Perfume: A Weekend in NYC

drielys-0895-0As always, perfume was a big part of this past weekend’s NY trip. Mom and I are both big fragrance hobbyists/I’m trying to turn it into a career.  And the shops in NYC are so excellent- so here’s the lowdown on what we got up to (and the samples I carried off!)

Twisted Lily: Twisted Lily was the first fragrance boutique we went to after getting in on Sunday afternoon.  Because it’s not open on Monday, and we were leaving on Tuesday after a fully booked day. But thankfully it’s open until 7 on Sunday, so we were free to browse at our leisure. Being in Brooklyn, Twisted Lily is a bit further afield than the other shops (at least if you’re staying in Manhattan), but it is very much worth the trip- and is quickly becoming my favorite NYC fragrance shop.  And because it was Mother’s Day (and I was in with my dear sweet darling oh so beautiful mother) I got my seven samples for freeee.

  • Kiste and Sadanne, Slumberhouse: I love Kiste, which is a splendid peach-honey-tobacco thing. Very much not for summer but I ran out of my sample and was in mourning. This will succor me until I can get a more sizable amount. It’s so delicious. Mom put it on but quite dislikes it, but c’est la vie.
    Sadanne is strawberry-focused, which triggered alarms for me since strawberry is so frequently abused in mainstream fragrances. But this is pretty good and I need more time with it.
  • Lilac Love, Amouage: I had already read from reviews that the lilac in this fragrance in barely there. It’s much more focused on heliotrope (fine by me). And it is a great heliotrope- creamy and smooth and vanillic. Cooling and almost ice cream-like.
  • Rose Royale, Parfums de Nicolai: I have for a while been looking for the perfect green rose. EVERYTHING was wrong. Diabolo Rose by Rosine was close, except the acidic scent of tomato stems is a bit anathema to me- at least wearing it on skin. But this minty rose, with an opening reminiscent of a good summer wine, might be the key. Also a bit of tart blackcurrant.
  • Memoirs of a Trespasser, Imaginary Authors: Another one where I had used up the sample, but this time years ago. I wanted a sample to live with it a bit more, refamiliarize, and ultimately decide if I still want a decant of this baby.
  • Romanza, Masque: I always confuse this with L’Attesa, because I tested them on the same day last summer. But I don’t love L’Attesa’s rooty iris, while I love Romanza’s early spring florals, and the hay-like horsiness of the narcissus. Lasts fantastically too.
  • Ella, Arquiste: My damn Barney’s has 1) got rid of their L’Artisans and 2) started hiding the Arquistes and Aedes scents behind the counter. So it has taken me this long to try Nanban and Ella. Nanban was effective but an already well-explored concept.  Ella kind of lived up to its chypre-designation, which is rare these days. It was smoky, floral, and herbal, all in one, and worth getting to know better.

Osswald: Osswald is such a gorgeous store and they have an excellent collection of fragrances. We took a pretty quick trip in- there weren’t as many things there that were new to me. But retesting Ambre Muscadin by LM Perfumes was worthwhile- it’s a lovely vanillin leather, regardless of the name, and reminds me of a grouping of perfumes like Guerlain’s Cuir Beluga and Parfumerie Generale Cuir d’Iris.

Bergdorf Goodman: The basement of Bergdorf’s is pretty excellent for mainstream-exclusive fragrance browsing. The one downside, I would say (a downside which isn’t even a downside) is the zealously helpful staff. They’re not snooty so much as intimidating through their sheer attentiveness.  Mom got a Guerlain lipstick as a replacement for her almost used up old one, now discontinued. We almost lost the new lipstick later that day at lunch, in fact we had to go back and get the bag from Le Pain Quotidien, but luckily it was still there. In the meantime I got to try the newest scents from the L’Art et Matiere collection. Not a big fan of Guerlain Outrenoir, but enjoyed the sweetly creamy Joyous Tubereuse surprisingly much. Should have asked for a sample, but again, I was frightened b the helpfulness of the sales associates.  Enjoyed the new MFK, Aqua Celestia, and will have to try it more sometime.  The man who was helping us at that counter had an intonation very similar to Donald Trump’s, except that he was quite lovable. Why couldn’t DT have become a perfume salesman? I think he missed his calling.

Aedes: This is the first time we had been to Aedes in years and years, and we had a much better experience there than we had had the first time. I got to try the new Aedes scents but didn’t fall in love with any of them. Although I was most fond of Cierge de Lune’s heliotrope. Big surprise.  Didn’t really see anything else that was very new to me/that I hadn’t had the chance to test before. I had been hoping to find Parfums DelRae, which they carried the first time I was there, but apparently not anymore. Mom’s eyes were opened to the existence of high end incense with Astier de Villatte. Present idea for the future.

This was the first time in a while that we hadn’t gone to MiN, but I feel a bit as though we’ve gone so frequently in the past that I may have milked it out for a little bit. The last time I was there nothing was really new to me.

There were other fragrances I tried and liked less, but that’s less interesting to go into, I think.

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