Trip a little fantasy (by Ann)

 The weather here  has gotten a bit cooler, thank heavens, and that’s revved up my  wanderlust. I love traveling in the fall,  enjoying those lovely moderate temps between hot, hot, hot and freeze-your-ears-off cold. Of course, in my current economic state, it’s just a pipe dream for now, but so fun to ponder.

 So I’m posing this question to all you lovely Posse people:   If you could go perfume shopping for just one day in any city in the world (you know, snap your fingers and you’re there kind of thing), where would it be?

 Hmm, tough decision — or maybe not.

  As for me, despite the considerable charms of  London, Paris, New York and so many other wonderful cities, I think I’d have to go with San Francisco. Although I must admit to being sorely tempted by the fifth-floor Haute Parfumerie at Harrod’s, the Ormonde Jayne boutiques and other London lovelies.

 Anyway, SF has always been my favorite city because of its cool, humidity-free climate,  laid-back, anything-goes vibe and its accessibility — getting around is fairly easy and not too expensive. And between Barney’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom, and the Chanel, Hermes and Diptyque boutiques, you can find pretty much anything you want, scent-wise, and all within walking distance, if you don’t mind walking uphill a bit.

 When the stores close, there are heavenly restaurants (dim sum, anyone?), scrumptious Dungeness crab, sourdough bread and Michael Recchiuti chocolates in which to indulge. Plus, touristy as it sounds, for me nothing beats the  sheer fun of riding the cable cars on a cool evening with the city lights all aglow. And did I mention that fabulous Dungeness crab?

 Oh, yes, I think I’ll leave my heart (and everything else) in the lovely city by the bay.

 Now, what about you? Fill me in on your fantasy sniffing trip.


Don’t forget to drop by Perfume Smellin’ Things today for the next great interview/review installment of Brian Pera’s and Andy Tauer’s film/perfume collaboration



  • Jayne58 says:

    One of the joys of any trip is to find out what nice smells they have there. Although my idea of absolute fragrance heaven is Paris, I was recently in Fort William Scotland and found a wonderful Highland Soap shop. I’m going to Manchester in a few weeks time and have already planned to escape my husband for a few hours to go on a perfume prowl. I can’t think of a nicer souvenir of a journey than something scented.

    • Ann says:

      That’s perfect — finding something nice to sniff, wherever you may be. Love your term “perfume prowl”!

  • Well, because the flight is long, I’ll have to stop in London on my way to Paris. And yes, like Joanne, I want to go to Grasse, too. I really want to smell all the Ormond Jayne line. If I could choose only one city, it would be Paris. I’ve been there, and I’m not done with it yet.

    • Ann says:

      Ah, Paris … Quinn, I’m with you on that. I think you can never get enough of Paris, no matter how many times you visit.

  • maggiecat says:

    Paris was my first thought – but definitely with a side trip to Grasse! And then of course New York. London would be wonderful too. But you’ve made San Francisco sound so perfect…. Oh just send me anywhere Not Here and I’d be happy!

    • Ann says:

      Hi Maggie! I’m oh-so ready for a change of scenery, so anywhere but here sounds pretty nice to me, too!

  • Marle says:

    Paris, Paris, Paris
    I’d visit Guerlain, Caron, Serge Lutens, Hermes, Memo, Frederic Malle, Chanel, Dior, L’Artisan Parfumeur, Parfums d’Nicolai, and more that I can’t think of right now.

    (but I would want to nip across the Channel to get to Harrods and to the Roja Dove boutiques)

    And then maybe Rome.

  • AnnieA says:

    This time round it might need to be London, now that the Canadian dollar is doing a LOT better than during my previous visit.

  • ggperfume says:

    Ann, don’t forget Jacqueline Perfumery, also in the Union Square area (103 Geary St).

  • tammy says:

    Would have to be Paris or New York so I could visit a Caron boutique!

    Has anyone heard from Musette about how her meeting went?

  • mals86 says:

    Gosh, I don’t know… I have only really shopped for sniffies in Rome, and that was fun but not the wide variety that I could probably find in NYC or Paris or London. (It’s been, oh, 20 years or so since I’ve been to NYC, and the last time I was there I had no time to shop.)

    What I’d really like to do would be to go visit Wellington, NZ again, and hit up their big department store before going to the museum and the wharf.

    Heck, send me anywhere. DC would do; I could hit Tyson’s Corner and then visit some friends…

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Mals! I’m kind of with you there — send me anywhere and I’ll be happy, too. New Zealand sounds amazing though; it’s just never quite been on my radar because of the long flight time. And D.C. sounds good, too; maybe we could stop by and take March to lunch or something …

  • Tatiana says:

    I would have to say, since I haven’t been to Europe in ages, either London or Paris.

    So glad you enjoy our fair city by the bay. Camille at Saks is really lovely and so helpful! At Barney’s, the Frederic Malle rep, Chase is great too! Then there’s Josh and Jonathan also.

    • Ann says:

      Thanks for the info, Tatiana. You’ve got a special vibe there in SF but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at London or Paris either. BTW, have you done any of the Sniffapalooza events out there yet?

    • Joanie says:

      Josh and Jonathan never fail to make my day better!

      In my dreams, I’m in Paris, for all the reasons outlined here! :D

  • Maureen says:

    Paris…in my dreamiest dreams. It just seems so cosmopolitan and so full of history…I would love to see & smell & taste everyhting!

    • Ann says:

      Ah, to shop for perfume, then wander and soak up all the excitement and history would be grand, wouldn’t it?

  • Rappleyea says:

    Tough question! London for Roja Dove’s Perfumerie, Paris for the sheer abundance of perfume, food and style, and Florence as I’ve never been to Italy and am dying to go.

    • Rappleyea says:

      Vancouver to visit Ayala wouldn’t be bad either!

      • Ann says:

        Those all sound terrific! As I mentioned in the post, Roja Dove’s boutique sounds extremely tempting, but my fear is that I might spend all day in there and not come out until they kick me out at closing time, ha!

  • Joanna says:

    Grasse, France during the Fête du Jasmin! It’s my dream of dreams to be in the crowd during the flower battle when everyone gets soaked in the natural perfume of the flowers. Can you imagine all that jasmine? Heaven! On the French Riviera where where so many of the great noses in perfume have trained. *Dreamy sigh* So maybe there aren’t a ton of big name boutiques there with every scent I want at hand but this is where a lot of them start in the raw form.
    Also tour the perfume museum and the old parfumeries like Molinard, Fragonard and Galimard.
    And then later on to Paris to hit the boutiques. :)

    • Ann says:

      Sounds wonderful, Joanna. Talk about getting steeped in the area’s culture! And that side trip to Paris would be the icing on the cake, wouldn’t it?

  • pam says:

    Hi, Ann! Lovely post.

    My dream sniff city is Paris. I mean, everything smelly seems to begin in France (that is meant in a perfumey way.)

    But my favorite city that I have ever visited is San Francisco, for sure. It is magical in so many ways. And the food!

  • Daniela says:

    Hmmmmm… oh, I love this topic of discussion. Right now, I would love to be on an island in the Maldives or in the South Pacific. Somewhere with beautiful wood furniture and rich colours and joyful palm trees. Yes, and a nice deck looking onto a beach where I can kick my feet up with an umbrella drink. Oooh, this gets my fingers itching for a travel booking website!

    Today, I’m wearing “L’air du desert marocain” and it feels like a little trip every time I get a whiff of that sweet smokiness.

  • Mrs.Honey says:

    I would have to say New York. I have never been, but I have been to London and Paris. I figure anything you can find in London, you should be able to find in New York. Now, if I was taking the trip all by myself, I might choose Paris. My traveling companions, however, hate Paris and don’t speak French so I can’t leave them alone to do much sniffing.

    • Ann says:

      Good choices there, Mrs. Honey. Actually, odd as it may sound, I prefer to travel alone (unless it’s a family vacation, etc.). I can ‘fume shop to my heart’s content and wander aimlessly.

  • Millicent says:

    I was just in San Francisco, and while I think Barney’s has the best selection of the department stores, I had a really nice experience with Camille, one of the SA’s at the Saks perfume counter. If anyone reading this post is actually going to SF, definitely seek her out.

    Fantasywise…I have to say Paris. There’s just so much available there that’s impossible to find in the US, such as 30ml bottles and chain stores like Marionnaud that carry all kinds of fun things. Like Kenzo Jungle L’Elephant, that I never thought I’d find. And then there’s the art and the food…

    • hongkongmom says:

      and ISM, and Lutens exclusives… and i believe the upstairs room is very special

    • Ann says:

      Yes, wouldn’t it be nice to have your choice of 30ml bottles and all those other things we never see here in the States? I’ll definitely look up Camille next time I’m out there. Thanks.

  • hongkongmom says:

    Hi there kind Anne
    Current economic status, ditto urs and thus…
    In my dreams….PARIS, but now you have me thinking about the London lovelies too…

  • Meg says:

    Well I do really want to go to Paris one day, but if I could choose right now it would be Montreal. My best friend (and fellow perfume-freak), is there and I can imagine we would have a lot of fun sniffing around together. Plus we could go for amazing food and check out the club scene after.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Meg. Yes, Montreal sounds like a great city. Have never been but would love to.

    • AnnieA says:

      Meg, I’d love to hear your friend’s suggestions for Montreal sniffing places! I know there’s Ogilvy’s and the Guerlain shop, but my Montreal friends are, alas, non-perfume fanatics.

      • Meg says:

        I am pretty sure Ogilvy is the one she was telling me about. I think I might actually get to visit around Christmas time, very excited.