California Dreaming of Strawberries, but not Melons

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 –]

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?

  • IrisLA says:

    It was wonderful to meet you! Thanks for helping me to decide which scent to get. I’m happy with my choice, Nuit de Cellophane. Come back soon! You also need to visit Beauty Habit and Apothia.

  • Tania says:

    Sounds like you had a fabulous time!
    I’ll add Luckyscent to the places I probably won’t have time to get to while in LA. (I’m there for a charity party, and I have a feeling I’ll be roped in as a ‘volunteer’ in the run-up to the event, so shopping time will probably be limited to finding Lost-themed table decorations…)

    The new Tauer sounds interesting. 15ml bottles, too? Excellent! I wish more people would do that.

    I may need to avoid Barneys, in case I run into La Odorata! She sounds like a woman who used to come into the shop where I worked as a teenager. She always wanted help in the changing room, and honestly, you needed a gas mask… :d

  • Trish/Pikake says:

    Sounds like you all had such a wonderful time. How I wish I could have been along for the SIP leg of the tour. I was just telling Carter above how I posted about Lyric Rain not two days ago. It is a powerhouse patchouli fragrance, but so beautiful at the heart and drydown. Really special if you like patchouli and jasmine.:x

  • melanie says:

    Glad to hear you saw the tar pits. Did they smell like anything? I think tar has a specific scent.

  • Natalie says:

    I want to go on a road trip with you two! Quick tip: If you set the GPS to British English, “recalculating” comes out even snootier and more hilarious.

  • Flor says:

    You sound like you had so much fun! Wish someone had trailed behind you with a camera. I’m pretty sure it would’ve been a very entertaining video of your hilarious adventures.

    Can’t wait for the review on the new Tauer.

  • violetnoir says:

    Hi to you too, babe! Hope to see you out here sooner rather than later.


  • helenviolette says:

    Sounds like loads of fun!!! Wish I could have tramped around LA with all of you lovelies! I really enjoy visiting that city…

    Can’t wait to hear about Pearl and the new Tauer….

    And great to know that Maggie is even more gorgeous is person! (Ha!- a friend of mine and I have an ongoing feud about her in my opinion timeless beauty and his opinion lack thereof…hehe)

  • Kathryn says:

    Your adventures separately are always entertaining, but together you guys are hilarious. As funny as Lucy & Ethel, but with a bit of the added glamour of Thelma & Louise. (I think that you will come to a better end than the last duo, though.)

    About Emotionelle: I don’t usually object to melon (Diorella, Diorama, Le Parfum de Therese, etc.), but here it was just too much. I’m so far off in the country that there isn’t a manhole cover to hide under for miles, but my cat did crawl under the couch and stay there until I scrubbed my sample off. On the other hand, although I haven’t been as thrilled as lots of people by Annick Goutal’s Matin D’Orage, I didn’t think it was nearly as bad as you seem to find it. Can’t wait to smell those new SIPs.

  • Lindsey9107 says:

    WHAT!!?? Rose Chypre by Tauer???? I *MUST* have it. Despite my generally cautious, prudent nature that sounds like something I could buy an unsniffed bottle of.

    I’ve never seen any stars, but Maggie G. would be right up there on my list! This post def. made me want to visit L.A.

  • Carol Sasich says:

    there’s nothing like California produce !! Wish I could have been there !
    How about a Napa Valley retreat with Sonoma Scent Studios …with some wine tastings thrown in…a little trip to Sausalito maybe ?

  • kathleen says:

    I have been hording my small sample of Andy’s Une Rose Chypree, hoping to have some left, to compare with his final version. I just love it. Looking forward to hearing your impressions.

  • Nava says:

    We now have a celebrity sighting in common: I saw Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard and their cute little daughter once in the West Village neighborhood in NYC. I believe they have a place there.

    Sounds like you both had a terrific time. I dream of going to LuckyScent one of these days; those boys have certainly done well for themselves. Thanks for letting us live vicariously through your adventures. 🙂

    • Musette says:


      Well, that was weird.

      What I actually wrote was “< :-p !! glad you had such a great time" :(( so do wish I could've joined you - but AL6XN and the blacksmith wait for no one. xo>-)%%-

  • Eileen says:

    Thanks for stopping by SIP for me! :d The lily scent has got me very interested, so it’s good to hear that you liked it, too. Three hours at Luckyscent? That sounds like the best kind of “too much of a good thing is wonderful” to me. :))

    Now off to figure out how to fit the Rose Chypree in my overwhelmed budget budget..

  • Shelley says:

    Hooray for sun-kissed fun. Your report is the next best thing to being there…except you really MUST remember the interstitial details (so thanks to March for her insert-liness).. 😉

    What a rude shock, that “joy of finding a bargain turned into full-out sticker price multiplied by multiple purchase” episode. Glad that the item itself has turned out to be a winner.

  • Melissa says:

    Thanks for the excellent reporting! I just checked out Tom’s post and the three of you have certainly just created an army of glazed-eyed perfumistas anxiously awaiting the release of Rose Chypre. (See Louise’s drooly post above). As for Emotionnelle? I actually like a touch of melon in the topnotes of a few fragrances-Pierre Bourdon does this very effectively. But this sounds like overripe cantaloupe in a bottle. Maybe I’ll order a sample to see if I’m tempted to eat it rather than wear it.

  • Louise says:

    Oooh, I can just see your two stunning babes cruising along and drawing stares in L.A. 😡

    But wait! I miscounted! That would be three-V. Noir is a sweet looker. too >:d< ! And Tom, the hotness :d/ Sounds like the perfect mix of shopping, sniffing, touristing, visiting, and just plain playing. Well done ! I need to move right through The Melon thing, and the detailed toilet lady incident (hey, maybe she's ill?) and onto the star sighting-it's so much fun, right (Angelenos, cover your ears) ? I worked in Beverly Hills one college summer, and eyed Warren Beatty (yes, he was all that and winked at me), Karl Malden, and Walter Matthau all in one day. In fact, I ran into Matthau 3 times that one day...he had his security people "handle" me the third time =)) I must get my hands on that Rose Chypre...drooling into my granola here /:) Welcome home, ladies, hi to Robin, and off to check Tom's post.

    • Louise says:

      OMG! I just checked Andy’s blog (hi Andy!) and he mentions 15 ml bottles of Rose Chypre…this would far too nice…:d/

      • Andy says:

        hi Louise…just sneaked in… I want to go to LA, too! Sneef! There is definitely no place like California, LA, like Luckyscent.

        • Louise says:

          Aw, but you must at least stop by D.C. en route to L.A.-there’s a mafia of perfumistas here, and we would so love to meet you @};-@};-@};-

  • carter says:

    Here on the UWS of Manhattan we have the Sturgeon King (aka Barney Greengrass) which I believe is the Jewish version of the Flan King :^o

  • carter says:


    Oh, let it be a night of lyric rain
    And singing breezes, when my bell is tolled.
    I have so loved the rain that I would hold
    Last in my ears its friendly, dim refraln.
    I shall lie cool and quiet, who have lain
    Fevered, and watched the book of day unfold.
    Death will not see me flinch; the heart is bold
    That pain has made incapable of pain.

    Kinder the busy worms than ever love;
    It will be peace to lie there, empty-eyed,
    My bed made secret by the leveling showers,
    My breast replenishing the weeds above.
    And you will say of me, “Then has she died?
    Perhaps I should have sent a spray of flowers.”

    Dorothy Parker

    MUST hear ASAP about the SL makeup line and Tauer Rose Chypre or will go the way of Dorothy Parker and die [-o<

    • Shelley says:

      Yay, Carter! Thanks for posting…now am doubly inspired to sniff Lyric Rain…(after bracing myself with a stiff drink and tossing off a few digs…)

    • Musette says:

      One of my all-time favorite writers – I thought I remembered that line (but only vaguely)and it would’ve driven me mad until I dug out her poems, as I would’ve virtuously refused to Google it, weirdo that I am. On top of everything else it’s a great paen to the benefits of compositing.

      Carter, you are a jewel!


    • Trish/Pikake says:

      Interesting timing. I just wrote a review on Lyric Rain and posted it two days ago. Included the poem as well. Freaky how the world comes together like this!

  • Jan V says:

    It was really a pleasure to meet everyone at The Scent Bar! Adam and Franco were great hosts, many thanks to them. It was so much fun meeting the real people whose blogs and posts are always so entertaining and enlightening!

    It sounds like you had an action packed, economy boosting weekend with lots of sniffing and shopping. I know what you mean about the great produce here; we’re so spoiled-where I grew up there was no such thing as an avocado to be had anywhere.

    Thanks for organizing a fun time for all…

  • tmp00 says:

    I’m glad you two enjoyed yourselves; I had a great time with you! 😡

    • violetnoir says:

      Whoa! Sounds like y’all were busy, hee, hee!

      Seriously, I had a great time with all of you, too. Patty and March, come back soon, okay? And, Tom, I hope to see you real soon.