Okay, so there's been a seven MONTH break between London Part 1 and this, the second and final installment. And the only reason why my dithering isn't dragging on any longer is that I've got another London visit coming up...uh...tomorrow. So I'm going to blend my last trip's recap into my next trip's precap, and pretend that I planned to do it this way all along.
I did go a little crazy-ape with fragrance acquisitions on that last trip, and I hope that I've learned something from the bad example I set for myself in February. I perfume binge-shopped like never before -- like the rapture was upon us and all those helpless bottles of fragrance were about to be swallowed by the fires of damnation. Unless I rescued them by the power of my pocketbook. 'Tis a merciful thing I did, truly.
Here's the whole haul:
Agent Provocateur Diamond Dust
Amouage Asrar Attar
Arabian Oud Hajar Al Aswad
Comme des Garçons Daphne
Mona d’Orio Nuit Noir
Ormond Jayne Tolu parfum
Parfumerie Generale Intrigant Patchouli
Parfumerie Generale L’Oiseau de Nuit
Rosine Rose Kashmerie
Rosine Secrets de Rose
Solange Azagury Partridge Cosmic
Solange Azagury Partridge Stoned
The frenzy was somewhat justified by the fact that some of the fragrances weren't available back home, and if they were, it worked out cheaper to buy them in London. But frankly, the word “justified” is pretty flimsy in any context that brings together Katie and another bottle of perfume.
That's why I'm happy that a few of them, at least, were gifts from folks whose brands are on the bottles. Perfumer Linda Pilkington kindly gave me my favorite flavor of Ormonde Jayne, Tolu, and boho-luxe jeweler Solange Azagury Partridge laid Cosmic and Stoned on me, in their fantasy bauble bottles. These were delightful treats, and I received them with the slathering gratitude of a luxury-deprived factory worker in Soviet-era Novosibirsk.
|Katya was the best-smelling worker at assembly station 7.|
Linda shared a documentary's worth of fascinating stories about her path to perfumery, as well as her creative process. I practically forgot to chew as Linda described how a background as a self-taught candlemaker led to a job creating Chanel-scented candles expressly for the London Chanel boutique, which led to studying perfume, which led to traveling the world to personally source ingredients, which led to opening her bijou Mayfair shop...all interspersed with tangents involving exciting but bad boyfriends in glamorous locations, a stint as a soy farmer in South America, and inadvertent Nazi hunting in Uruguay, where the odd elderly war criminal can still be found lurking in the forests.
Um, I'm finding it hard to make a smooth transition from Nazis back to perfume, so I'll just awkwardly jump-cut to my visit to Roja Dove's top floor fragrance salon at Harrods. Here's where hard-to-find Diors, Guerlains and Carons nestle in the opulent splendor of what looks to be a Tsarina's boudoir. There's lots of black and gold and velvet gussying up the joint, and I found myself compelled to whisper for no apparent reason.
I whispered to the sales assistant that I wanted to revisit Les Larmes Sacrées de Thèbes, the $3,000 perfume (the cost mostly attributable to the ugly Baccarat 1980s-style crystal pyramid encasing it) that I'd tried on a previous trip. The back story sounded like horse-pucky -- something along the lines of “they cracked open King Tut's tomb, and wouldn't you know it, there on the kitchen table lay the recipe for his favorite perfume” -- but I liked the fairy tale anyway.
|Bad bottle, but perfectly good UFO.|
This time in London, I'll try to strike a balance between perfume binging and being frozen with the kind of indecision that results in begging SAs for leftover goo.
My wish list is short and specific:
Prada No. 10 Myrrh (from the Exclusive line)
Amouage Ayoon al-Maha Attar
I'm cracking up looking at this list, because I've just realized that between Myrrh's myrrh and Ayoon al-Maha's frankincense, rose and oud, I seem to be subconsciously recreating Les Larmes Sacrées de Thèbes. Who's controlling the dials inside my robot head, anyway? King Tut?
Fumies, any other perfume marvels I need to explore while in London? (I will be checking out the Perfume Diaries exhibit at Harrods, including the "Science of Scent" presentation on September 23rd.)
Read Part 1 of my London post here.