Have I Outgrown the NYC Perfume Scene?


The short answer is ‘No’, of course.
But for the first time, the long answer is ‘No, but…’

The background: I went to NYC last weekend, mostly to visit a close friend before I say ‘Goodbye to all that’ and take off for the land of marinieres, pastries, and (more) perfume.
This was my second trip to Manhattan this summer- the first time the main purpose of my trip was my IFF interview and olfactory intelligence test (and to see the Rei Kawakubo exhibit).  Obviously a lot of water under the bridge since then.
And while I was there then, I visited Bergdorf Goodman, Twisted Lily, MiN New York, Aedes des Venustas, Osswald, and even CO Bigelow. In short, all the perfume places.

And it wasn’t that I was burnt out this time around, but after the blow out that was the last trip… there wasn’t a lot new to explore or discover.  Turns out not even NYC’s perfume sphere is without its limits.

Here’s a short run down of my sort of abortive perfume trip this past weekend:

  • Twisted Lily: There were a few new releases that I was happy to discover (namely Hiram Green Dilettante (a pretty lovely if canonical petitgrain-orange blossom) and Papillon Perfumery Dryad (galbanum galbanum and more galbanum). I put on a bit of Nicolai’s Rose Royale, which I got a sample of last time. Still debating it. It seems to lose interest a bit too quick.
    I left with no samples, and nothing I wanted to try further.
    BUT because I was in the neighborhood I stopped in a consignment store that I remembered being rabidly expensive. Only to discover they were having a 75% off end of season sale. I walked away with a beautiful Caroline Constas blouse and a pair of Frame jeans (for a bit over $60, total). So all’s well that ends well?
  • MiN NY: So since I was there last MiN has had a bit of a renovation- the dark wood panelling has been either covered or exchanged for white. I have no real opinion on the change. It was a bit dark before, but they did have a vibe going.  In regards to perfume, I wasn’t excited by anything.
    Oh right, Etat Libre d’Orange Attaquer le Soleil was alright. Just labdanum and resins. Kind of one note.
  • Bergdorf Goodman: Funnily enough, it was Bergdorf Goodman I had the most promising time at, in spite of its being the most mainstream/least niche of all the shops I went to.  I still have to wait until September for Chanel’s new Gabrielle pillar fragrance, but I was surprised and pleased to find that they now carry the Eric Buterbaugh floral line. Kingston Osmanthus was my favorite.  Time to save up for the $95 10 mL travel spray? Mmm, probably not.
    The nice Guerlain lady gave me a sample of Joyeuse Tubereuse, which had been a pleasant surprise find last trip (when I was expecting to test the new L’Art et Matiere orange blossom and had written off the tuberose).  What else? Still trying to get a real test in for MFK’s Aqua Celestia, because based on very little I am a fan.  And lastly, I finally tried on Annick Goutal’s Ce Soir ou Jamais. Which was a love? A very unexpected one. It feels like it fills an emptiness I didn’t know I had- one for a wine-like, dirty and musky rose.  Honestly I feel like it does for me what the rather- a-lot-more-expensive Frederic Malle Une Rose does not. And maybe beats out Rose Royale? Which seems to not be the garden rose I was originally looking for anyway.
    On the non-perfume side, handbag/leather company Loewe is pronounced Low-eh-vey.  Thank you, random Bergdorf Goodman salesperson!

And as an extra bonus list, other things I did in NYC:

  • a nice street market
  • ate at Terri NYC a lot
  • went out to Candle 79 for dinner
  • watched Say Yes to the Dress in the hotel
  • watched Lady Macbeth at the theater

Lady Macbeth was… intense.  Three out of five stars. We went rather out of our way to see it and while there were a lot of great things about it, it didn’t feel fully realized.

2 thoughts on “Have I Outgrown the NYC Perfume Scene?”

  1. You are an intelligent and gifted writer. This is written in a casual blog style but phrases here and there do give hints about your writing gift.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: