To all of our L.A. Enablers: You were great companions, especially Tom, who made sure we saw all the best of L.A., and Robin, who kept us company, and for both of you for keeping us laughing in your warm, lovely companionship. Also thanks to Franco and Adam at Luckyscent, who opened up their shop for all us sniffing freaks on Saturday morning and did some amazing gifts for everyone and door prizes for some very lucky perfumistas. [March is blogjacking this post in these brackets, let’s see if Patty notices.]
We arrived on Thursday morning, and with an exhaustive shopping guide from the fabulous Musette, we headed off to Venice. What a lot of cute little shops, but we soon gravitated to Strange Invisible Perfumes to smell all the ones we hadn’t smelled yet. I was enchanted with the new floral trio of Gardenia, Rose and Lily. The gardenia is pretty much spot on and is a great gardenia if you haven’t found one that makes you happy yet. I still prefer Untited/Lady Day, but since it is discontinued (though still available as a special order) because of all the other things it is, but do love the Epic Gardenia. The rose is really well done and has a full-on rose angle, meaning stems, leaves, all of it. The lily still haunts me as the one I think I need from the three new ones. But I found some existing perfumes in the line I hadn’t smelled yet that have my full attention – Lyric Rain and Trapeze. Lyric Rain is, I think she said, somehow related to Dorothy Parker. Interesting perfume, one I need to sample more, my nose just got too overloaded. Trapeze is a definite keeper, it has a spicy thing going on that’s just lovely, lot of carnation, if my memory is staying decent on this. [March sneaking in — I loved Trapeze too.]
After a lovely late lunch at a Japanese restaurant, we — what in the world did we do? Checked in at the hotel, caught up with Tom by phone, and we must have done something? [March – the La Brea Tar Pits!!! P, how could you forget? Also –Roscoe’s, on Gower I think, we had fried chicken and waffles for dinner because that is apparently what you have there. It was amazing, and I am not joking. Some of the best fried chicken I’ve had. Bring your Tums. Don’t order the red wine.] How could I have forgotten? Srsly, waffles and chicken, who knew? I’m still a little disappointed I didn’t get that side of gravy to dunk the whole mess in.
Tom (Perfume Smellin’ Things) picked us up at the crack of 10 on Friday for a great drive down to Santa Monica, including stops at lots of vintage/resale shops. Lunch was at R&D Kitchens on the main street in Santa Monica, and it was just really great. If you live in the area, go eat there, it was perfection. My shopping for the day came in after I changed into sandals that morning, looked at my unfortunate feet and felt in need of a pedicure. So I stocked up on some polish, foot files and what I thought were some cheap lip balms I had read about in Allure, and off we went back to the hotel until we met up with Tom and Robin (violetnoir as a commenter here) for dinner.
Now, have you ever had those moments when you think you’ve bought something cheap, you weren’t really paying attention to the final price when you sign the cc slip, then get home, take it all out and see the price? My shopping accident of this variety was Sara Happ Lip Slip (Luckyscent is carrying these now, so you can pick them up there). It had a brown sugar exfoliator that goes with the Lip Slip, though they are available in other flavors, and they are $24 each!!! I about croaked. You think you’re picking up something for $5 or under, so that was a shocka. Having said that, I also have to say that these are some amazing products. I used the exfoliator first, and my lips were smooth as could be, plus seemed to leave a nice waxish, but not waxy, residue for the Lip Slip to go on and adhere to. The Lip Slip is a very light, but effective, conditioner and hangs onto your lips like a great kiss. I think I’ve finally found the lip products that really work for me. Try them if you get a chance.
Tucked in for a good night’s sleep after a lovely dinner with Tom and Robin, we rolled over to Luckyscent for a great sniffing session on Saturday morning that lasted about three hours. Franco and Adam are great hosts – and I didn’t get the name of the lovely young woman who was ringing us all up, but she was incredibly helpful and gracious – and it was just a great time with friends old and new. I won’t remember everyone’s name, so I won’t even attempt it. We got a sneak preview of the new Tauer, Rose Chypre, which is really beautiful. [March – I think I’m reviewing this tomorrow.] It’s very much a traditional Tauer scent with that rich, incense spice base, and the rose is full and dark over the top of it. The blurb on the sample says citrus, but I get very minor citrus on it. I also sniffed the new Delrae Emotionnelle. Wow, melon hell. If you like melon in your perfume, this is the one to get. If you don’t, run across the street and hide under a manhole cover if it passes by. [March – kill.me.now]
If you are anywhere near Los Angeles, you have to go to Luckyscent, it is just full of smells and life and warmth and a great place for any perfumista to journey and spend a few hours.
After we thanked our lovely, gracious hosts and grabbed a nice lunch, March and I headed off for Barneys and Rodeo Drive. Now, I brought my GPS with me – I never go traveling without it if I’m driving – and did you know that if you put in the 9000 block of Wilshire and also put in Los Angeles instead of Beverly Hills, the GPS seems to be completely in the dark that these two cities could touch on each other? Bizarre. After a couple of false starts, we did find Barneys because, well, I had a mission. Serge Lutens makeup, which I will cover in Thursday’s post, which will become part of my partly regular assignment “Let Patty Buy it so You Don’t Have To.” [March – P’s got a Garmin GPS that sits on your dashboard, wow, it is incredibly useful. Except Hilda the GPS had this one quirk where she kept insisting we get to our Century City hotel by turning onto a nonexistent road that would go through the middle of another hotel and it really chafed her when we didn’t. She’d mutter “recalculating…. recalculating….” I mean, you could hear her thinking, dummasses.]
Now, as we we into Barney’s, we both needed the ladies room desperately [tmi?], and we finally found it on the third floor. We walked in right behind another woman, and the stench in that bathroom was just rank. I haven’t smelled anything that bad even when I had to use the outhouse on camping excursions. [March – different than outhouse. I am not sure how you generate that scent. Muskier.] We waited for a stall to open, and the woman who went in ahead of us exited, and March took that stall. I waited patiently, holding my breath, for something to open up so I could get the hell out of that cesspool of noxious smell. The other occupant exited, and I was still holding my breath, but stupidly went right into the stall she exited. And, voila, now I knew who was the source of that smell. I took a deep breath once I was in the stall and then promptly died inside. I’m just not a fussy person at, having grown up on a farm, and I believe the germs that don’t kill you will make you stronger, But me, tough farmgirl, used not one, but TWO toilet covers before I would sit down on that seat. After we left, we followed the smelly trail back to the first floor, where she was leaving all comers gasping for air in her wake. People were going behind her spritzing things. Apparently she is a Beverly Hills person who comes in regularly just to pass some time. I also have to say, other than the smell, she looked pretty fabulous. A kind of dashiki boho thing with a great scarf around her head, and she had a brilliant smile.
AND we made out first star sighting. I looked up from having my Serge makeup put on and saw someone very familiar that I knew I didn’t really know. Tall, willowy, quirky, yet beautiful face. It was Maggie Gyllenhaal. She is lots more gorgeous in person than on the screen. Flawless, luminous skin, just beautiful. Then I noticed the vaguely familiar guy shadowing her patiently. Pretty sure it was her character actor husband that I can never remember his name, Peter Sarsgaard.
Sniffed the new Ron Robinson Pearl, which is very nice, there will be more on that later this week from Nava. Also traveled to Saks and Neiman to sniff the Narciso Essence and the new Annick Goutal. Essence is very nice, but pretty indistinguishable from all the others, though I do like it. The new Annick Goutal. Hated it. Not sure what they’re trying to do there, but it was just an aquatic foul mess.
Sunday was further adventures in tourism with Tom, with a quick stop by a market where I couldn’t leave without a bag full of strawberries. They didn’t travel all that great, but they survived!!! [March – LA peeps – the Sunday farmer’s market on Larchmont, across from Larchmont beauty more or less. They have this stall called — wait for it — The Flan King. If I lived near The Flan King I would weigh 435 lbs. Also I have produce envy like you can’t believe. The asparagus!]
[Also. Tom has the patience of Job. And is very funny. Tom, be sure to check under your seat and make sure we didn’t drop any more fruits under there. You’re delicious. Please come visit us and we will return the favor.]
Now we are home and missing all the fun and adventure and thinking – where can we go next?