What a pleasant surprise it was to find out that Scent Bar moved just a month ago to a roomy and beautiful location, AND is also exactly 7 minutes walk from where I'm staying in Los Angeles this weekend. It was also a very pleasant surprise to find out that this strip of Beverly blvd has experienced a transformation and is now buzzing with nifty little boutiques of vintage clothing and vintage shoes, antique furniture stores, and awesome restaurants. Randomness sometimes just pays off...
Selling fragrance is an art all on its own. Luckyscent is one of the ultimate online destination for finding fascinating fragrances - from niche and obscure brands (A Lab on Fire, Hilda Soliani, Xerjoff) to classics such as Caron and Creed - I was always wondering how such a space would be in real life. So with that in mind, I had no idea what to expect from the
As it turns out, much better than online: it's organized beautifully, and with a team of perfumista staff that are far more knowledgeable and responsive than any fragrance database.
Some collections and brands have their own display areas around the shop; but the best part is - all of the fragrances are arranged by categories on shelves along the walls: some predictable like fragrance families, unique notes (i.e.: Oud, Patchouli and Incense each receive a shelf of their own); and some more surprising (such as an entire shelf dedicated to "Avante Guarde"), and of course - a Chypre shelf, which brought me back there today, tagging along my students from my Chypre intensive weekend I'm teaching at Persephenie's this weekend (if you missed it - you might want to sign up for my Citrus Week July 30th - August 3rd).
Some fun finds for me there were Keiko Mecheri Bespoke, in their beautiful presentation of black and gold; Santal de Mysore (Serge Lutens) and Tubereuse Criminelle (Serge Lutens), which I haven't caught a whiff of since my visit to Salons Shiseido; Odalisque (Patricia de Nicolai) which was a new chypre discovery for me, Andy Tauer's Rose Vermeille (congrats on the new octagon bottles, by the way!) and my most unexpected find - 100% Love by Sophia Grojsman, which I recently noticed I ran out of my decant and had to leave with a full bottle of.
But ultimately, I was most impressed with the staff, who really know their stuff and make visiting there such a fun experience. They can carry a conversation, give genuine recommendations, and spontaneously list the notes of any given perfume, not because they memorized it - but because they actually know what they smell like.