Greetings from Edinburgh

Hey, look who found an internet terminal!?!?  I know, I just can’t stay away.  Forgive me in advance, it’s now 2pm-ish my time on Friday (?) and I’ve been up more or less since Thursday morning, so I’m a bit out of it.  Anyway, here’s your chance to giggle at any of my perfumage notes following, since I don’t have the time or the energy to double-check my impressions.

 The Roja Dove boutique in Jenners here is a bit of a disappointment.  They don’t have some of the things I was looking forward to (Diorling, Diorama); I am assuming those will be at Harrods in London.  The other general Jenners issue is: they couldn’t be nicer, but nobody knows a thing about any of the fragrances they’re selling, notewise, in the entire dept.  The nice young Roja Dove girl didn’t know anything either.  There was an entire wall of unmarked flacons (except by number) and she said they were individual notes but wouldn’t let me play… insert sad face here :(.

Anyway: lots of Caron, Guerlain, some Serge, plus hard-to-find-in-stores classics like Ma Griffe, Miss Balmain, Antilope.  That was fun, but as all the concentrations are EDT (so far as I could see) they lack oomph.  I got to try Caron Nuit de Noel in extrait (and the tiny black bottle is gorgeous) and The Earth Moved.  It did. 

Browsing in the general fragrance area: they have things we don’t seem to have yet (like a wall of Armanis — ReMix and White? one each for men and women) which were perfectly pleasant but like the new City Glam I probably won’t be buying.  I smelled the new Summer LE for YSL Opium, this one’s called Orchidee de Chine and it is wretched — powdery sweet and overwhelming, unlike the last two, which i liked a lot. I got to fill in some fragrance gaps by smelling (finally!) McQueen’s Kingdom, which is not that outre compared to reorchestrated Femme, the Mother of all Cumin. Kingdom’s easier to take, IMHO, gorgeous rich scent, although too much for summer in D.C. That’s the EDP. The EDT I also really loved — like a summer version of Kingdom, without the cumin (although that’s sort of like saying chocolate cake without the chocolate, but indulge me.) I’m tempted to buy a bottle of that, it would be perfect in summer.

Vivienne Westwood Boudoir is fabulous– musky and funky and creamy (sorry, no notes here!) I thought her Anglomania was meh, and the new Boudoir Sin Garden has a great bottle but isn’t anywhere near as interesting — more a basic fruity-floral to me.

Also — you all remember DKNY Woman? Sure you do. It’s in a long, angular container like a three-sided ruler. I’m going to guess grapefruit, pepper, cucumber and lily, and those notes will be all wrong, but damn! It was gorgeous. If you’re a green and/or lily lover, you should dig one of those up online, I’ve seen them at the discounters. I may pick one up at the airport on the way home, the little ones are dirt cheap. Really interesting fragrance.

The scent that stole the show – Worth Courtesan!!! Have no idea if it’s new — and, no, they couldn’t tell me a thing. It’s … the name is perfect. It’s wanton. It’s not overly sweet, a little dirty (cedar/vetiver?) The brief probably said: give me a fragrance that makes me think of the morning after a night with my illicit lover. Sorry, that’s the best I can do. Strikes that perfect sweet spot between musky, sweaty and perfume.

Final note — I followed your instructions and soaked my whole darn hand in SL Rousse. Spray it on, you all said!!! Well … what? I still think it smells sort of like Mandarine Mandarin, only murkier. I am just not getting the cinnamon love. Sigh. Well, I guess it can’t all be perfect.

Oh, also — went by Penhaligons on George Street. I keep trying to fall in love with one because I love their bottles so much. Malabah I have and like a lot. Artemisia and Quercus have potential, but they’re gone in 30 minutes. And a couple (Bluebell?) are scarifying although I should note that the woman there knew her line and could not have been lovelier to me.

Okay, signing off. I’ll check back in when I can — I miss you all!

Postscript — five hours later. Okay, I get it about the Rousse!!! I totally get it now! But why, oh why do I have to wait so long? Not sure the first four hours of muddy spices are worth it, but then it’s just yummy cinnamon woods and something musky.

  • Macro bako says:

    hello hi honey

  • Solander says:

    Oh, the Courtesan sounds right up my alley!
    I can’t wait to move to Britain if that’s the kind of fragrant shopping they have there….

  • March says:

    Oh … right!! Eating pasties and castle-walking or something. Damn. I forgot. Hey, apparently it IS true about the kilt thing. I’ve been researching.:d Right up your alley, eh?

  • Robin says:

    Fun shopping!! Worth Courtesan is new, 2005 or 2006. By Pierre Bourdon:

    “Tantalising spices such as Cinnamon, Cardamom and Clove are entwined with the fresh fruitiness of Pineapple and Red Berries, with Bergamot from Calabria adding a Mediterranean sparkle to create an enticing top note. The voluptuous core is composed of luscious floral notes; the sultry allure of Orange Blossom from Tunisia, delicate Magnolia from China and the sweet intoxicating scent of Egyptian Jasmine and Turkish Rose.

    Precious woody notes led by the smooth caress of Sandalwood develop a sensuous dry down that the sweet notes of Peach, Caramel, Raspberry and Chocolate and the aphrodisiac qualities of Cocoa Beans only make more desirable. The blend of Amber, Vanilla and Musk enhances this mysterious, seductive facet making one wish to touch, embrace.”

    Sort of shocked that the employees at a Roja Dove boutique aren’t well-trained.

    • Robin says:

      Not sure that is clear, the fragrance is by PB, but that ad copy is from the Worth website — not written by PB!

      • violetnoir says:

        Yeah, I think it was introduced last summer, but I have never seen it over here in the states. I had forgotten how much I wanted to try it, but March re-kindled my longing to do so. 😡


        • Susan says:

          Now – Let’s all chant together: “Bottle split! Bottle split! Bottle split!”

      • March says:

        R – Re Courtesan- I had prepared a long reply and got booted off at the last second. Those notes completely surprised me. I don’t know what you’d think of it but it’s not a run-of-the-mill fragrance.

        I went to Jenners three times. (I know — loser.) Each time they couldn’t have been friendlier but seemed clueless. They only had notes for Sin Garden because it’s brand new there. My hopes are high for London, though.

        Okay, I have to go eat a pasty and walk the moors.;)

  • tmp00 says:

    Ain’t the internets grand?

    Courtesan sounds right up my (dirty little) alley, and glad you got something out of Rousse- I wore it the other day and got a compliment from my perfume pal, along with the most obvious look of “mental note to hit Barneys tomorrow”.

    Sooooo jealous that you and Lee are going to meet and play.

  • Amy says:

    I predict you will be considerably less disapointed by the HP at Harrod’s. Oy. Promise me you’ll sniff the Larmes Sacrees du Thebes for me. (Acutally, promise me you’ll STEAL some for me!)

    I tried the Rousse in Barney’s in NYC and it went on HUGELY cinnamon-y, but then it dried down to too much sandalwood. S-wood goes slightly sour on me, much as I love most woods, that’s the one that doesn’t work. I wasn’t terribly tragified by this, since I already have my World’s Sexiest Redhot frag in Musc Rav (again: giant, economy-sized cinnamon — there must be something in my chemistry that pulls it out).

    Intrigued by the sound of Courtesan and the presence of cinnamon & cardamom, but put off by the listing of chocolate and the evil pineapple & red berries. Actually, I’m put off by the entire list of base notes, except possibly caramel or vanilla in tiny amounts. What say you?

    • Maria B. says:

      Amy, you can’t just mention there is a fragrance called Larmes Sacres du Thebes and not tell us more about it! :(( Who makes it–a classicist? There’s no mention of it on Basenotes.

      • pitbull friend says:

        Maria: I just Googled it & found this amazing page (spaces added to keep it from being filtered out):

        http://perfumeshrine. fortunecity. com/ perfumeterms.html
        Huge amounts of info on here re ingredients, fragrance categories, etc. Then, at the bottom, there is a section called “The most beautiful perfume names and their origin.” Of course, this “The Sacred Tears of Thebes” is among them! :d It is by Baccarat & contains benzoin & spices & sounds great. What an amazing page! If you’re reading this, BRAVA, Helg!

        What did we do before the Net, again? Can barely remember. –Ellen

        • Maria B. says:

          Thank you, Ellen! I couldn’t get to the site through the URL you cited. However, I got to it by going through:

          and clicking on the list on the right where it says: “Helga’s Perfume Shrine web site.”

          And now I’m finding this too tempting. If you want to know what I look like, you can check out the May 5th entry in Andy Tauer’s blog:

          The image there will confirm the idea you have no doubt conceived of me as austere and dignified. ;))

          • Maria B. says:

            Hmmm. It says my comment is awaiting moderation. I wonder what I might have said that’s immoderate. 😉

          • pitbull friend says:

            I think it throws you into the spam filter if you give a web address. I avoided the spam filter in this one by sticking a bunch of extra spaces in — then it doesn’t read it as a website. But whoever’s moderating got right on it for you! –Ellen

          • pitbull friend says:

            Oh, Maria, you are SO cute! It’s so nice to put a face with your words, too. I can tell you were having a great time. –Ellen

          • Maria B. says:

            Thank you, Ellen! :”> I was having a superb time!! I do like to be able to put faces to the fascinating people on the blogs. I imagined Marina as a middle-aged black-haired woman, when she is young and blonde. I try to make a mental picture of you when I read your responses. I’m sure I’ll be way off about you too.

          • Louise says:

            Maria-you look charming, and a lot of fun. Would love to meet you.
            Lucky Andy-and lucky you.

          • Maria B. says:

            Louise, I recently had a brief glimmer of hope that I’d be visiting D.C., but it fell through. 🙁 I’ll let you know if I ever do.

          • Louise says:

            Oh! Please do! We’ll get a gang together and go a’sniffin’.

      • Amy says:

        It is, as y’all have discovered, from Baccarat and it was amaaaaaazing. It was also insanely expensive, and I think the HP in Harrods is the only place you can get it. The very nice SA was quite generous with spritzes. I can’t remember specifically how it smelled, just that it was divine (if I went crazy for it, probably spicy/oriental and very big), and that as we were going down the escalator, Lady Grey (with whom I was shopping) said, “Oh, you don’t even want to KNOW how good you smell.


    • March says:

      Amy, I promise I’ll look in Harrods! And look up there … somewhere, I was stunned by that list of notes. I swear I’m not getting any evil fruit salad. I wouldn’t have guessed it at all. The spices, yes. Not even the chocolate. Muskier.

      • donanicola says:

        Oh I smelled that one in RD, Harrods – it is amazing! The benzoin makes it smell so profound if that makes any sense at all. Utterly beautiful. Great taste Amy!

  • pitbull friend says:

    Westwood Boudoir: viburnum, marigold, orange blossom, orris, red rose, cinnamon, coriander, cardamom, amber, vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli (per Jan Moran, via Perfume Smellin’ Things)

    DKNY Woman, per Basenotes: blood orange, chilled vodka, tomato leaf, yellow waterlilies, green coral orchids, daffodils, freshly laundered t-shirt, wet cobblestones, white birch, tulip tree bark. Sounds kind of Kenzo-esque to me, which is not a bad thing.

    Thanks for bringing us along with you, March! –Ellen

    • Amy says:

      re: the notes for DKNY Woman. Oy. CHILLED vodka (not room temp, mind you!), YELLOW waterlilies (do they smell different than the white ones?) and freshly laundered T-SHIRT (not pants, or sheets, or socks: T-SHIRT). Honestly, the stuff might be lovely, but I’m so annoyed by the purple prose there it makes me want to try it LESS. Am I just a contrarian?

      • pitbull friend says:

        Quite possibly, but I’m with you all the way!

      • Maria B. says:

        Amy, I too get irritated by those specific mentions like “chilled vodka” and “yellow waterlilies.” It’s nonsense. I think they’re trying to convey a feeling for the mood of the fragrance, but all they manage to arouse in me is annoyance.

      • Susan says:

        Kudos to you, Amy!
        Your purple prose reference is dead-on. All the adjectives make me think DKNY is marketing New Age room fresheners.
        My favorite note was “wet cobblestones”. Hmmmm – wet cobblestones near the sea – or wet cobblestones in farming country after a herd of sheep just crossed or what? Maybe this note needs MORE adjectives, LOL!
        (Ducks & runs for cover)

    • March says:

      To all above: the Boudoir notes sound exactly right, it’s pretty heady and sensual. And I agree about the DKNY notes being ridiculous, even if the scent isn’t.

  • Elle says:

    So glad you discovered the magic of Nuit de Noel! And, hopefully, Rousse will start to work on you before 5 hours have passed. But…Courtesan! WHY haven’t they released it in the US yet? It’s been out for over a year apparently and now you’ve increased my lemming for it exponentially.
    Hope you’re having fun in the walking stretch of your trip!

    • March says:

      I think you would love it. I didn’t buy a bottle in Edinburgh because I’m assuming it will be easy to get in London, so I’ll be crying the blues if I’m wrong!:((

  • Judith says:

    Well, I’m with you here on your loves (NdN–sigh, and Boudoir) your likes (Kingdom), so I really need to try Courtesan. It came out in 2005, and its notes (according to Basenotes) are as follows:
    Top Notes: Cinnamon, Cardamom, Clove, Pineapple, Red berries
    Middle Notes: Orange blossom, Magnolia, Jasmine, Rose
    Base Notes: Peach, Caramel, Raspberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Cocoa bean.

    Some of those notes (you know which ones) don’t sound so great to me, but I know you are not a chocolate-pineapple fan, either, so I am hopeful!

    And yes, I guess I need to retry Rousse–and spray this time. But 5 hours is too long to wait for goodness–by then, I am usually on to another ‘fume.

    • March says:

      Judith — all I can say is, I was stunned by those notes. I get NOTHING fruity. It’s … it’s like Kingdom, or Femme, in its warmth and a little funkiness, but it’s sweaty rather than cumin, if that makes any sense. It’s seductive and less in-your-face. And it lasted hours on me. I would say the spices, the jasmine, and something dirty and musky and bed-linen-like. In a good way.:”>

  • Louise says:

    Oops-Thanksgiving was in Italy.

  • Louise says:

    Oh, we miss you March! So glad you came home via internet. Isn’t it freaky how easy it is to find those internet cafes-I “wrote” home several times a day at Thanksgiving (and stupidly checked my work email).

    Thanks for the comprehensive scent run down. I’ma taking notes…though cute son and I will start in London, then off to Scotland, so will likely have hit the perfume high spots first. Then, of course, those days in Paris. Son warns me that he will be verrry angry if I shop too much. Hah!

    Must try the Nuit extract and especially Courtesan! Oh-and my saddest perfume experience last week-the new Opium summer-really awful. Now I’m trying maddly to find the 2005 Shanghai on line.

    Have fun and be bad!

    • March says:

      So is the Opium out over there? Hadn’t seen it. Last time I checked fleaBay had Shanghai and the other one (Oriental?) which was nice too.

      Can you believe how awful orchidee is?!?!

  • Lee says:

    Aren’t you supposed to looking up at castles and underneath sporrans or something. Sheesh – busman’s holiday or what. Enjoy a single malt for me (no alcohol allowed til December).

  • Kyra says:

    1. Raving envy and best wishes on your well deserved trip!
    2. The earth moved? I knew something was missing when I tried Nuit de Noel edt,ordered a sample of extrait from Patty, tried one drop and instantly bought an ounce! Breaks records on how fast a gal can say yes.

    • March says:

      NdeN EDT was the first Caron I tried, because I thought it sounded so perfect. It was just the vilest thing. It’s thanks to Patty and her conspirators that I finally came around.

  • Gina says:

    Glad you’ve gotten the beauty of Rousse. I remember the first time I tried it, I was underwhelmed for the first couple of hours. Then I smelled something amazing…and it turned out the be the Rousse. It develops in such a lovely way. That SL is such a freakin’ genius. I’ll have to try the Worth Courtesan, it sounds right up my alley, just the right amount of the morning after.

    • March says:

      Somebody posted the notes down there and they sound disgusting. I swear I am not getting the fruity pineapple. It’s a little Walk of Shame in a good way.

  • Amarie says:

    I am so glad that Nuit de Noel got you that way too. I truly truly love it.

  • Maria B. says:

    March, so you’re starting a fragrance-centered trip in Scotland??? No offense to the fine Scots who do such a lovely job with haggis and smoked salmon and whisky (especially whisky), but I’ve never heard of Edinburgh or indeed any other Scottish city being a mecca for perfumery. Perhaps I’m just out of the loop and everyone else is asking friends in Scotland to mail them special packages.

    I’m 100% with you on Nuit de Noel. It’s at the very top of my current full bottle wish list (I think). Not only is the fragrance beautiful, that bottle is without equal in elegant mystery, to my taste. I’m also happy to see that you’ve discovered another Caron you can love. Patty does have a devilish effect on us all. :d

    Happy trails!

    • March says:

      Okay, the meter’s running, so these will all be short —

      Hey, you’ve got to start somewhere! I flew into Edinburgh, ending my trip in London, smelling everything (including sheep) in between.