has a beautiful collection, all the Tauer’s, Vero Profumo, Puredistance, Xerjoff, Parfum D’Empire – it’s huge, beautifully presented and the manager? I think he was anyway – was extremely helpful and took me around the whole shop explaining everything. I highly recommend this place to visit!
I tried a few things that I had wanted too, like Cuir de Nacre (very iris heavy but nice enough), Chypre Palatin (which I was really impressed by on first sniff but found the drydown a little boring for me – it reminded me of a modern Bandit meets Mitsouko? Although they’re very different).
I tried Mona’s Cuir again as I’m always fascinated by it (and have a sample now) – I love that cigarette smoke leather that on my skin turns almost peanut-y, but I don’t think I need another heavy leather. I tried the new Musc Tonkin by Parfum D’Empire which was much more potent and “extreme” than I imagined it would be – a heavy heavy goat leather with a lot of other crazy stuff going on in there, I didn’t give it much time because yet again – I don’t need a leather, and it was a little bit unsettling for me :(
So yes, I could go on and on but this post is long enough already and I have lots more to write about!

Eiffel Tower

Nose is the new concept fragrance store whose idea is that you have an “assessment” where you try lots of ingredients and blah blah, then they recommend you 5 perfumes to try based on your tastes. It’s a great idea, but I walked around the shop and the brands I’d either tried or wasn’t particularly interested in at the time, so I thought I shalln’t waste my time on an assessment becuase I’m not buying anything :)

Sens Unique had a great little range including all the Parfumerie Generale’s, Nasomatto… the usual, on top of Technique Indiscrete which I’d wanted to try for ages! Their Delivre Moi which I assumed I would love (and did!) was a gorgeously rich, piss-y honey scent that was a little too similar to my bottle of Miel De Bois for me to purchase. But I would highly recommend it as a more affordable alternative! A lovely little shop and the sales girl was hugely knowledgeable, telling me the stories behind a lot of the fragrances I randomly picked out.

Marie Antoinette is a tiny boutique perfumery that Andy Tauer had told me I must visit. It was gorgeous, like a little crooked wooden house stocked with a carefully chosen, refined selection. The lovely gent who runs the place was extremely helpful and passionate, and Marie Antoinette is also the only shop in Paris to stock the Tableau De Parfums line. He sprayed me with something amazing but I can’t remember its name :( the language barrier was a little tricky and I’m sure we both nodded along to things when not knowing what to say or not understanding each other. Still – he had some highly unusual things I’d never heard of and it is a real little gem of a perfume shop.

Guerlain Champs Elysees

The Guerlain boutique on the Champs Elysees was stunning. I was a bit apprehensive about going in – and to be honest, Guerlain really isn’t my scene. But still, it was lovely to see all the bee bottles and the wonderful displays throughout the shop and try all the pure parfum’s, some exclusives etc. etc.

I also visited a Frederic Malle store (to buy my Mum’s xmas prezzie), and yet again, the sales man was fascinating to talk to. He told me I must visit Printemps department store which had a much better selection of fragrances than Galeries Lafayette and he was right – although it was yet again, a little overcrowded – it had a very nice selection. But, yet again, nothing I hadn’t seen all over Paris. But the manager of the Frederic Malle store in Printemps got in touch with me having discovered my blog just a day ago, so I’m going back there tonight to have a little chat :)

Printemps

Ermmmmmm, so yeh! Perfume wise, I think that’s pretty much it. I passed Parfums de Nicolai, Etat Libre D’Orange, Annick Goutal, L’Artisan Parfumeur etc. but, aside from PdN, I know these lines so well I didn’t feel the need to pop into the stores.
So on top of a ton of typically tourist-y sightseeing, that’s what I’ve been up to here :) All lovely stuff!
And tomorrow? Off to Rome! :D

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18 thoughts on “SMELLYTHOUGHTS In Paris… Day 11

  1. What a whirlwind trip! And I’m pretty jealous, considering that I would have to make separate trips to NYC and LA (and possibly San Francisco) to get the amount of “scent-seeing” you’ve been able to do in one trip. As if I didn’t already think of Paris as a delightful destination, you’ve definitely made me want to go for perfume shopping alone.

    Your blogging of your trip has totally inspired me to get myself to “The Art of Scent” exhibit by Chandler Burr at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City before it closes – I think in early February. I think I’ll also do some damage at Barneys and CdG’s boutique in Chelsea…my wallet is already bracing for impact. :)

    Belated birthday wishes! Have a great rest of your trip.

    • Keith! Your post has brightened my day :D A lovely reply thank you I appreciate it.
      Yep it’s awesome just touring around, sniffing this stuff, learning so many new things and meeting amazing people in the industry. It feels like a bit of a dream! Yes! You must come to Paris, there’s great stuff here to try out – I’m excited for Rome and Campomarzio70 – insanely interesting collection held there.
      The Art Of Scent sounds great, Steve from the Scented Hound wrote a lovely post about it here if you haven’t read it: http://thescentedhound.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/new-york-city-part-2/
      OoOOo what CDG are you after? Sounds fab, keep in touch and let me know where your money goes!
      x

      • How sweet. Thanks for the mention. Oh so many places to sniff perfume. Marie Antoinette sounds like the perfect perfume store… but I like you would just have to point and smile. I am surprised you didn’t like the new Musc Tonkin…strong and stinky is typically your love!

      • It is Houndy but, my tastes change! One of my purchases is especially strong and stinky (I haven’t reviewed it yet so no guesses!), and then also I’ve bought a super light super sweet gourmand, I’m growing up! YAY!
        Everything I’ve bought has either been something that is slightly cheaper in the UK, or unavailable in the UK – that’s so far anyway. I’ve also had some freebies which have practically made me cream my pants so it’s going good! But yes, I think I’m being sane, I haven’t gone shopping crazy – and I’ve bought nothing I don’t love and need.
        What will YOU be treating yourself to this Chrsitmas? Did you like Musc Tonkin? I think I would like it if I was in the mood but… I haven’t been in the mood for it :(

      • There are actually a few CdGs in my sights. I’ve really enjoyed the Avignon and Stephen Jones samples I got from Luckyscent, but I tend to make better decisions with a full spray or two for some reason. Stephen Jones is immensely long-lasting and wearable on me…it seems a shame to spend around $150 for a “wear to work” scent, but I can’t stop sniffing my wrists when I wear it, so it might be a good thing to fulfill that obsession. I also want to check out this “glue / packing tape” note in their self-titled 2011. I’m really into off-putting synthetic notes right now – maybe they’ll even have their synthetic line in the boutique, since that line seems to have disappeared from online stores.

        For my partner, I think I want to try to get him to sample Jaisalmer from the incense line…it’s sweeter and denser than Avignon, more spice than resin – a perfect match for my serene, meditative guy…but he hasn’t worn anything but pure patchouli oil for years, so that might be a hard sell. ;)

        I’m also interested in the listed notes on both of the Guerrilla line – they seem like they’ll be monster-big, but I’ve never sampled them before, so they may be little kitty-cats.

        Basically, I’m going to wear my nose the hell out. :)

      • AWESOME!
        Stephen Jones is one of my favourites – it’s exqusite so great choice. I like Avignon very much, but rarely wear it, I find it really light and the novelty wears off quickly, so I like to put it down and pick it up again in a few months.
        CDG EDP 2011 is one of my favourites from their line, it smells like laundry powder and glue, it’s beautiful.
        The Guerilla’s… I wouldn’t waste time with them, be sure to try Guerilla 1 because the opening is great (and gross) but it dries down pretty plain. Whilst you there be sure to give a sniff to Tea – a great medicinal bomb that turns into a gorgeous smoky rose/vanilla, very bizarre. But, you’ve picked out my favourites already :P
        If you’re into the whole synthetic thing at the minute, don’t miss out on (from other houses): Byredo’s M/Mink, you’ll probably love some of the Humiecki & Graef line aswell.
        As for your guy, maybe look into the “patchouli but better” fragrances – like Borneo 1834(+cocoa), Classic Patchouli Von Eusersdorff (+vanilla) there’s tons out there – ease him into it!
        Good luck :D

      • Thanks for the suggestions – both on CdG and some patchouli scents!

        Steve’s recap of his NYC trip was fantastic – The Scented Hound is now firmly in place on my Google reader! And I’m adding a trip to Aedes De Venustas in my plans…one more reason to love Christopher Street in the Village.

      • Definitely – his reviews are brief, down to earth and honest, a treat to read :D

  2. laniersmith says:

    What a wonderful visit to Paris. I loved tagging along. Now on to the home of the gods, golden Rome! Urbs orbis Caesares!

  3. Kafkaesque says:

    What a lovely, lovely post. I grew up in Paris, in part, and reading this was a bit like a trip down memory lane. At least for the old, established places. “Nose” sounds a little *too* much of a concept store for me, but perhaps it’s perfect for those who aren’t hardcore perfume addicts. OT, you went to Les Galleries Lafayette *and* Printemps at Christmas time?!?! You are a brave, brave man indeed! You’re also lucky to have survived in one piece….. ;)

    • Awww thanks Kafkaesque I’m glad you enjoyed it! :D
      Yeh Nose was too much of a concept store for me too! Not really my sortta thing but there we go – it must be working.
      YEP! I know it was insane D: Did NOT expect that. Printemps was a little better… I mainly went to chat with the manager of Frederic Malle – he was extremely interesting and his part of the store was quiet, confusing considering Malle is pretty much the best brand in the beauty hall but there we go :) We had a little bitch about what brands are turning mass market and learnt a bit more about the Malle line so yeh, it was worth the pushing and the shoving I suppose :P
      Where do you live now then?

      • Kafkaesque says:

        I live in the US now. In Hell, to be specific. Otherwise known as Houston, Texas. (Don’t ask. It’s a long way from Paris and London. LOL) I re-read your post a few times because I can’t decide what perfumes I’m more intrigued by after your comments on them. I’ve heard SO much about Musc Tonkin, but the “goat” part of your comment gave me great pause. *grin* I definitely have to get my hands on a sample, at the very least, just to try it. Your description of Une Voix Noire was also very…. pungently…. evocative. Another one to jot down, if only for comparisons sake.

        I realise you’re leaving for Rome soon, but if you ever want to smell another old-time, ancient, classic Parisian perfume house (for historical reasons alone, if for nothing else), you may want to try Caron on your next trip. There was once a huge rivalry between Guerlain and Caron, and they have the whole bell-jar thing too. They’re pretty cool just for historical, truly classique scents. (A century ago, Guerlain was supposed to be for the mistress, Caron for the duchess and wife. LOL) Happy belated birthday, Mr. Sagittarius. And I’m thrilled I’ve found your blog. I know I’ll learn a lot from you about some of the more niche fragrances. I suspect my wallet will be very unhappy…. ;)

      • Goat leather is just a way a lot of us describe a kind of rough saddle leather – try Cuir D’Iris, that’s a similar usage of the type of leather, Musc Tonkin is much more potent though.
        Une Voix Noire is really soft on the skin, but definitely uncomfortable when you pick up the cream cheese smell – it’s there!
        Yeh i’m in Rome now :) I know all about Caron, it’s a house that I understand has all the history and the classic scents blah blah, it’s not my scene… same as Guerlain, it’s far too classy and pristine for me :’) I hate to sound immature and say I prefer to see what’s happening in new directions and am more interested in current perfumery and it’s future, than I am about the classics, but it’s true – on top of reformulation and having to hunt out vintages and what not, I can’t be arsed with all that just yet :P
        Well, I hope you enjoy reading it and keep in touch! :D

      • Kafkaesque says:

        I don’t think it’s immature at all. :) I don’t think age or maturity have anything to do with perfume. It’s all about the personal and subjective. You prefer the avant-garde and cutting edge, the future, not the past. That’s not only perfectly understable but very, very cool. You’re open to the new and different. Me? I like them both. :) Cheers and buona notte.

  4. Undina says:

    I’m really curious what perfume you bought from SL’s boutique but I’ll wait patiently to read in your other post.

    It sounds like a great trip.Thank you for sharing it with us :)

    • Aw thanks for commenting Undina glad your enjoying it :D
      Haha! Everyone’s curious :’) Well, I think one of the purchases was to be expected because I’d wanted it for so long, the other… I dunno – it’s not one of my favourites, there’s ones in the exclusive line I prefer… but something told me I “needed” it, so I bought it :)

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