More NYC – Part II

I defy you to look at that bottle and not want to possess it.  The bonus is that the juice inside smells pretty great. Both March and I had to wear it for a while before making sure we weren’t just buying it for the bottle, but that it does have a wonderful scent we are happy to wear — easy to wear and interesting, without making it weird.  Notes of cedar, vetiver, sandalwood, osmanthus, Brazilian marshland lily, purple plum, oppoponax, cinnamon, cardamom, pink and black pepper.  On the open, I wasn’t too sure.  The top seemed a little too generic for about 5-10 minutes, but in the drydown, you get more pepper, and it eventually evolves into a totally great little incense scent. (March says: Rousse, schmoose — this thang smells like cinnamon spice incense, it’s light but lasts and lasts, it goes through an interesting armpitty phase the first half hour I am not complaining about.)  That it comes in the world’s most cunning little bottle is frosting, ladies!  Available at Bendel’s – $80 for 30 mls.  Put it on your Valentine’s Day list. BTW, the lady’s head screws off and on, it doesn’t get pulled off, which I think speaks volumes about the sensibility of having a bottle where you can daily make sure the head is screwed on tight.

That’s how March and I spent the morning, Bendel’s collecting the fab red girls and a couple more Bella Bellissima scents – two for men and one for women . The women’s Perfect Day, I need to spend a little more time with it, but it is a very pretty floral scent, charming, with no kinks in it. Those who are not fans of pretty, floral feminine scents, move along, nothing to see here.  There are two for men. One is much more aquatic -sea kelp, citris fruits, rosemary, carrot seed, violet leaf and woods – and nice, if you like aquatics, or even if you’re borderline, and the other that is a more traditional woody men’s scent, with notes of tonka bean, white thyme, basil and fresh green mandarin.  I surprisingly prefer the aquatic one in some ways.

Then it was off to the luncheon for Chandler Burr’s new book, The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside the Perfume Industry in Paris and New York,which will be released Jan 22.  He was warm, friendly, funny, smart, enthusiastic.  It was fun to hear him talk about how the book came about, some of the difficulties of writing it and just how the industry works.  We smelled three scents that he has recently reviewed – Elle, Juicy Couture and Chloe – blind, and it was an interesting exercise in perception and the differences/biases we all smell with.  We’ve both just glanced at the first few pages of the book so far, but I think it will be a great read for anyone who wants to know what really happens behind the scenes when perfumers are making scents, and I think that pretty much applies to anyone who has any interest in scent. It was terrific for Hermes and Coty to open up the doors so we could see that process through Chandler’s eyes.

(Can I tell you how much I am loving the Guerlain Cruel Gardenia sniff?  I’m excited about all the new ones coming, if they are all new, but this gardenia is one I can wear and, yes, love!  There is a buttery, not bleu cheesy, feel that just is knocking my socks off. Those who need Roquefort with their gardenia scents, I cannot predict how you will feel about this  one.  It fits perfectly into the Matiere line and has that same silken, rich, elegant feel to it. )

So after lunch, we headed back uptown, picked up some things I needed at Hermes.  March smelled the new Brin de Reglisse, made the poopy face.  I think she loved the Poivre, which I’ve changed my mind about, too, in the last few months, and it now resides solidly in the love column.  Then we headed to Tak, saw the shabby reduction from one floor of hundreds of perfumes and cosmetics on the upper floor to a small corner on the first floor.  I suspect it will get better traffic on the first floor, but… *shrugs.*  After a great pot of tea and some cookies, we headed back to the hotel.

Always a treat to spend time with March, and it is treat to share what we found/learned with all of you.

  • Beauty411 says:

    Thanks for the heads up on the Chandler Burr book. I’ve already added it to my Amazone wishlist! And that Isabela Capeto bottle just screams “buy me”!

  • syl says:

    :”>I very much like your blog!

  • lily says:

    ;)Your blog is very beautiful, I too like the
    I would like to pay you and friends!

  • Elizabeth S says:

    Oh, its so sad that I picked this week to Florida! I would have loved to come with you guys, what a treat! I can’t wait to get back to the (cold?) weather and I will be heading straight to Cruel Gardenia!

  • Rita says:

    That Capeto bottle is adorable! The notes sound promising as well, but i’m a bottle whore and will probably buy it regardless. I’m pretty excited about the Cruel Gardenia, or any new Guerlain for that matter, do you know the sizes/prices for these? I haven’t even thought about Valentine’s Day yet, I’m still trying to get over Christmas, but should start putting some thought into scents for my list.

  • tmp00 says:

    one of these days all of us are going to have to make a firm date to meet somewhere- or do you think all of the shops will close in fear of us? :d

  • Teri says:

    Lurrrrv that little red bottle, and I still would even if she didn’t have her head screwed on right. :d/

    Granted I’m no anthropologist, nor art expert, but on first glance, the bottle reminded me of Mexican Toltec art. However, like any good piece of art, it’s all in how it speaks to one personally, after all.

    Point is, no matter what influences came to bear on it, I think it’s grrrrrrreat. It doesn’t look like anything else out there, as Andy said, and in a time when so many craft their product to look just like one of the endless herd, this is a bold step in the absolutely right direction.

    (I’m finally back after a long holiday break. I hope everyone had a splendid holiday season. I’ve missed you all 😡 )

  • violetnoir says:

    Ooh, girlfriend, I am simply oozing with jealousy! :d Guerlain Cruel Gardenia sounds fascinating! And the Isabela Capeto bottle is so adorable, who cares what’s in it?

    Since you have been in the travelling mood as of late, I am putting in yet another pitch for you to visit my fair city. 😡

    Hugs and love!

    • pitbull friend says:

      violetnoir, which is that? I do really wish that someone more gifted with computer graphics than I am (could be almost anyone) would do a little map of the world with pins in it where all the perfumistas are. I strongly suspect that it might spur actual, in-person acquaintanceships that people might enjoy. –Ellen

  • What a coincidence that we talked with Chandler both! And that I ran his interview on my site today.
    Re: the Capeto bottle: not my style I’m afraid (it does look like Lego, but I like Lego to be that: a kid’s plaything, not a vessel for sensual pleasures), but the exterior never made much of an impression compared to the juice for me. And if you say it’s good, then I have to try it out eventually.;)

  • Catherine says:

    I adore that bottle. The button for a face….this one-time seamstress has fallen hard. I played around on her website for quite a while one day, just to see those figures jump around. Ah….the simple pleasures in life.

  • CrankMama says:

    I just stumbled across your site and have to say i LOVE it!

    Thanks for turning me onto that fab little bottle (I’m such a sucker for packaging). It’s going on my V-Day list right now…

  • Judith says:

    Adorable bottle! And I need to smell those Guerlains. I’m so sorry I missed you by a week in NY–we MUST hook up on your later trip. I actually enjoy Brin de Reglisse quite a bit–although Lee is right–it doesn’t last very long (I get more than 5 mins., but I spray with a heavy hand):)

  • Robin says:

    You win, I want that bottle! Wonder if it is more of a bargain in Brazil?

  • Marina says:

    I am so bummed something came up yesterday and I couldn’t make it 🙁 I so wish I got to meet you, Patty, and to see March again. You girls must come back soon. And bring Lee and Bryan with you 🙂

  • Silvia says:

    I will also be in NYC the last week of Jan. I am excited beyond belief.
    Last time I couldn’t smell the JARS, nor go to CB and Le Labo. BTW does anyone know of a perfume discount store in Manhattan where there is a chance to pick up some discontinued and hyper-cheap fragrance ? Am looking for the perfume version of Century 21, where you dig through piles of junk only to find the perfect thing you always wanted for a song. Dream on Silvia ? :-j
    For sure will be taking notes from your NY trips along, thanks for sharing them.

    • Divalano says:

      Gee, no. We used to have a little perfume “district” along a block of 17 St but that’s long gone. There’s knockoff discounters on Canal St (buyer beware) & places like TJ Max that sell the usual dept store dreck at discount but I haven’t found anyplace like what you’re looking for. You find one, please let us know?

      • Silvia says:

        Thanks :((
        I’ll still keep dreaming of finding a cheap dusty bottle of L’Arte di Gucci EDP somewhere…

  • Divalano says:

    I want Cruel Gardenia for the name alone. It sounds gorgeous & perfect with red lipstick & pointy black 4 inch stillettos. OK so I can’t walk in those, at least not far but this is my fantasy, right? Also in my fantasy, I want it on my shelf right next to Tubereuse Criminelle.

    I’m jealous of you for the Chandler luncheon. Actually I’m jealous of everyone who can smell things today. Wah, I’m still on a perfume free diet until I stop wheezing & making chokey death rattle noises.

    Am I the only one who finds the 4 little holes in the red bottle girl’s head a little disturbing, like a face with the features all wrong? Hmm, maybe it’s the cold meds.

    • Kelly says:

      OH thank you so much! I thought “yeah, she’s cute… but what’s with the holes in her face?” And I’m not on cold meds, however I have been overloading on crunchy little vodka cookies, but that all bakes out, right?

      • Susan says:

        “Girl Bottle” is very cute, but I see what Divalano & Kelly mean about the holes in her head. Looks like a 4-holed button.

        The NY trip sounds soooo wonderful! You guys on this board are all very cosmopolitan – and I’m having a great time living vicariously.

        • pitbull friend says:

          The 4 head-holes make me think of an “old fashioned” (i.e. from the 1970s!) phone receiver — that’s the same pattern as the listening part. Gosh, a gal “with her head screwed on straight” — that’s an expression I’ve always loved & now here’s the visual!

          Wow, Patty & March, thanks for taking us with you to NY! –Ellen

  • Maura says:

    Sounds like a FAB time! I’m with Lee on the bottle. A Lego character was the first thing that came to mind. Maybe circa 1950s diner ~o)? Very cute! Thanks Patty…adding Cruel Gardenia to my lemming list even though I’m not fond of florals but am loving them lately?!? Can’t get enough of biehl eo03!

    Crossing fingers this posts…your new format allows me to even *view* the posts #:-s

  • Louise says:

    Oooh, the fun continues! That Capeto bottle is way cute..but must retry my sample. Y’all found it “light”-well, that means “gone” on me pretty much. Faint whiffs after 20 minutes. Still, if her head screws off…

    I think I remember Takashima having their fragrances downstairs many years ago, with a wonderful selection. Then upstairs, with some good range. Now back down, with a sad few choices. It seems each move loses quality…though they do have the Neil Morris regular line now. I’ve fallen hard for several of his “vault” fragrances, and bought one yesterday (Dark Season-fir, cinnamon, vanilla, delightful

    After a Perfect Night with Lee, no Bella can match up 🙂

  • Lee says:

    That is a cute little bottle. Marchie, get down from your high horse over Rousse – mine’s already saddled up and ready to ride! You’re wrong, see. 😉

    The other BBs are nowhere near as interesting as Perfect Night, I think. The men’s ones struck me as quite forgettable (in that I can’t remember anything about them). I love March’s poopy face, though Brin de Reglisse is impressive in its own ‘molecular experiment that lasts five minutes on the skin’ – hyperreal lavender. And can I tell you how right it is that you’re now both loving the awe and wonder that is a bottle of Poivre Samarcande. Like the nut I am, I recently seem to be picking up something violetty in its composition. When I geek up, chemically speaking (I’m already there in so many other senses), I might be able to define what it is…. or not.

    Love to you both!:x

  • Maria says:

    I’m glad you two are having so much fun. Is the bottle made from opaque glass or plastic? It is cute. I like pretty bottles, but because I care so much about the juice and keep them all shut in boxes, I don’t rush to order because of a bottle’s appearance. Some of my favorite fragrances do have beautiful bottles (Nuit de Noel, Merveilles, Theorema, Habanita), but that’s just a plus. 🙂

    Have a lot more fun!

  • Andy says:

    I usually do not go for bottles. Not at all, but this one, I must admit, is truly great, innovative and reminds me very much in Lego plastic toys. In a positive sense. What a contrast to the omnipresent looks-expensive-crystal things! Enjoy NY !

  • mharvey816 says:

    Isn’t it terrible what they’ve done at Takashimaya? I only recently got to make my very first ever trip to NYC (for perfume shopping, natch!) and when we got to Tak I was at first underwhelmed and then sorely disappointed. This is the great fragrance temple of which I’ve heard and read so much in the recent past? They couldn’t have made what little they had available less appealing if they’d thrown them all in old cardboard shoeboxes salvaged from the loading dock of a DSW store. But that’s just my humble opinion as a first time visitor. The tea is yummy, tho.

    I’ve got the new Chandler Burr book on pre-order from Amazon (it’s discounted there until it’s actually released, no affiliation, yada yada). Can’t wait to read it!

  • Elle says:

    What a great time! As I’ve mentioned, I ordered the Capeto unsniffed and don’t regret it for a second. Love the scent, adore the bottle beyond reason. Think I can safely give all the Bella Bellisima’s a pass. Glad to see you’ve come around to the Poivre Samarcande! I so adore that Hermessence. Oh, and can’t wait to try the Cruel Gardenia! I do love Roquefort w/ my gardenia, but I don’t absolutely need it. Also look forward to reading Chandler’s book.