Expect the Unexpected

It´s January. It´s cold. You need to get your blood flowing; let´s have an argument.

Louise and I get together at the mall periodically and sniff fragrances, sometimes things we´ve brought with us to swap. If that´s the case we end up sitting at a table at the mall café outside Nordstrom, in the semi-open air. I might bring vials or atomizers to make samples from our bottles. Sometimes we meet up at a Starbucks instead. Sometimes, when we are really reeking, or hoovering each other, or I am making samples, people look at us oddly.

Last week we met at the Starbucks in Wheaton, where the man working near us on his laptop was maybe not digging the early-morning bouquet of our Cinnabar vintage parfum. A few days later I got this email from Louise:

“I just ran into the Wildwood Starbucks (aside from March: a different Starbucks) to pick up some beans after work, and there, huddled over his laptop was the Greek professor dude we gassed out at Wheaton on Wednesday! I looked at him and smiled, and he just looked … frightened. Just when he thought he was safe.”

So. Is it criminally inconsiderate of us to meet at places like Starbucks, where you could argue the citizenry would not welcome our sampling and sillage with their mocha crappacinos? Are we inherently more offensive than the folks who use Starbucks to conduct interviews, have book club meetings, yammer on their cel phones (“hi, I´m at Starbucks!”), escape from the house on dreary afternoons with their badly-behaved toddlers, etc.? If we buy two large drinks and a mocha brownie to tide us over while we try on five (okay, 10) fragrances, are we worse than folks who sit there all day taking up space, nursing a small coffee and using the wi-fi? If we sit far away in a corner and someone sits next to us and we whip out the Musc Ravageur to sample, were they, you know … Asking For It? What say you? Are we being rude?

Okay, on to today´s perfumage. This is another post on New York discoveries.

I was pretty sure, playing in L´Artisan on Madison Avenue with Marina from Perfume-Smellin’ Things, that I had explored all the love L´Artisan had to give me. L’Artisan is like going home, in a good way. Regular readers know I am fond of the line. L´Artisan is an excellent place to start if you´re just getting bitten by the perfume bug, because many of their scents are interesting and a bit strange and generally wearable. For the more experienced fragrance lover, they offer up more unusual scents like Tea for Two, Dzongkha and Dzing! The biggest general complaint about the line might be longevity, but I assume almost anyone reading these blogs can come up with at least one L´Artisan they like.

My favorites in the line move around with the seasons and my changing tastes, but pretty much from the get-go the line has divided itself neatly for me into the majority of likes and the small number I don´t wear at all, mostly because I think they smell terrible on me, not because they are terrible.

One I´ve never liked one bit is Mure et Musc, one of L´Artisan´s oldest, most popular scents (with the pretty, niche-for-the-mass-market-smelling La Chasse being, I believe, their biggest U.S. seller). Mure et Musc has left me absolutely cold for years. I have retried it umpteen times and stand there with my head cocked, trying to discern what part of that slightly bitter, diffuse muskberry combo would appeal to anyone with a sense of, you know, smell.

So while Marina and I were laughing and teasing each other about our favorites and not-so-favorites, I sprayed some on again just to confirm what a mediocrity it was.

And I loved it. Why? Why? I have absolutely no idea why. Marina can´t stand it, and she didn´t see the light that day either. What changed? Not the formula. It smells the same on me. It´s not like it was, I don´t know, some ultra-challenging scent that suddenly I got sophisticated enough to enjoy. I have noooo idea.

Mure et Musc is an idealized blackberry – not sweet, not tart, not natural. Nobody´s pretending to be leading you through the brambles. The other note is musk, and that´s it. It´s a simple, perfect combination. And now I´m going to cheat and admit that after my change of heart I googled the fragrance and came upon Bois de Jasmin´s review, where she pretty much nails what I like about it: it´s not remotely foody, with the balance of the slightly animalic musk perfectly tempering any jammy tendencies in the fruit. She prefers Extreme, which has a stronger fruit note. I prefer the regular, which – go ahead, hate me – lasts approximately forever on me, like most fragrances. It also does that aura thing on me, which I’ve decided for the time being is my single favorite characteristic in a scent — its sillage is subtle but omnipresent and long lasting. I can smell it over an entire day without having to sniff at myself, but it’s not strong enough to start grating on my nerves or irritating people around me. That’s a tough balance to find in perfumery.

My take-home lesson? You never know what previously-spurned fragrance might suddenly take up room in your heart, your wallet, your shelf. If a line as familiar and comforting to me as L´Artisan can still provide me with surprises, I know I´m in good shape.

Okay, your turn. Should Louise and I keep our perfume habit out of other people´s lattes? (For various reasons, visiting each other’s homes is problematic). Do you have a favorite L´Artisan? Is there one from the line that seems completely out of place to you, or one you´d ax? (I can think of a couple). Any you´d make them resurrect and release more widely? (Fleur de Carotte!) Do you think if I buy that bottle of Mure et Musc I´ll go back to hating it immediately?

images from L’Artisan’s website

135 Comments
minette February 13, 2008

found this on the scented salamander today. immanuel kant said it so much better than i did: "Olfaction is a kind of taste experienced at a distance. Others are forced, willy-nilly, to participate in this pleasure. And this is why, being in contradiction with freedom, olfaction is less social than taste, where among many dishes or bottles a guest can choose one that he likes without others being forced to share the pleasure of it. " in Anthropology From a Pragmatic Point of View (1798)

minette February 2, 2008

ha... i used to hate that nancy's mom argument, until i realized it showed that my mom loved me better (at least more protectively) than nancy's mom did her. nancy used to flirt hard with the construction workers on the street (new neighborhood) and was already into pot in 8th grade. i sometimes wonder what happened to her. one thing i know for sure, my mother loved and loves me. i hope your kids interpret that response and understand it to mean you love them something fierce. few things spark a headache like that nail polish smell... i don't know how women can get their nails done in nail salons without passing out!

minette February 1, 2008

i think some folks definitely are easily offended - they are waiting for someone to do something that will allow them to take out their frustrations or vent or try to take back control of their out-of-control-feelings lives. but there are a lot of other folks who aren't at the edge, who can sort out the facts and chalk it up to people just being enthused or excited about something, and maybe even get a chuckle out of it. depending on hormones, how hungry they are, and how stressed out they are, people can be in one camp or the other on any given day. and you don't know who is which camp until you do something to tick them off. especially in a place like starbucks, where people are at first anxious and cranky for their fixes and then focused on relaxing and enjoying them. years ago, a young woman decided to paint her nails on an airplane, and everyone in that contained air space - including me - was forced to endure the stink of her nail varnish. i think the flight attendant finally told her to stop it, because people were gagging and getting headaches. she was just doing her thing, enjoying herself, not thinking about how it might affect the people around her. thankfully, in most situations we can move away from the source of our annoyance, or roll our eyes and gain the support of another person standing in line who's also over the loud cell phone conversation. but i'm probably not going to take kindly to having to move from one table to another in a restaurant because of a cacophony of perfume smells clashing with my food and drink. all i'm saying is that we as perfume lovers still need to be considerate of others - because the scent molecules can't be contained on our bodies - they travel to other noses, noses who may not take as much pleasure in them as we do. we need a "cone of silence" for perfume testing. (do you remember get smart?) then we could spritz and spray with abandon anywhere. also, just because others are "doing it" by being noisy or smelly, doesn't mean we should be, too. that argument is the one i used with my mother in 8th grade, when nancy across the street was allowed to do something i wasn't allowed to do. my mother's answer to my "but nancy's mom is letting her do it" was "i don't care about nancy, i care about you."

alba January 31, 2008

I remember my first Artisan: it was timbuktu, and it was love at first sniff (it still lasts). Since then, I've bought different scents from different houses, but I find that L'Artisan manage to create scents that are original, different from the sweety-fruity ones you fins everyhwere, while at the same time being so wearable. I love Bois Farine, Safran Troublant, Tea for Two and Dzongkha, and if I feel nostalgic I wear Patchouli Patch for a sophisticated version of my youth. But... Timbuktu is still number one.

minette January 31, 2008

i see your point about the olfactory chaos, but i guess i figure, just because someone else is doing something you don't dig (changing diapers around hot dogs) doesn't mean it's a great idea to add to the olfactory cacophony. if i saw someone changing a diaper around food, i would say something to the person doing the changing - that is unhealthy as well as stinky. i just think about what people go to starbucks for - and the smells you expect when you go - a wild mix of perfumes isn't one of them, and that's why it could be startling and disturbing for those who just want a cup of coffee and find starbucks a comforting place to get it. i'm not one of them - i have my own local holes in the wall - and i wouldn't welcome a perfume testing party there because i go there to focus on writing and other creative endeavors, as do many others. in my favorite tea house i expect to smell the food they make and the tea i'm drinking - anything else would disturb my little tea house womb. also, there is something very personal about perfume - it's part of one's toilette, part of our mystique as women. i wouldn't try out antiperspirants or douches or body lotions or razors or floss in public, why would i do this? i know, i know, because it's fun to share and play. i agree. i just have different boundaries. hope you find a fun place where you guys can play without worrying about anything at all.

sylvia January 30, 2008

i just started reading this blog so i havent commented before. i recently received a set of l'artisan samples and i was just inspired to try mure et musc on one wrist and chasse on the other. so far, love them both. we'll say how the day progresses. as per the starbucks thing, i think that the guy, if bothered, is free to ask you to stop spraying, or to move himself. also, smaller spaces with less ventilation may be better suited to splash vials, as opposed to sprays.

minette January 29, 2008

well, i love perfume as well as the next perfumista, and it would never cross my mind to test and spray and decant in a public place like starbucks - especially in a place where people are eating. maybe i'm just a perfumed prude, but i wouldn't. something about it strikes me as rude. the atrium of a mall might be okay - but even then i would probably hold back. if you have to do it inside, why not just do it in a perfume department? you could test the store's offerings and yours. and you could even bring an SA in on the fun. i have brought in things for favorite SAs to try, and if i'm not hogging their time or getting in the way of a sale, it works out just fine. the better ones love to learn more and sniff things they've never tried before. failing that, why don't you play in your car?

Wynn January 29, 2008

Chicken bones? Really?!!! Wow...I thought I had it hard dealing with all the Axe body spray. Thank you for the note, Ellen!

erin k. January 29, 2008

whoops, that was supposed to be a reply to march above, but it didn't go in the right place. :">

erin k. January 29, 2008

bulgari black wards off teargas. burning tire + hot asphalt + black tea + vanilla + teargas = lancome hypnose. it's the "passionfruit" accord. see, you wouldn't think those elements would go together at all, but menardo's a genius ... :d

Wynn January 29, 2008

Hi All! I just wanted to add to your conversation about Starbucks and spraying in public. My mom has life-threatening asthma, and I do have concerns about perfume being sprayed in open places. When my mom is confronted with perfume, she is completed unable to breathe. It's terrifying and, at very least, can knock her out for the rest of the day. There have been times where we've almost lost her. Now, I love fragrance, and stumbling across a lovely one on a day out is a treat, but I think it's important to remember that there are many people who suffer physically from scent to varying degrees and who are trying to enjoy a life without it. I don't think any of us has the right to impose on them.

Joan January 28, 2008

For me personally, if a beautiful fragrance wafted over to me in a public place, I pretty much would need to investigate. I just finished reading the new James North Patterson novel called Exile. It deals with the Israeli Palestinian conflict. The main character was in a millitary jeep that kept perfume along with the other equipment to be sprayed on cotton balls and put against your nose in the case of a tear gas attack to help with the effects of the gas. (of course I'm thinking....what perfume would they use??)

Robin January 28, 2008

I do think it's rude, but I've done worse: I've set up camp w/ another perfumista in a tea shop, the sort where people were there because they really cared about tea. Luckily, we did not get the evil eye, but I've been given the evil eye in other places. And, sat w/ V in a Starbucks once and sprayed Flowerbomb AND Flowerbomb Extreme around, trying to decide which was better. So there, I'm even ruder than you are :-)

tmp00 January 28, 2008

Well, I am going to be a total snob here, but I don't think that Starbucks is the gustatory be-all and end-all of the coffee experience, and I don't think that you sampling a few colognes in there was any more invasive than someone composing their dissertation, clack-clack-clacking on their MacBookPro. It's not like you were dissecting fish or debating the merits of stinky cheese or doing this at some meeting of the national academy of coffee roasters; I've seen obnoxious behavior (PDA, screeching cell-phones, cigar smoking, diaper changing- no I am not kidding, that one was at the Four Seasons at Brunch and they left the bundle on the table for the waiters) in my local Starbucks, which since it is on the busy corner of Beverly and Robertson I think I'd rather get a whiff of stray L'Artisan than stray MTA bus...

erin k. January 28, 2008

i have to respectfully disagree with those who said heavy perfume scents could be intrusive to others at starbucks. i think people today are so easily annoyed or offended because THEY REALLY DON'T LIKE OTHER PEOPLE. just listen to people around you at a restaurant or theater, talking about - and judging - those around them - like, "can you believe she wore THAT?" or "what is that SMELL!" the people around us in public places are often seen as objects, like people on a reality show, to be either ridiculed, labeled, or just ignored - but not seen, or more importantly felt, as being real human beings. in other words, yes it is intrusive, but that's what interacting with (and ultimately UNDERSTANDING) other people is all about to me. :-) as for the l'artsans, i haven't tried enough to judge, but i'm wearing dzing! for the first time today and i adore it!

Lauren January 28, 2008

No Starbucks here, but we do have a Dunkin Donuts with very good service and a loyal clientele. I think that the mostly young, female staff would enjoy the scent of somethings besides coffee, donuts, and eggs cooking. I think that the usual crowd of break-takers would be very bemused, not at all annoyed, by the spraying, sampling, and sniffing. I have sampled MeM, but got mostly clean, soapy skin. March, I think you should get a small decant. Most L'Artisans disappear on me, but I really like Mandarine tout simplement on an early spring day. Thanks for an interesting post, and the picture of the blackberry bottle! Lauren

elyse January 28, 2008

i agree with grizzlesnort- love the name, by the way. Mure et Musc is my favorite comfort scent. When I am having a stressful day, putting some on or sniffing it makes me feel miles better. I know people think it's bland, but it smells really nice when it settles down. I am still a super- newbie, but I love this stuff!

grizzlesnort January 28, 2008

My Starbucks advice for you: When someone starts nattering on their cell phone about whether their son really looks like a young Fidel Castro or some other typically/equally inane topic, pull out your bottle of Fracas and spray TOWARDS THEM.

IrisLA January 28, 2008

I think it's OK for a sniff fest during off hours at Starbucks, although I wouldn't do it myself. I couldn't relax and focus if I had to worry about bothering others. Sampling is Serious Business, ya know? Mure et Musc was a scrubber for me. Reading your experience, though, I am inspired to try it again. In general, I like L'Artisans. In particular, I love Mimosa Pour Moi, La Chasse, and both harvest editions.

Patty January 28, 2008

MeM Extreme is just a staple for me, especially in spring/summer. Clear, crisp, refreshing, but not about the fruit except in the beautiful peripheral way. Wel... I'd say outside in a starbucks cafe would be perfect, but inside can be a little close, though I think of STarbucks as being a pretty good public place that people come to do lots of things! But if you are spritzing l'air de rien, well, I'll change my mind.

Karen G January 28, 2008

No, I wouldn't sample fragrances in Starbucks. Too much opportunity to offend in such a small space. However, the mall cafe is absolutely fair game. Have not sampled alot from L'artisan, but I do like Tea for Two (even better on my husband), and Passage d'Enfer is nearly full bottle worthy. Safran Troublant I don't get at all. It almost smells like nothing when I put it on, and two minutes later it's completely gone.

JenniferR January 28, 2008

I wasn't going to reply until I saw Elle's comment, which I just want to give a very strong second to. I too miss the smell of smoking in public places. And so many more obnoxious things go on in any Starbuck's (or similar coffee chain) that I'd never find sniffage and sillage a problem. But then, I'm not a fan of Starbuck's. Still, I'd give y'all free rein to spray and smell anywhere. And no doubt I'd ask to join ... PdE is at the top of my L'Artisan list, too. Sometimes the delicacy (euphemism alert!) is just what you need. I sprayed it last night after a day spent battling a nasty cold, and it was just what the doctor ordered. Timbuktu, Dzing! I also adore. And I'd like to put in a word for the maligned-by-comparison-with-its-older-and discontinuted-sibling Navegar, which is sometimes just exactly what I need. Orchidee Blanche is on my to-try list, and just got moved way up thanks to a couple of posters here.

sarah patton January 28, 2008

Back when Saks carried l'Artisan and was touting it as the new best thing I was seduced by a Mure and Chasse combo that the SA was touting. They balance each other pretty nicely, actually and although I don't wear either one by itself. Sarah

Debbie January 28, 2008

Regarding Starbucks, I am torn. If I were there to just get a caffeine fix or wait for someone, I would probably think of a way to start a conversation with you and pull up a chair. Only a wilting glare or snide remark would dissuade me. I would try to be my charming best so that I could smell the beauty also. :x On the other hand, if I were there to really enjoy the coffee...the fragrance of it...the fragrance of it with that of a wonderful bittersweet chocolate... I would definitely be annoyed. Taste is not just about your mouth. It is also about your nose. (Some huge percentage.) However, if I could sit away from you while doing this (i.e., each of us on one side of the store), I'd be fine with that. I'd be happy to see two people enjoying themselves. As for L'Artisan, I sampled several of those when I first began exploring niche perfumery. L'Artisan had nothing going for it for me personally. I am tempted to try a few of ones whose names I don't remember and seem to be popular (like Dzing!). They just never seemed to have the complexity or depth that I like. Uh, hope I don't need to put on a flack vest. If you can think of any I might like, I'd appreciate recommendations. My HG is Chergui, if that give you an idea of what I love. Debbie

Dusan January 28, 2008

All I'll say is sniff away. Hey, it even rhymes, must be a good sign. Of course, that is, unless you're jumping at people around you brandishing vials and atomizers because you want them to experience the splendoriferousness (!) that is your new-found scent love (which I feel like doing sometimes, btw :) ). So by all means it's okay to spray! (can't help myself, I'm on a rhyming-cum-brackety roll today it seems) :-D MeM. Haven't tried, but I've got another nice (more-than-just)blackberry for you: Alchimie by Rochas. L'Artisans that win my heart are the lovely PdE, La Chasse, Timbuktu, Thé Pour un Été and my very favorite Dzongkha. I've only scratched the surface of this line (thanks to dear R) and have yet to get a taste of Dzing!, BF, FdA and others.

G Knight January 28, 2008

I think that if they come near you while you all are doing your decanting and sampling they enter at their own risk...We are subjected to horrific body odors and cheap perfume smells any and everywhere....so why when you are trying some interesting fragrances would they come your way do these people not have eyes smh @ the thought...As far as the l'artisan line I love Dzing and L'Eau de Jatamansi is absolutely outstanding to me...not a big fan of their

Lee January 28, 2008

At work and snowed under so I'll be quick. I wish someone would spray some perfume in this office - there's a stale, slightly fetid aroma and no, it ain't me... I think a discreet table is fine. I mean, Les Senteurs never smells bad even though several fl oz of frag must be sprayed there daily. It's not like you're fruity-floralling folks to death. Mure et Musc. It's okay. A bit too blackberry musky for me. Though quite lovely on others. I'm suddenly a little addicted to Dzongkha...

Malena January 28, 2008

first of all: i can´t stand mure et musc b-( but if you like it, i´d say get a decant or a large sample vial so that you can test it a few more times, then decide weather it´s FBW or not! i´m generally not a huge fan of the l´artisan scents - i owned several (passage, dzing, jour de fête, bois farine & i still have an unopened bottle of oeillet sauvage) but perhaps they´re too minimalistic or whatever, i just never feel like wearing them. they tend to bore me. moreever, their iris pallida was a total disappointment: iris & musk that got way too sharp on my skin - i just don´t get the hype...no, thank you - there are far better iris scents out there! on to starbucks ~o) : hmmm, i don´t know, i LOVE perfume, but i´m not sure what i would think if somebody sat close to me, spraying/decanting. perhaps i wouldn´t mind - or if it smelled really good, i´d even ask what you´re sampling. but perhaps - especially if i ate something - i wouldn´t like it that much. i guess, it depends :)>- but if you choose a table in a corner, like somebody suggested above, not too near to others, why not spray perfume? it shouldn´t bother anybody, then. it´s far less annoying than people coughing onto your dish without feeling sorry at all! or people who think they´re alone, talking so loud & laughing so shrill that even people on the other end of the restaurant have to listen - without having a choice. or people smelling like they haven´t washed...for a while - i hate that *ugh* & it seems a lot of people are very good on saving water & soap :-s those are things that can really bother me at times :-<

Divalano January 28, 2008

Beginner scents, nothing! L'A was my 1st niche experience so it's like coming home for me too but my gateway drug of choice was Dzing! I'd never smelled leather in a perfume before; one sniff on my wrist & I was hooked. I've always wanted to like Mure et Musc. I've wanted it to smell like what you said but sadly it never does. I also want the one or the other Ambers to work on me. Sadly, they don't. Perhaps I'll try again. And lastly, I want the Figuer Extreme to work on me again because lately it doesn't & I have a fairly full large sized bottle of it that I can't use & can't seem to swap. Damnit. Your questions, let's see. L'Eau De L'Artisan makes me wheeze, that could go away. You shouldn't buy a full bottle until you sample it 3 more times & love it. Ummm ... And I have no love for Char*uck's so I'm a bad one to ask but I do have a personal horror of my own silage invading anyone else's airspace so I guess I'd refrain unless the place was fairly empty.

Devon January 28, 2008

I love Dzing. Nothing is like Dzing. Have to get some more as I heard it was discontinued (uh why?). Would like to try Carotte, and hate their Vanille(a?).

Wendy January 28, 2008

March - I think your "Starbucks problem" is amplified by living in the DC area - where everyone is soooo hypersensitive. I figure if you're someplace with adequate ventilation, you are fine. L'Artisan - Luv Safran Troublant and Jatamansi.:x Piment Brulant still leaves me cold (don't mind eating Chicken Mole ~:> - not sure I want to smell like it), but its an interesting fragrance. Fleurs d'Oranger and Iris Pallada - I know these are agricultural vintage scents (2007), but they didn't make me jump up and down. Maybe if they eventually put the Fleurs d'Oranger as a sample pack with various vintages it could make for an interesting educational study. Works with wine, right?

Carol Sasich January 28, 2008

I own a coffee roastery and when someone comes in wearing a fragramce I don't like it is really irritating. If I like it. maybe not so irritating...LOL...usally it is me stinking up the place when I open packages from the ladies of the COURT. L'Artisan is a line I read about for years but never had access to until SNIFFA lured me to NYC...L'eau d'Ambre is one I wear at some point every day, it layers well and I am addicted to the powdery softness of it and all their amber products. I also adore Le Haie, I hang my head and sigh every time I wear it. Usally I save it for warmer weather, but this is Florida so I wear it alot. A decant of Dzing and Mechant Loup both made my jaw drop! I wanted to love La Chasse, but it's not FBW for me. The Chasse extreme goes all green and bitter and I don't care for it. i'll keep sniffin...mure e musc smells just like a blackberry sitting there on my arm...not complex enough for me to think of as perfume...Ha! I know for myself, as I get older my body chemistry has changed, and yes menopause does crazy things...most of my perfumes pre-menopause don't interest me at all now. xo Carol

Carol January 28, 2008

Re: Starbucks – I think if it’s a little off hours (the place isn’t packed) and you are more dabbing than lots of sprays, I think it’s OK. Re: L’Artisan… I started my perfume obsession back in April and MeM was among my first couple dozen of purchased samples. I thought it was absolutely horrible – I don’t think I’ve hated anything so immediately as that sample. Sort of wish I had it now for a re-smell given your experience. And maybe because of that, or because I focused on other lines first, I didn’t smell any more until about November when my sister and I went to Barney’s and the great Serge SA jumped around with us to sniff other lines as well. Yeah, yeah, Dzing! had been mentioned here, there and everywhere on the blogs, but I didn’t like the sound of it…. That day, despite so many dabs and sprays all over my arms and hands, it was Dzing! that wowed me. The next day I tracked down the discontinued smaller bottle at Blue Mercury and bought it (and I am NOT a quick bottle buyer). I went back to try PdEnfer after the incense scent club posts and sadly it disappeared instantly. I must make a point to go to the L’Artisan shop soon since Chicago is lucky to have one and try the others everyone is mentioning.

Judith January 28, 2008

Funny you should mention your Starbucks sin. Just recently, Ann (poodlegirl) and Kim (trizydlux) and I were sniffing and shopping at Louis, a fancy Boston store. Afterwards, we had lunch at their (very nice) restaurant. We had brought gifts for each other, and, with some trepidation, we began to sniff and (discretely) spray them. The tables were far apart, so none of the patrons seemed to notice, and the waiter thought it was funny. Still, I have some guilt about it. Would have much less at Starbucks. I don't like MeM.

Anne January 28, 2008

OK people, she wrote this post so we would all justify her sin just because, well this IS a perfume blog for pete's sake. I'm not gonna be another enabler for you March. Yes you were being rude. Smoking in public places, even outside can ruin a good Starbuck's sitdown for me so I can imagine, for some insane % of the population how experiencing amazing and rare perfume sillage could be offensive. Just because they have no taste, cannot appreciate the beauty in life and are obviously of questionable integrity doesn't mean we shouldn't respect their rights. For me it was Iris Pallida. I think the first few times I smelled it I had different expectations than what it delivered. When I last tried it a week ago I just sat back and let it do its thing. Now I'm a fan. :)>-

Elle January 28, 2008

I'm a live and let live person to the core, so I say that a corner in Starbucks is fine. Of course, despite not being a smoker, I still miss having people be able to smoke anywhere they chose to. Yes, I *know* it's a different issue w/ health, etc. Anyway, I'd be thrilled to see *anyone* around here, *anywhere* indulging in a sniff fest. I say go for the MeM! I love many L'Artisans, but wouldn't mind seeing La Chasse d/ced - bores me to tears. Wish they would bring back Orchidee Blanche and make a scent to *exactly* match Trefles a Quatre Fleurs.

Divina January 28, 2008

Something funny that happened to me while in Paris: MP&G, Artisan and Montale all have a Mure/Musk combo. In *each* of those boutiques when I reached for the bottle I had an SA suddenly looking concerned and in a frightful, whispering manner saying "Non, non, non, non!" to me (leaving no room for argument) and explaining that I must not wear this! :P The explanation was always the same: "This is for highschool girls.. You are a sexy WOMAN!" The first time this happened I was slightly annoyed, like, ok I might wanna try it? :P But by the third time the exact same thing happened it just turned funny and it is even a good memory now, like sweet personal advice. Don't get me wrong, I don't really agree with the approach ..The nose knows best and everyone should wear what pleases THEM - but on the other hand it was enjoyable to get the personal advice. I probably feel positive about it because the SAs were really helpful, kind and generous - the advice was not given in a snobby or annoying manner. Anyway..that's my little anecdote, sorry it turned into a novel! As for which Artisan I'd axe... I used to think the house could simply do no wrong, but I'd so axe Absinthe. It smells generic to me. x, Divina

MattS January 28, 2008

I haven't paid much attention to the L'Artisan line; there seem to be universal complaints that they're all rather short-lived (something you and your Magical Skin don't have to worry about). I've got a decant of Voleur de Roses that I enjoy, but seldom wear out of the house. It's great to wear when you're feeling a little melodramatic, a little gruesome, like a silent horror movie, a Cabinet of Dr. Caligari kinda vibe. I keep meaning to try Passage d'Enfer, Timbuktu, Dzongkha, and Dzing. But these are the only ones that have my interest. For some reason, Mure et Musc hasn't appealed to me at all. The berry business didn't seem to draw me in and I always got the idea that the musk was a bit subtle and innocent. I may have to sniff this after all. I just had a funny image of you guys huddled in a car in a dark parking garage swapping perfume like drug dealers. No one to offend there, although you may get the interest of security guards and police officers.

rosarita January 28, 2008

My weigh in on the Starbux issue: A table in the corner, away from others, should be fine. The ceilings are high, they're well ventilated and the aroma of coffee pretty much saturates the air. About L'Artisan: when I first started the *perfume thing* (what do you call it? the hobby? passion? helpless obsession?) I tried a few L'As and they were instantly absorbed and disappeared. Since I've discovered swapping, I'm sampling more, and have falled in love w/Passage d'Enfer (an incredibly generous MUAer sent me a bottle as a random act of kindness). Next trip to Chicago I definitely have to visit the boutique and sample more. I've dismissed even sampling MeM bcs it just sounds like one that I'd hate, but I guess ya never know!

Louise January 28, 2008

Maria-can we meet in a coffee shop overlooking the Pacific Ocean? :x

Katie January 28, 2008

About the Starbucks thing, I think you can always don't go "over", and be sure to stay away from people that are really eating. Some people will come closer, to share your pleasure, and some people will stay away. About L'Artisans... There is nothing that I completely dislike (about the ones I already tried). My true love is Passage D'Enfer, and Primier Figuier is just, well, ok (I like the top notes, but not the drydown ). Bois Farine is great at the first... 2 minutes, after this, I can barely sniff something, but nothing so good like the "entrance".:)

hausvonstone January 28, 2008

I wouldn't use Starbucks as a fragrance lab. I do think trying on samples at Starbucks is like going in L'Artisan with a big cup of coffee, a bag of spicy takeout, and a diaper bag. You're definitely going to cause a distraction from what people came in there to do, namely waste money only goopy coffee drinks and sweets. Starbucks has enough over-smell that you might not get a clear sense of the perfumes anyway!!

Gail S January 28, 2008

Frankly, I find it difficult to believe that any perfume you spray could overcome the coffee and such smell at Starbucks! So I say go ahead! And definately don't worry about open-air public spaces. I mean, for crying out loud, if people can smoke in public, what possible objection could they have to perfume? Favorite L'Artisan is Bois Farine. Love, love, love this! (Did I mention that I love this?) I'm with Amy up there about the Ambres, can't stand either one of them. And I'm an amber lover!! Those two smell like pure powdered hell on my skin :o I would dearly love for them to re-release Orchidee Blanche. While it may be powdery also, it's good powder :d

Maria January 28, 2008

March, I'm glad you came around to liking Mure et Musc. I spurned it at first because it was so simple, but it's such fun to wear. You reminded me that I ought to send along my unloved sample of Chasse to a friend I'm trying to introduce to niche perfumes. That one may be the gateway. I wish I could join you and Louise WHEREVER you met. I do think that a crowded Starbucks in the morning is pushing the envelope a bit. I think Louise's idea of returning to the better ventilated place in front of Nordstrom's is excellent. But I'd join you two in a crowded Starbucks no matter how bad a blushing attack it gave me.

annie January 28, 2008

OK,,,I give up....THE POST WAS FOR MARCH.....I:m going to BED....

annie January 28, 2008

8-|Sorry Marcs....I ment you not Patty,for the above post!!!

annie January 28, 2008

8-|Silly,silly Patty....I know a great place to help you solve this problem(this is due to the fact that I am SSSOOOO full of wisdom).....Go online,to a really WONDERFUL place;The Perfumed Court,and purchase A DECANT,for pete's sake,girl....now,use it a LOT,and often,and ,luv you all!!when the decant is gone,you will know exactly how you feel about it....THEN is the time to get a large bottle of it,or noy,and thus you will save thousands of dollars!!!!!...HOW GREAT WAS THIS DERN IDEA?????.......PS: MM EXTREME,has been a staple of mine for years....luv it:)>-

Anthony January 28, 2008

Hi! I used to work at Starbucks... for two years (it's been 5 years since I worked there)... it was pretty prohibited to wear fragrance working there, because coffee is something where subtleties are really enhanced by both tasting and smelling... in reverse, it might be like someone going into L'Artisan and making coffee, or cooking a curry dish :) That said, I only WISH someone would come in to a starbucks I was visiting and start sniffing perfumes... I would butt right in! :) And these days, most people at Starbucks aren't there for the subtleties found between Sumatra and Kenya, but rather, to drink frappuccinos and white chocolate mochas. I also imagine you aren't making wide lusty spray motions while you are there :) I say, go ahead... i think it's cool! I just met the L'Artisan line in December for the first time! I loved it! I was most smitten with Mechant Loup and Fou d'Absinthe... Pure artwork in perfumery!

Louise January 28, 2008

I can't be unbiased on this one. The fellow was so amiable, and sorta cute (no?), and working very hard on his econ class or some such. And was there at 'bucks before us. And he felt a little fortunate, too, I'm sure, to have such lovely women chatting next to him about work and family and art. :) Then, boom, out came the sneaky little sprayers. I think he was sort of OK at first, but then we got to some potent incense stuff, and started to lick each others wrists. He wanted to leave America altogether, clearly. If only he had known about MR, or scarier maybe MKK. Oopsies. Maybe we oughta go back to Nordies? A better-ventilated spot? While we all had our right to be there...but, I hate making strangers unduly uncomfortable. Friends and collegues, well that's another story :d/ Glad you caught the Mure et Musc bug. It is lovely.

Cathy January 28, 2008

If I bought a full bottle of Mur et Musc, I'd feel obligated to like it knowing I'd just dropped good money on it. That may not be the best way to start a relationship unless you're head-over-heals. On the other hand, the pleasure of having another toy can never be underestimated.:d AND, you always have the option of passing it on if you get tired of it. Starbucks...I personally wouldn't try on perfumes in a Starbucks...and it's not about taking up tables. I wouldn't wear a strong fragrance into a theater either. Only because I wouldn't want to be assaulted myself by a fragrance I didn't like. And if I was trying to enjoy food/drink in a place like Starbucks, the mixture of fragrance and food might possibly be repulsive. I just try to do unto others..., and not be invasive. I also have to remind myself that fragrance travels in closed spaces, even if we can't smell it anymore on ourselves (what's that term?) I haven't tried enough L'Artisans to have a favorite...have to rectify that soon. I keep thinking I might like La Chasse... Cheers! And here's to warmer weather where we can be outside soon! I'm ready...

Molly January 28, 2008

I think public places are fair game! You have no less right to sit in a public place and go about your business (within reason of course!)than anyone else. Like Pitbull Friend (I like pitbulls too, by the way!) said, there are far more offensive--and intrusive--smells going on in public places than perfume sniffery! About L'Artisan, I've never smelled anything by them. I'm very new to the perfumista world, especially niche perfume. But I did just get full bottles of Parfumerie Generale Corps et Ames, Parfums Delrae Amoureuse, and Parfums de Nicolai Sacrebleu so that's a start, right? :) There are lots of L'Artisans I want to try--like, all of them!

pitbull friend January 28, 2008

Answer to Starbucks' question: Your justification is perfect! As long as you're not purposely putting on an amount that would make others uncomfortable, go for it! I am blessed/cursed with a better than average sense of smell, and I'd rather sit near you than the multitude of people who don't floss, have "gastric issues," or just don't wash well enough. They're free to leave (unlike me on the bus when I'm getting coughed on, for instance). --Ellen

Amy K January 28, 2008

Overall, L'Artisan is a very safe line for me. I'd axe L'Eau d'Ambre and Ambre Extreme, but besides those two, there aren't really any I dislike. I'd make Joyful Rire available outside the set, and I'd make a version of Fleur d'Oranger that didn't cost and arm and a leg (I'm fine with the regular orange blossom harvest, thank you very much). After Passage d'Enfer, Mure et Musc is my next favorite of the line, with Jour de Fete in third place. You need that gorgeous LE blackberry bottle! Even if you end up bored with the fragrance, who could ever get tired of looking at that?