Well, first off, a bit of news: I received an email from Serge Lutens reading that Datura Noir and Clair de Musc have been resurrected in the form of bell jars, available to order from the mothership at $305 for 75ML. So perhaps Tubereuse Criminelle will eventually receive the same treatment.
Now, onto the main whine. I did notice (but didn’t place the order because of) the fact that N-M was having one of their “Beauty Events” concurrent with my birthday. For those of us who are of a certain age, the Neiman’s Beauty Event was something to save up for. I personally would do a years shopping for gifts and things I thought I might need for the freebie, which usually consisted of a terrible looking bag filled with samples of things you really wanted to try and in sizes that allowed you to really give it a shot, or just go overboard on the application: minis of Creme de la Mer and such, beensy bottles of perfume, branded freebies like mirrors or brushes, mini lipsticks, makeups and mascaras (which I gave to my co-worker, along with the bag), and depending upon the manufacturer you bought from, extras. Annick Goutal was famous for gifting you a large (now TSA sized I suppose) spray of Hadrien with a minimum perfume purchase. It really was a deal that was worth putting off purchases until that 2 weeks in the fall or late spring when the event took place. If you were really in the chips or gluttonous and didn’t mind bankruptcy you could do both.
As time wore on it became less and less of a deal. I suppose with the advent of online shopping and the collapse of retail (as they say on TV) it just sort of became a cheesy bag with a handful of samples that you really should be getting just for showing up, but hey, what do I know. I didn’t go to business school: I’d bring the event back but make it so you had to go into the store to get it. No excuses. Don’t live near a store? Sorry. Give them enough notice that they can plan a trip around it. Don’t give them another reason not to go into the store: I live practically within spitting distance of Saks, N-M and, count them, TWO Nordstroms and never go to them. Why? I can sit my lazy butt on my Eames chair (oh all right, IKEA knock off) and buy from my iPad while watching “Buffy” reruns. Make me work a little. Drive traffic to the store, not the site. Your SA’s will thank you.
In any case, in the pack were samples of the following which I will just touch upon: (In no particular order)
CheckMate Mind Games: Blurb mentions champagne mystery whatever. Looks like some very talented people behind it. It’s very pretty white flowers. It’s a not very pretty $345.
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Rosa Rossa: A lot more Aqua than Rosa. $145. Next..
Houbigant Essence Rare: So rare in fact I had trouble finding it. I am thinking from the (lack of) description that it must be Quelque Fleurs and it’s far and away the winner of the bunch- a somewhat pared-down version of classical French perfume: one for a jeune fille (or a middle aged man who wishes he was one?). Heartbreakingly lovely and deserves far better than just being plonked in a plastic bag with this motley crew. $285
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media Cologne Forte: Delicious. Opens with exactly the smell of ripping open a ripe, juicy orange- one of those hybrid ones that cost the earth but taste like heaven. It’s all there, the pith, the peel, so much so you can practically feel the juice running down your chin. In some ways it can’t help but go downhill from there, but it doesn’t go far- it gets chilly and almost minty and the orange peel never goes far away. MFK is a house that I don’t own any of and I don’t know why. Even the ones that I didn’t care for because I personally don’t like the notes I have to tip my hat to. They simply do nothing wrong, and this one is another one they do so very right. $235
The Harmonist Moon Glory: Night blooming Jasmine marinated in honeyed lychee. Might be your thing, but it’s not mine. $350
Tiziana Terenzi Kirke: Fruit salad and old sweat. No. $285.
Well, there, I just save over $1000! Good on me! To celebrate I will share a pic of the flowers from my b-day that have lasted and are pared-down into a smaller vase.
Do you have any memories of memorable freebies? Share in the comments.
All reviewed items were gifts with purchase from Neiman Marcus. Photos are mine.