Quite simply, this is the most fun I have had by myself since the days of Lancer. It comes in a gorgeous silver case, looks like a flatter metal train case, and inside are 40 essences in bottles, from iris to civet to labdanum, etc. You have the little booklet that tells you about each, where it comes from, etc., and the bottles are numbered so you can look up which one is which. (picture is from Le Labo)
The fun is in figuring it out. Now, I have always been up front that my ability to pick out notes is pretty iffy. Most times, I can get some of the big ones like iris or patchouli or ones I hate, but most of the time I know it’s familiar, but I can’t quite place it somewhere. Also, when you put them on the tester strips, like the civet, which smells rank enough in the bottle, let that baby dry out a bit, and we cleared the room with it. Excellent!
With the Olfactionary, I am slowly learning to have my nose match up the note with the smell, and I can spend hours playing this Smell Match Game… dipping some in, letting them dry and then sniffing again. Identification of notes is one of those things you can learn, though I think some people possess the ability naturally and are leaps and bounds ahead of where I shall ever be, but for those of us that struggle greatly and want to learn more, this is an excellent learning tool. Now, it is also a very, very expensive learning tool. If there is one thing I would beg Le Labo to do is to find a way to condense this kit to smaller bottles, less cool container, so it would be easier and a little less expensive to procure for most everyone. It is $490 for the kit. For me, it is worth every penny, but it would be nice if it were much more accessible.
BTW, I’ve gotten the notepads done, and they are up for sale here for $6.99 each, there are 50 sheets per notepad. I wish I had a better price point, but unless I order in HUGE quantities and because we use our own artwork, they aren’t cheap to get done. If a bunch get sold, enough that I feel okay about ordering in larger quantities, I may be able to bring the price down. Now I’m working on the coffee mugs!!!
P.S.S. — Bergdorf is shipping the Tom Ford Private Blends today. For those of you wanting a bottle, call Helga at 212-872-2581, she’ll hook you right up. They are $175 for 50 ml and $450 for 250 ml (not sure about that amount or price on the larger bottle, but it’s close). For those of you that did the pre-order of the samples with Diane and me, we are hoping we can still get them in the mail yet this week and back out to you. For those of you that were waiting until they were here… well, they’re here!! I can’t wait to get my nose on them. Love, hate, indifferent, don’t care, I have to smell what Tom has been up to in his laboratory. Also, we did start offering the sample set in the 1/2 ml size so it’s not quite as pricey, though the 1 ml is a better deal. Individual samples and decants will be available probably yet this week.