Sniffing with Louise, and a U-turn

Louise is a regular blog-commenter here (and if you think this blog is all about the posts, and not the comments, you’ve gone wrong somewhere. No offence, team, but them there posters add a little spice to my life and I’d be lost without ’em), and she happened to be in London until yesterday. So I hooked up with her there on Monday to seek out new lines and new sniffalizations.

First of all (and I know, blahdiblah, sheeshkebab guacamole yahdayah etc., here we go again), Louise is fantastic. Instant clickage. Delightful company. Funny, elegant, strikingly beautiful – a woman who glows life and living like it’s her breakfast cereal (it isn’t – she likes eggs and lasagne or something). And like you, dear reader, she’s deliriously obsessive about scent. But never enough that she loses sight of courtesy, warmth and all those other things that make knowing people that little bit more worthwhile. We sniffed. A heck of a lot. Here, once again, are my hazy recollections (will I ever make notes?) with one or two exciting tidbits of news and new lines, buried in there – so yes, you do have to read to the end.

We started in Les Senteurs of course – where else? This is only the second time I’ve gone sniffing with an accomplice, and this time round I noticed everywhere how fascinated the SAs were by our behaviour, facial responses, and exclamations. Les Senteurs is great because they let you get on with it, know how to make you feel comfortable and don’t assume you’re daft. And all the while you’re in a beautiful boutique with comfy chairs feeling like this is where you belong. Perfect. It’s in a rather exclusive neighbourhood and though I’m a frequently softly spoken chap, I am from the wrong side of the tracks. But I’m very welcome there. East and West (London) do meet. So, we tried a little of everything. We braved the MPGs that the Basenote boys rave about being out there on-the-edge hardcore punk ‘fumes or something – Parfum d’Habit and Route de Vetiver. They didn’t hurt us, but neither held our interest. I enjoyed Caron’s Eau de Reglisse for the first time, and agreed with Louise’s description of Le Parfum de Therese’s top notes – ‘like you’ve reached into the refrigerator for that canteloupe, only to feel your hand go straight through it’. The embarrassment of riches here can tend to make you seek out the old faithfuls once in a while, just to refresh your jading palette.

And for me, that was Chypre Rouge. Now, I know this isn’t a crowd-pleaser, but March loves it, as does Louise, and I’ve been pining for it ever since my decant ran out. I have these bottles of Serge Lutens that I wish I’d never bought – Gris Clair, Cedre, Daim Blond – I like ’em enough, but they’re just not me. Chypre Rouge is EXACTLY me somehow, in all its twists and turns and immortelle goodness. So those three might go up for swap or something to fund a bottle of this deep russet beauty. I need it in my autumnal arsenal.

The real reason I’d wanted to hit Les Senteurs was for the Mona di Orios. They’re exclusive to there in the UK (or so I thought – see later) and I’ve been pining for a bottle of Nuit Noire – its glorious celebration of the carnal and decay thrills me like nothing else. Before I got to the transaction though, we were told a couple of things. First that Mona (I use her first name; we’re friends after all) is bringing out a new fragrance early next year, based on the scents and sensations of Amsterdam. The SAs had smelled it – totally different to her other four, which do share a common touch I think, at least in the drydown. They wouldn’t be pressed on notes, but said it was watery – natch – and floral. I’m imagining an En Passant with splashes of bong extract, but who knows. Exciting though, at least for me, as I’m a big ole fan.

Second thing: that Mona herself recommends men should wear Carnation and give themselves 30 minutes before they rule it out. Now, Carnation was the one di Orio I had tried that had done little for me. In fact, I recalled it slightly repulsing me. But sprayed: a revelation. Louise and I retired to the charming Chocolate Society cafe for a coffee whilst I let the drydown do its thing. We couldn’t stop sniffing. On Louise, it became rounded, soft, feminine without shouting about it; on me, there was a sharper, more animalic quality. We were both addicted. It’s a phenomenal act of blending, and defeats my descriptive capabilities. All I can muster is this: if Lutens’s Chàªne is sunbaked skin in one direction – a lithe muscular torso damp with sweat; this Carnation is its softer counterpart – a pinker hue to the curves and folds, and perhaps some powder to cover up the beads of perspiration emergent with the first flush of pleasurable exertion. I decided that Carnation could be worn any time (I must be a lascivious old goat), but that Nuit Noire, although more limited, was still where my heart sang loudest. But, they were out of stock of the latter; fate intervened; Carnation was mine.

I’m going on a bit, aren’t I?

We moved on to Fortnum’s where Simon, the Micallef associate (Frances was there in the background, March!), chatted to us. I hope he pops in to see us here – we told him of the online world and he felt so much less the freak. I’ve probably given him the wrong advice…

Anyway we sniffed more without much real excitement, until we stumbled on a line neither of us had seen before or heard of, Bella Bellissima. There were four scents, bath oils, candles, the whole kit and caboodle. We sniffed the perfumes and three were okay, but not exciting. The fourth, Perfect Night, smelled great in the bottle. On the tester strip, it was strangely scentless. Louise decided to go for it, and used what I consider to be the most precious part of any sniffer’s perfumeable anatomy – the back of the hand – for a full-on couple of squirts. It was wonderful from the off, ginger, spices, warmth and depth, drying into the most glorious incense. We repeat sniffed as we walked from Piccadilly to Soho – it got better and better. She went back for a bottle. I recommend a visit to the website, though it looks like they’re only available in the UK for now.

At Liberty, the fragrance area have kindly thought of worried male buyers: they’ve gathered a selection of masculine fumes by the entrance so that blokes can do a quick ‘In. Out. Nobody gets hurt.’ kind of thing. I sniffed three or four things I can’t remember clearly, the best of which was one of the Anvers with a geeky lad on the packaging looking all scarved up and heroin chic. And I was pleased to hear that they’ll be getting the Stephanie de Saint-Aignan line soon, as I’ve been, like, desperate, for like totally forever (well, since December 06), to try Berberiades, and Stephanie herself emailed me to say that they don’t do sample vials….

Biggest surprise though was that the Mona di Orio four, exclusive at Les Senteurs, were also exclusive at Liberty. Would you believe it? I now had the opportunity to break my perfume budget and get eye rolls as well as tuts from my sweet man Matthew. Did I do it? What do you think?

To celebrate – a sample of Lux, Nuit Noire and Carnation to the lucky commenter who gets picked out of the hat / shopping bag / makeshift whatever… I’ll announce it in Fourplay next week. So get commenting. And if you never normally do, please dive on in, even just to say hello. The water’s lovely, and there’s a whole world of delightful smellfriends out there for you to meet!

  • Alextoss says:

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    help you carry out your wishes !

  • Helen T says:

    Lee, I’m also very late to this particular party, but I just got back from my first trip to Les Senteurs this weekend. Reading your post had made me get over any fear that it was going to be very intimidating. I loved it, I thought the SA was charming, although could have just been the french accent. And he got me. Within twenty minutes I was wandering round with five fragrances that I could have just fallen immediately in love with, and Chypre Rouge is one of them. Ditto the Nuit Noire. I’ve also got Noir Epices and Fumerie Turque to be going on with, but today I am being, apparently, elegantly depraved with Musc Ravageur. Oh come on, its a wet grey day in Nottingham, I really thought it called for elegant depravity.

    And I’m seriously loving it. The fragrance rather than the depravity. Which has been a bit lacking.

    Somehow, I think discovering PP and Les Senteurs is going to be a very bad influence on my bank balance. But I love it!

    Cheers

    Helen

    • Lee says:

      Oh, I’m glad you had a great time. I spent a large part of my yoof intimidated by thew thought of boutiques, thinking I could never go in to them. And you know what – some are dreadful, with SAs who think they are some superior life-force dispensing wisdom only to the cognoscenti and their friends (i.e. – not me!). Les Senteurs is just about perfect though…

      Excellent perfume taste, may I say. And I’m sorry for your bank balance, and lack of depravity. I’m sure a spray or two of Nuit Noire will sort out the latter, if not the former…

  • Donna says:

    Hi Lee,

    I’m late to the party but just wanted to express how much I enjoy hearing about your perfume adventures. I share your love of Chypre Rouge. I hope by now that you have that awesome juice in your collection.

    I look forward to more of your fascinating columns!

    Donna

  • Anne says:

    Lee, I’m a day late and ….. Hope I can still be considered for the draw. Maybe the Court can get their hands on some of that Bella Bellissima. Maybe the answer to my ginger scent quest. Gawd, I can’t wait for cooler weather.

    • Lee says:

      Of course you can. And I’m sure one of them is already tracking ‘Perfect Night’ down with their bloodhound skills.:d

  • Silvia says:

    Thanks !
    (*)

  • Rita says:

    This is my first post, I’ve been lurking for a while now! Thank you to all members for your helpful info and great entertainment! Just wanted to say hello, and please enter me in the drawing. Thanks, Lee!

    • Lee says:

      So lovely of you to comment – wonderful to see you delurk (or I should say decloak, given the sniffalization thing :-b ). You’re in the drawing, my sweet.

      And we’re here to please!\:d/

  • Amy says:

    I usually don’t post but I had to say how happy I am to hear some love for Chypre Rouge! I wear this often, it makes me swoon. Where I live now there is no autumn, so I throw caution to the wind and dab carefully – and it still smells wonderful.

    • Lee says:

      It is wonderful. Some ‘sent from a cloud called Holy’ gent has offered me his bottle, gratis, and I can’t imagine a kinder thing. September, here we come!

  • greeneyes says:

    You get so many comments, you’ll never even see mine! I just wanted to say hello…and how happy I am you love Nuit Noire. This was one of my first samples, and it remains high, high on my list after all the sniffing I’ve done this last. Sounds like you two had a wonderful time! But I still have the raspberry truffles…/:)

    • Lee says:

      Yeah, but we had dark chocolate coated orange peel and it was dreamy…

      Lovely to see you here, sharing the NN love! And see, I didn’t miss you out – how could I?

  • Joyce says:

    I had a similar experience when I first tried Mona di Orio Carnation….it was like, “where is the carnation, darn it!” I actually flew to the sink to scrub it off. Well the other day, I was sorting my samples and found said offender. Shazam, tried it again and realized that this was not my grandmother’s carnation, but a very new interpretation. Do I like it better than the first time…ahmmm…not yet, but I’m scheduling a third try on Friday and hope my nose has grown up enough to give it a second glance and a second chance.

    ta ta

    • Lee says:

      Joyce – it is a funny one. I mean, it’s undoubtedly old fashioned in one way – the smell of a boudoir and so on; yet strikingly modern in its blatant sensuality and composition. I do hope you learn to love it.

  • Tarleisio says:

    Oh, the glories of splendiferously fragrant London. I’m so jealous, I can smell it! 😉

    And hello to you, Lee! I’m one of the shy ones – I don’t comment very often, but not for lack of wanting, just an often fatal lack of time. :(( Thank you so much for bringing London back to me. I wish I could get on the next plane with a platinum Visa and hotfoot straight to Les Senteurs, but alas and alack – no time.

    I’m one of those ladies who dsate their lives into two distinct eras – the Before I Discovered Patty and March (to start with) and the After. Thanks to those two and their knack for describing what really, if you think about it, lies just somewhere to the left of language, I have…since become horribly, terribly…corrupted. Where once I would have been satisfied to smell like all those other nickel-a-dozen department store gals, now…now, I have evolved to greater, more glorious – and ruiniously expensive sillages.

    First, I found this blog. Then, I sent my sister, in NY for fun, to Aedes and a bottle, with a few samples thrown in. Next thing I knew, I sent off for the “little book of perfumes” by Serge Lutens, and before I knew what hit me – or my credit rating – I had two bell-shaped bottles sitting on my table – Un Lys and Iris Silver Mist. They have companions now – looking down their snooty Frrench noses at CBIHatePerfume’s Wild Pansy and particularly At the Beach 1966, the smell of my childhood summers. My Chanel no.19 parfum is looking very put out, and meanwhile, the edges on my Visa are getting charred…

    It’s all downhill from here, and now I’m up for anything, or my nose is. So long as it’s not Etat Libre..;-)

    But certainly Mona di Orio. Carnation sounds heavenly. Just so long as I can continue…breaking hearts, wreaking havoc and waft breathtaking sillage to my heart’s desire!

    Anything to be rid of the scent of burning plastic Visa..:D

    • Lee says:

      What a great comment, and thanks so much for finding the time to write it. Lovely to know you’re on board. Patty and March have ‘enabled’ me in ways that have made me shed £££s but made me happy unmeasurably. It’s a great place to find yourself – and you have exquisite taste to boot. No. 19, ISM, Un Lys. Wow!

  • Robin says:

    It always cracks me up when stores claim to have an exclusive on things when they really don’t at all.

    Sounds like a great day — even though the MdOs for some reason do nothing for me. Looking forward to her next one though!

    • Lee says:

      I imagine her next one with be much more you, R. I think Liberty are claiming that they’re the only dept. store who stock her. Both stores are mentioned on the di Orio website, now I’ve bothered to check.

  • Louise says:

    Darling Lee-I am late to the party, and befuddled by this french keyboard-but thanks for a stunning recounting of what ranks well as one of the truly glorious days of my vacation, year, certainly decade. Hide the goodies, but let Matt know that another loves you too!

    • Lee says:

      Those unqwerty keyboards do my friggin head in (I’m fully into Brit vernacular with you now!). It was a wonderful day!:x

  • Veronica says:

    Ahh, how sweet to see justice be done to Nuit Noir and Lux(I’m yet to try Carnation and Oiro) I’m so tired of my friends asking Mona Who? anytime I mention her…I was kinda on the fence about getting NN, it seemed a bit pricey, after reading about your mini-spending spree I made up my mind, though!:)

  • CH says:

    Isn’t it fun discovering fun things with a friend? It sounds like you and Louise had a wonderful day!

    Please enter me in the drawing.

    Thanks! 🙂

  • March says:

    Hey, Lee — showing up late, back from a brief road trip to the eastern shore. It sounds like a wonderful day, and I am so very excited about your new discovery and your purchases! Also singing the Chypre Rouge love duet with you — actually, I DO think CR is very much “you,” with all the twists and turns, etc.

  • rosarita says:

    “En Passant with splashes of bong water, sniffalization” along with “scentui” from Aromascope – you are on a roll! I needed that smile.
    Carnation sounds wonderful, along with everything else. Please include me in the draw.

  • noyna says:

    Delightful to tag along with you two — and please enter me in the drawing!

  • luv_bug says:

    So jealous! *pout* I wanna go sniffing in London, too! I’ve been sniffing with friends before, but none of them are as obsessed as I am. They watch me, mystified and amused, nodding a little as I share my opinion.

    I’d comfort myself with those, samples, though, so let me in the drawing, please.

    • ch says:

      I know how you feel. I need a vacation right now and how I would love to spend it in London with fragrance fanatics. <:-p

    • Lee says:

      It’s when they start backing away – you that you have to face the fact that either: a)You’ve sprayed something too animalic for the human nose, or b) you’ve finally flipped into the world of perfume gagadom.

  • Prince Barry says:

    Great sniffalogue Lee. You visited all my favourite places in London. Must admit, the Micaleff’s always left me cold. I saw the Bellisima line in Selfridges in Manchester earlier in the year but didn’t bother sniffing them….goodness knows why, but there you go mate!!!
    I would love to sniff your Orios…Ooooh missus!!!!!! So bung me in the bag please.

    • Lee says:

      Well, there’s not one I’d buy a bottle of for myself, but Autumn and Black Sea have appeal.

      You’re bunged in, Bellissima avoider (only bother with Perfect Night imho).

  • violetnoir says:

    Hi Lee!

    Louise sounds delightful, and I am so glad you two had a great time in London sniffing away.

    Mona di Orios’ line has been here in the states at aedes.com since last year. I think I tried Lux, but would love to test them again, so please enter me in the drawing. Thank you!

    And the MdiO line is selling like hotcakes in Paris! I just read a brief interview with the owner of Evody on one of the other blogs. She indicated that the tourists love Lady Vengeance (that would be me, ha, ha!), but Parisians are scarfing up the MdiO Lux. In fact, a good friend of mine who lives in Paris just bought Nuit Noire while visiting Les Senteurs in Brussels. I guess ole Mona di is starting to finally “hit”.

    And Bella Bellisma Perfect Night…hmmm…I need to put luckyscent.com onto that one.

    Hugs!

    • Lee says:

      Louise is MORE than delightful. Fantastic woman.

      What puzzles me is why Aedes don’t have Oiro – fans of immortelle will love the novel take this one has on the note in the drydown (it’s actually my favourite drydown of the bunch, but the top notes are a little too screechy on me, and it’s pretty pricey). I’m glad she’s getting recognition; although some bloggers – most with way more perfume nous than me – don’t rate her, I think she’s pretty special.

      Perfect Night – under the radar or what?

  • Gaia says:

    Chypre Rouge is on my fall shopping list. My husband has declared it “too red” for himself, but oh well… more for me.
    Last time I was in London, about a year and a half ago, I wasn’t really aware of the speciality perfume stores. I kept to Selfridge’s, which wasn’t that different from what I can find here between Bergdorf and Barney’s. Next time I’ll be much wiser.

    I definitely want to be in the draw. Those have been on my must-sniff list forever.

    • Lee says:

      I find Selfridges a little unbearable – too hectic, too pushy, too too. Though it’s the dept store with the Dior exclusives. Liberty is my favourite of the dept stores (Fortnums doesn’t somehow count as a dept store – don’t ask me why…)

      I’ll try to synchronise wearing of CR with you sometime!

  • Christian says:

    Lee, I’m a secret, long time fan of your writing. Today I logged on because I HAD to comment on the genteel lewdness and sweet salaciousness of your post, especially the part about the carnation scent.

    When I read you here or on POL, I feel like Lenny (from Grapes of Wrath) wanting to ask over and over, “tell about the rabbits, George!”

  • Teri says:

    Pretty please enter me in your drawing as well.

    I so enjoy hearing all about the adventures in sniffage in London town. I’ve been to Europe on glass-finding expeditions, but never for a sniffage. I need to correct that in the near future. :d I just mailed off the last check for my portion of my son’s college tuition (yay!!!!), so while I’m still used to living without that $350/month, I’m going to start socking it away for a sniffage trip. What would one call that….a ‘triffage’? lol

    • Lee says:

      I’m interested in hearing about the glass-finding…:>

      • Teri says:

        Since you asked…. lol

        Along with a dear friend and fellow art glass collector, I took an art glass tour of Europe about 10 years ago. We visited Murano in Italy (paperweights are my particular passion, so that was a must for me), Daum Studios in Nancy, France, and Sweden’s “Kingdom of Crystal” where we visited Orrefors and Kosta, among others. We wound it up with a day in Paris, visiting exhibits of Galle and Lalique. I came home sated, educated, and considerably lighter of pocket. I’m sure I’d return from a sniffage in very much the same state. 😉

        • Lee says:

          Wow, that sounds like a uniquely fascinating tour. I love us geeks (and I mean that in the best possible way).

  • ering says:

    I can’t tell you how much fun your sniffathon sounds! My very tolerant friends do think I’m daft, I think–it would be heaven to go a-smelling with someone who shares and understands my passion for scent.

    Please include me in the drawing, Lee. I have been wanting to try Mona di Orio’s line but never quite seem to make it to the checkout at Les Scenteurs, for some reason. The Carnation sounds particularly intriguing.

  • Christine says:

    So jealous of your meet up! I have to say the perfume obsessed seem like some of the nicest people I’ve “met” to date. And man, I love carnations. I do. Why don’t I live closer to such stores? WHY?

    In the meantime, please enter me in the drawing, while I fantasize about traipsing around the globe for sniffing-meetups.

    • Lee says:

      I’m sure there must be some ‘normal’ perfume fans out there, but fortunately, I’ve only met nutters so far.:d

  • annie says:

    :d…..OMG….I LIVE through all of you….how wonderful to have you out there,sniffing,spritzing,and slathering for us…love to you….carry on!!(please enroll me in the drawing…..slobber,drool):”>

    • Lee says:

      You’re enrolled.

      Anytime any of you folks are passing thru town, I’m here to play. I’ve never been shy!

  • Amarie says:

    Dear Lee,
    Thank-you for a lovely post, I so enjoyed it
    As I was drinking my licorice herbal tonight I thought I should indulge in Eau de Reglisse before going to bed- it is always amusing when I then go to a blog and find you mentioning the perfume I’ve just put on.\:d/
    I found Stephanie de Saint-Aignan’s site the other day and I agree- I want want want to try her scents. It sounds like the Perfume Court is next because the S. de St.A site’s email address wasn’t working. It looked like they were about to set up an online shop but I could be wrong.
    Please include me in the draw, Nuit Noir is another lemming and I love carnation. I just tried Malmaison from Floris and I enjoyed it the most out of all their line that I’ve tried.

    • Lee says:

      Soemhow it’s liquorice that totally worked for me (it doesn’t always).

      Twice i’ve been to that site and the store has been working – today it just tells me (like SMN) that it’s opening soon.

      You’re in the draw, although shouldn’t expect carnations from Carnation!:d

  • SuzanneK says:

    De-lurking to say, please, pretty please, put me in the drawing! I ordered a bottle of Nuit Noire from Aedes in early July, but it’s on back order — and now that I’ve used up every drop of my sample, I’ve been desperately huffing the empty vial to satisfy my jones for this decadent (and yet, luminescent!)scent. After reading your post, would love to try Ms. d’Orio’s Lux and Carnation as well.

    Also really enjoy reading posts about fellow perfumistas meeting up for sniffing adventures that I can only admire from afar for now. Fabulous!!!

    • Lee says:

      Y’know – NN is one of those perfumes that has an apparent crack constituent. Once it hooks you in, it won’t let go. Putting you in the draw has become a vital humanitarian service!:d

  • Flor says:

    You have so much fun!! I can never go with someone who really wants to be there. I have to drag my poor relations along and force them to put up with me while I enjoy what I can of my country’s limited selection of goodies. I did get to try out Chypre Rouge, by a miracle, and it was a big success on me. Can’t wait to get a full bottle!
    \:d/

    • Lee says:

      You need to retrain your relatives brains (I think mine would think I’d gone mad if I took them…)

      And what great taste you have!

  • Elle says:

    Fab post! Going on a sniffa w/ a fellow addict really is one of life’s great joys. I’m guessing you did get Nuit Noire. How could you not? And Matthew’s a list maker, isn’t he? Surely a dedicated list maker would understand the need to get something that’s been on your list for so long. Yes, you got something that wasn’t on your list, but it was done in the innocent belief that the NN would not be available. And lists trump budgets – at least when it comes to perfume.

    • Lee says:

      But listmakers don’t necessarily have the same spendthrift characteristics as me… Let’s just say I have my own special drop off points round the house…:-“

  • JuliaF says:

    Oh how I would love to go on a sniffathlon with another perfume addict! Sound like you two had a great time! Congratulations on your new diOrio(s?), love Lux but haven’t tried the others. Please include me in the drawing.

    Let’s hope I still have a drop of Chypre Rouge left, I remember I liked it quite a bit in all it’s syrup-y glory:)

  • judith says:

    What a wonderful post! Like so many others, I’m jealous of your sniffa, but like them, I’m somewhat mollified by the fact that your post makes me feel as if I had been there! Now, of course, I am lemming Perfect Night. Carnation is my favorite Mona so far; for some reason, Nuit Noire doesn’t work well on me (maybe I need to try it again). Berberiades, on the other hand, works really well (although some others don’t seem to like it as well as I).

    • Lee says:

      You know, the bottle on display in Les Senteurs smelled SO different from all the samples I’ve had. I’m sure different batches had a different focus. This one I sprayed on Monday really had the rotting orange thing Ina once described so so accurately. My bottle doesn’t – straight into flesh and carnality. Yum.

      Perfect Night is lemming worthy.

      Tell me about Berberiades. Put me off and say it’s very lady-like, or something!

      • Judith says:

        It’s spicy woods, saffron and jasmine, some citrus–sort of a summer oriental. I like it a lot, but Marina and Ina weren’t so crazy about it. Marina, I think felt it was too tame for her, and said that it reminded her somewhat of a new scent, Shiloh, which I haven’t smelled. I don’t think it’s remarkable, though I find it very enjoyable. There–does that kill your lemming?!:d If not, I will be glad to send you some (I left you a Posse-message).

  • loverdoll says:

    Wishing I wasn’t here in Texas working for a living . . . . vicariously sniffing through all y’all. These sound interesting . . . please include me too. . . .G

  • chayaruchama says:

    What a lovely day you made of it !
    It sounds like a delight…

    May I join in the fray as well ?

  • Silvia says:

    Please include me in the draw, I was on a mammoth sniffing expedition when I tried the Mona di Orio scents and it didn’t do them justice.
    Loved reading about your day and I agree, Les Scenteurs is a special place, which has been committed to fragrance for ages. While on a one hand it is good that big department stores now also stock niche scents, one the other I do hope that it is not at the expense of such a beautiful shop.

    • Lee says:

      Oh, I think it has a loyal following. And you can’t beat that kind of service…

    • donanicola says:

      Heh Silvia! I’m London based and would love to go on an amateur sniffathon. If you’re interested let’s work out how to get in touch. I must apologise for lack of commenting lately. I’ve been reading but I’m sooooo horribly busy at work that I’ve had little energy for anything else. Should ease up soon and I’ll be back. Anyway, thanks everyone for the heart warming and interesting distractions. Oh and I tried Carnation in Libs last week and was hooked…. I thought I liked Nuit Noire. I do but I think Carnation is the dogs …oh you know.

      • Lee says:

        If you want to get in touch and you get stuck, sign up to the PP forum an leave each other messages – I’ll start a London meet-ups thread.

      • Silvia says:

        Great, I’d love to meet up! I’ll go to the forum and look for Lee’s thread. Thanks !

  • katy says:

    Carnation ? Oh, I love this note… And I wish badly go to London, sometime…
    Great post ! And please… Enter me in the drawing…:d

    • Lee says:

      But the puzzling thing is, it’s not a carnation scent (it has a small touch of clove!). Di Orio says it’s supposed to smell like skin after a day in the sun. But to me, that’s Chêne. carnation is more creamy and voluptuous. Oh, don’t get me started again – I’ll be all unnecessary for hours!:”>

      • Maria says:

        Mona di Orio chose a very confusing name. She probably speaks sufficient English to have known better. The Carnation in the fragrance name has nothing to do with flowers in the genus Dianthus. It’s French for “blush” or the “skin flush,” such as that which can follow pleasurable exertion. I wonder if the same word can be applied to a menopausal hot flush/flash. Now there’s a connection Mona probably didn’t want. :d

        • Lee says:

          Now we’re on the subject – why is it flush in the UK and flash in the US? That’s puzzled me til my puzzler is sore…:-?

  • Alica says:

    Hi, pls enter me in the drawing, I would like to know what´s Mona di Orio about. Thanks

  • Mimmimmim says:

    I don’t want to be in the draw – I already own NN and have samples of the others – but what do you think of Lux? I’m really not fond of Carnation at all, as I find it cloying, but I adore Nuit Noire. Lux… I can’t figure that one out. It’s like lemon sherberts with an overlay of (don’t laugh!) the smell of an old soldering iron. It’s really intriguing. I can’t really work out if I actually like it, but it’s fascinating nonetheless!

    • Lee says:

      Are you mimiboo from PoL? If so, how lovely to see you here! If not – lovely to see you anyway!

      So, Lux. I reckon that’s the labdanum playing around with you. I don’t get soldering iron, but there is something about it that is peculiar and I know labdanum can have that unsettling effect. I’m good at somehow absorbing sweetness in scents, so Lux on me is brilliant yellow light followed by shadow – a ciaroscuro effect in a botle, if you will.

      I’m in essay mode – hold your horses! i’ll go for the headlines.
      Carnation is a Rubens (and I can see the cloying thing, even if I don’t feel it – or rather, I get the enveloping fleshiness without a sense of suffocation).
      Lux is El Greco
      Oiro for some reason seems Howard Hodgkin
      Nuit Noire I haven’t yet caught on canvas…

      • Mimmimmim says:

        No, I’m not on a perfume forum. Mimmmimmmim is my name on LJ, and I didn’t know what else to call myself.

        I can see Carnation as a Rubens. It is an incredibly well-made scent. Nuit Noire… it’s tricky to find a picture for. Perhaps a piece of Indian Mughal art.

  • Tina says:

    I enjoyed reading about your sniffa-a-deux very much, Lee. I always do because it seems like I was there somehow and sniffed all those rarities with you two.
    so what else is on your autumn must-get-it list?
    and please include me in the draw [-o<. who doesn't love precious samples :d ?

    • Lee says:

      You know, I haven’t drawn up an autumn list. I start working part-tme from the end of this month so the perfume budget will dwindle. I need to develop a money-making scheme of some kind as there will be plenty of new releases I’m going to want to try out. I know I’ll be buying a bottle of Santa Maria Novella sometime (I just need to settle on the right one) and I’m excited for at least two of the new Parfums d’Empire line… I should also snap up a bottle of Guerlain’s Derby before it disappears for good. I don’t get quite as excited about designer releases any more – there’s often something sharply acidic in the top notes that must be appealing to a younger generation but that gives me a terrible headache – akin to repeatedly walking past the storefront of Lush… Dior Homme and Burberry London are noticeable exceptions to this rule, however…

      Erm, did you want an essay?:)

      • Tina says:

        I’m more than happy with the essay :d.
        I’m afraid my perfume budget will be much shrunken this fall, too. and that s*cks because I have done a list that I absolutely must stick to, and which includes: FM Une fleur de cassie, Etro MdM, Shalimar edp, PdN Sacrebleu and Fifi Chachnil. the bottles are no secret, all I have to do is figure out my money scheme, just like you :”>.

  • Kim says:

    sniffalizations? Great word! I will have to retry the Mona di Orio – didn’t do much on my skin but I didn’t leave them on as long as you have suggested. Please enter me in the draw and thanks for the great report.

    • Lee says:

      Thanks – it reveals my geekiness a little too much.:”> You really do need to give them a chance.

  • tmp00 says:

    Well, I hope one day that one of us will end up in the same continent and do some sniffage. Failing that I’ll put my hat in the ring for the draw. Need I add that I am perfectly willing to purchase a bottle of Chypre Rouge from Barneys New York to exchange for your unwanted Lutes? :d

    • Lee says:

      I’ve put a message on the PP forum Tommo. And you might get a little NN at least with your package I’m posting you tomorrow.;)

  • Maria says:

    Lee, I am green =:) with envy that March and Louise have gotten to traipse around the perfumed dens of London with you and I probably won’t get a chance unless I win the lottery.

    I found your report on Louise’s experiences fascinating not only because of your vivid reporting but because she and I are scent twins. That means that I would like Carnation very, very much. Therefore, please put my name in the drawing. [-o< I'm so glad you finally purchased Nuit Noire!!! The Pefumed Court carries several fragrances by Stephanie de Saint-Aignan, including Berberiades. I hope the court ladies check out that Bella Bellisima line.

    • Lee says:

      I’m glad you’re green like this=:) and not this :-& . Of course I’ll put you in the draw – Louise is going to buy a bottle of carnation on her return, I think. Or I owe her a big decant (she gifted me with a vast amount of Sushi Imperiale).

  • sweetlife says:

    I love hearing about your “repeat sniffage” — it gives me such a thorough picture of your afternoon wanderings. I’ve never had the pleasure of trying any of those three, so please do put me in the draw.

    I’m glad you clued the SA in to the sniffa web world. I’m always surprised by how little they know about perfumistas. I had a nice long talk with a representative for various niche lines during the fall NYC Sniffa. And I just exchanged e-mails with the PR woman for the Neiman’s here and she was telling me that she never knew there were people who were so passionate about scent… At least she wasn’t the buyer.

  • JenniferR says:

    Ah, like Ina, I feel as though I’ve just been wandering through fragrant London with you two. Someday, someday, that’ll be me. I’ve lived in Italy and in France, and I’ve never even been to England, let alone London. How has this happened?
    So it’s extra incentive to enter the draw, please — scents to think of Lee and Louise by.
    And I get a foolish pleasure out of posting early on, too — I’m usually number 96 or so 🙂

    • Lee says:

      We like it when you’re early!

      Europe’s funny – distance are much bigger here, even when they’re small…;)

  • Ina says:

    Ah, I feel like I’ve just gone on this sniffathon with you and Louise! I can picture everything, even those fancy carpeted stairs of Fortnum’s. I will be back there. I just know it. Maybe early next year? We shall see. For now, I’ll go comfort myself with my decant of Carnation (hoping to achieve the same euphoria). :)>-

  • Tigs says:

    Please sign me up for the draw, as I haven’t tried the Mona’s and I feel like I’ve been missing something there lately. Great post – love to see other perfume crazies spending like drunken sailors. It always makes me feel better. /:)