• August 25th: The Little Girl and the Big Apple
  • Fragrance ShoppingNew YorkPerfume ReviewTravel

August 25th: The Little Girl and the Big Apple

OK, it’s a shame to say it, but I will just say it: This was my first time in Manhattan, and it’s mind boggling huge!

It’s one thing to see it in Woody Allan movies nodding my head in an embarrassing amount of approval for the city life, as opposed to actually visiting here; When I saw the hundreds of stories building towering over my head, even the highest of heels seemed belittled…

Walking the Upper East Side, I did everything a city girl would do when visiting a larger-than-life metropolitan. I walked up the 5th, Park and Madison Avenues and was trying to swallow as much mileage out of my only-two-more days in the Big Apple, feeling like a figure stripped out of a fashion magazine walking between pages of high-end ads…

I walked tirelessly, as there was so much to see, and stopped on the way only for a snack from the smoky pretzel-stands, or to smell the “roses” in Bendel’s, Bergdorf Goodman, Saks and Takashimaya.

At Saks, I got a sniff-a-boo at the Bond No. 9 scents, but tried not to get too attached, as I already had my mind set on Chinatown. This line is a lot more interesting than I had expected, and I am looking forward to try more when I get the opportunity.

I also smelled Eau de Reglisse for the first time, and marveled at the Caron Urns, falling in love all over again with the mysterious and dark scents that this house manages to release into the air so reliably. I was swept off by the pepper, nutmeg, musk and vetiver ordeal of Poivre, intrigued by the dark, WWII sentimentality of N’Aimez Que Moi – dusky yet dewy roses and violets; but my real surprise hit me when I reached Bendel’s, and fell head over heels with Farensiana: instead of the light, cheerful green note of cassie, I found there a deep mimosa and tuberose, underlined with vanilla and heliotrope. I think I will have to dedicate a whole trip just to the Caron Urns next time when I am in New York. There is nothing not to love there.

At Bendel’s I also smelled the dark George Sand for the first time, and instantly liked Kisu: a musky-clean vetiver scent with modest doses of white florals and rosewood – very similar to the concept of Narciso Rodriguez. Bendel’s also had the nicest l’Artisan Parfumeur counter, and Brandon was most enthusiastic to show off as many as 10 scents per minute (so after 3.5 minutes the entire line was covered…). I sampled many, but the ones that I will be wearing in the dog days of my trip to Israel are sure to be Bois Farine, Ananas Fizz and Premier Figuier Extreme.

I did not expect to find the Guerlain’s boutique scents at the bottom of Bergdorf Goodman, but I did, carelessly. As soon as I got in I was offered a spritz of Insolence (which I had to deny gracefully, by sniffing the salesperson’s hand repeatedly). It smelled gorgeous on him, but awful and obtrusive on the scented ribbon. I asked for a sample to get out of the situation, and he lead me right into a Guerlain heaven (which turned to be somewhat of a torture, since I was already covered with Caron scents, so I had no room to try anything really) – Rose Barbare, Cuir Beluga and Angelique Noir had to remain on golden satin ribbons. Rose Barbare was beautiful, and I gave up and tried it on one of my fingers (!), which I have never done before. I also had a bit of room for Jicky parfum on the back of my hand, which is one of the loveliest lavenders I ever smelled. They also had Vega, Liu, Derby and another beautiful scent which I can’t remember it’s name at all, but seemed like one of those perfect Chypres… It started with N I believe, but that’s all I can remember…

They also had three of the Ineke scents, which smell exactly the way there were described. My favourite was the lilac scent - After My Own Heart.

Takashimaya was already dark as a secretive tea house when I got there. I sniffed a few unknown-to-me scents, and than walked until I reached Central Park and stopped to eat an apple and an orange, while the scent of carriage-horse manure permeated the air to no end; it was already dusk, and the ducks were floating in the pond in search for left over crumbs of salty pretzels. A sound of old-fashioned Jazz music from a courtyard drew me to peak into a strange looking courtyard: a large King-Kong was surrounded by floating Japanese lanterns. I peaked in and than set off to the other corner of the park, to find a Broadway night…

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