The vanishing point of perfumes you loved

Passing a department-store perfume counter, I noticed a holiday display for Clinique's Aromatics Elixir. I picked up the tester of the Limited Edition version, recalling the exotic, heady concoction of the '80s; only a scant half-spray had unleashed a massive rose-patchouli powerhouse.

Instead, I was "treated" to a shock. Apparently Clinique saw fit to slather on orange flower and peach "to add a creaminess" to this flanker, dumbing down the scent to an incoherent, sweet sludge.

The 'unlimited' (supposedly original) version was no better. Aromatics used to be that interesting girl in a brocade vest who sold silver earrings in a boutique for a little while, before heading back to Goa; now, she's at a backyard bar-be-que in the suburbs, with a blowout.

I began to research the current editions of perfumes I once coveted. The news is dire; nearly every beloved grande dame classic is a ghost of itself: Rive Gauche, Diorella, Fidji, Arpege, Allure; the idiosyncratic Caron scents like Vol de Nuit and Tabac Blonde. Givenchy's L'Interdit is now stale strawberry gum.

My longtime signature, Norell, has been demoted from Casablancan madam to pleasant bank teller.  

Essentially, if you remember it from when you got carded in a bar, you don't want it anymore. Though even scents created in the '90s have been altered, those dating from the '60s or earlier have had more work done than a septagenarian movie star.

The outstanding perfume blog Now Smell This has contributed a post about the whys of this depressing practice; in summary, they give three reasons:

1. Profit (first, foremost and always denied as the reason by the house). As Luca Turin says, "The beancounters have triumphed over the noses."
2. Banning of products, namely oakmoss, and therefore, the effects of  synthetic replacements, and
3. Pandering to the "new tastes", mostly an eye to expansion to customer bases unfamiliar with the heady, assertive scents of the previous century. (See #1.)

Hard-core devotées scour vintage dealers, but one person commented on Now Smell This, "Give up. Never revisit the old scents."

Like many women, I have two perfume wardrobes: one is the evening side of the drawer, those lush, red-curtain bottles with knockout sillage. In them, I feel glamourous, reckless, hopeful. I have even been obsessed with some. These are the close dancers, the perfumes, not "scents".

The other side is daytime (and not necessarily worn only then): light but not boring. They go anywhere, and once there, stay politely within your personal space. For some time, I have included at least one natural fragrance in this mix, in case the scent-adverse stray too close. 

Given my low-key life, these are the bottles I go through quickly, even though Le Duc prefers the evening ones.

Looking for love

If I must abandon my old paramours, who is next?

For the past two years, I've ordered sample-sized decants from LuckyScent and IndieScents and dropped by perfume counters, with special attention to the niche players whom, I hope, have more integrity than the giants.

Too many of the decants dried down to frothy, indistinct blends for twenty-somethings. Even if the site's copy conjured a siren in a red silk slip, the sample took me to Dairy Queen. 

Even so, I found standouts: for evening, Malle's "Parfum pour Térese" and Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier's "La Reine Margot"; for day, Hermès' "Un Jardin Sur le Nil" and Serge Lutens' "La Fille de Berlin".

For a spritz to keep in my gym locker, I bought a bottle of Sarah Jessica Parker's "Lovely"; it has short staying power, but it's pretty, not cloying, and as well-balanced as many frags four times the price.

I'm still searching for the must-always-have-a-bottle, flagrant love like I had for the originals of Lancome's "Magie Noir",  and "Montana Parfum de Peau". 

Have you noticed, few department stores hand out actual samples anymore? They spray a card and hand it to you, as if you are made of paper. The best you can get is a spray on the wrist, which nine times out of ten, settles into an insipid haze. 

What's the top-selling fragrance of 2013? Justin Bieber Girlfriend. 

Says it all, doesn't it?


Kristien62 said…
Oh, no! I wear Allure, didn't know they reconfigured it. Sheer Obsession was a favorite which, of course, will never surface again. I need to research the notes that attract me and seek out scents that include them. I a going to check out Lucky Scents. Sounds like a great way to audition newcomers.
Susan said…
Recently I purchased some makeup products at Neiman Marcus and they showered me with real samples in glass containers of several Hermes scents as well as a few others. I'm enjoying them, but need to pay more attention in order to decide if any are keepers.
Duchesse said…
Kristien: LuckyScents is addictive and they have a 'sample kit of the month' program that's a good deal.

Susan: Oh, I too get samples when I buy something, but do you remember when you used to get them just on their own?
Susan B said…
Oh yes, this has been a gripe of mine too. Frederic Malle's are wonderful but don't seem to last on me. Jardin sur Nil is one of my favorites too, may need to revisit that one. For daytime I've been liking Guerlain's "Petit Robe Noir" which although sweet, isn't cloying and seems to work well with my chemistry. For next year's Paris trip, I'm determined to get to the Serge Lutens boutique and really spend some time exploring fragrances. (Some of the best ones supposedly aren't available here.) I've also found that my body chemistry has changed recently and several of my long-time favorites now smell sour or just otherwise annoy me.
Anonymous said…
Actually perfumes are going the way of the dinosaurs which is a good thing. They are associated today with "old lady". I get migraines from certain perfume ingredients so pretty much avoided them and always choose unscented everything where possible. I had a boss who wore some expensive signature perfume and I would literally have to throw up after an hour long status meeting.
frugalscholar said…
i had read about this but nonetheless bought a big bottle of Fidji for a long-lost 80 y.o. cousin (actually newly found) in Serbia. My daughter's bf is taking it with him next week. I only hope she won't notice too much!

Pseu--above--Most Sephoras have a selection of S Lutens perfumes. I brought back a few testers for my daughter. The names are so great.
LPC said…
You are hysterical! If you want a real, knock-your-socks-off perfume, I recommend By Kilian. Expensive, but very generous with the sample vials. I wear Rose Oudh. One spray is all I can take but it's glorious. Roses and gasoline and cinders.
Gretchen said…
This is (next to pearls) my passion, where I blow all my funds. You may wish to try Sonoma Scent Studios. She makes some lovely perfumes, and they have real heft. Neela Vermeire's quad of fragrances is phenomenal (Trayee is my favorite, but I suspect you'd adore Mohur). Surrender to Chance has samples, yes, but decants so you can truly test out fragrances or buy vintages in manageable amounts. I agree that the IFRA restrictions have destroyed some lovely fragrances. The reformulations are also being reformulated...sometimes for the better, but rarely. It is beyond frustrating for those of us who recall what they used to be.
Cornelia said…
And here I thought it was me that caused a perfume to fade away so much more quickly. The things I learn here! I so enjoy reading your musings.
Unknown said…
Thank you so much for this post. I thought there was something wrong with my nose or that my body chemistry had changed. L'air du Temps, Arpege, Ma Griffe...all bottles returned as "off." I'm currently wearing Fendi's Theorema Esprit d'Ete, which is no longer made. (3 bottles scored on Ebay, so I'm safe for the moment.) I just sent away for some Maja--here's hoping.
HB said…
Oh my….I had a signature perfume from Molinard (Molinard de Molinard in fact) which has been so reformulated it's barely a shadow of itself. In my quest for something that seems as distinct and yet wearable - it was a light floral chypre - I've also discovered Lutens and Neela Vermeire. Santal Majuscule is pretty amazing as are Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling. Some of the Chanel fragrances have been decently maintained and some of the newer releases are good. Other houses that are promising include Vero Profumo, by Kilian and Nasomatto. And, and…well, there are no substitutes for the amazing chypres and florals of other days. I have noticed that, along with the Aoud trend, there are some good wood-based fragrances out on both sides of the aisle (men's / women's). Perhaps as a counter balance to all the sweet generics?
I currently only have one scent and it is Voyage d'Hermes. I have several sample vials from Holt Renfrew that are free and am testing them for wear ability. I would never buy any fragrance without wearing it for awhile so the retailers really should be giving out samples freely. It might generate more sales.
Genuine perfumes seem to be difficult to find here, they mostly sell eau de toilette. Perhaps a problem of living in a smaller city.
I find it strange that the perfumers are messing with the classics. They may be shooting themselves in the foot.
Duchesse said…
unefemme: See Frugal's comment; you can also get Lutens from LuckyScent.

Anon@8:56: Since both men and women have enjoyed applying scent since at least the second millenium BC, I doubt it's going to vanish. I wear an all-natural fragrance when I think I might encounter persons who respond as you do.

frugal: Even if reformulated, that does not mean the Fidji won't be a delightful treat.

LPC: I know By Kilian, a fine house. LuckyScent sell a 10-piece sampler!

Gretchen: We would get in serious trouble if we ever met! Thanks for the suggestions, intriguing. I have looked at Sonoma Scent Studio but never ordered.

Cornelia: Sales associates will never admit the reformulation even if you tell them an expert like Luca Turin has outed it.

Judith: L'Air du Temps is one of the most egregious examples of destruction. While I do think our nose can change, especially in its acuity, as we age, how exactly can "body chemistry" change an alcohol-based substance placed on the skin? Can anyone explain this to me?

HB: Yes, I was a chypre woman too! Thank for the recommendations, really appreciate them.
spacegeek33 said…
Great post! I too was wondering what has happened to scents. L'air du Temps was my mother's signature scent.
I too gravitate towards stronger, "older" perfumes.I had worn Samsara by Guerlain for 20+ years, and only recently changed. 212 by Carolina Herrera doesn't last worth anything, so I layer it with Atelier Cologne's Vanille Insense. Recently tried Versace Crystal Noir and am waiting for a bottle to arrive at my home (Most shopping is on line these days.)

I am going to bookmark this post so I may try some scents when I'm in stores. Thanks!
Duchesse said…
Frugal Scholar: The blog Yesterday's Perfume says this about today's Fidji:
"As for all the scents reviewed here, this review is for the vintage Fidji, whose juice is a darker caramel than the current light-colored Fidji you can still get pretty much anywhere. I bought some new stuff a few years ago, and I didn't quite know why the magic wasn't still there. Now I know — the top notes and florals are there, but they're not as rich as the vintage: they smell watery and transparent. They're also not followed up by the warming basenotes in the original formula, which makes the reformulated Fidji seem one-dimensional and lacking the dreamy mood the multifaceted original creates. The reformulation also just smells cheaper than the original. This lack of evolution from green to floral to spicy/woody/warm in the reformulation is like a day on a beach without a sunset, namely — not good."
Thanks for the post...I really had no idea of the changes. I have changed my favorites over the past couple of years and I think that is why I was not aware of some changes. Very interesting!
materfamilias said…
I love your writing! -- that description of the changed representative of an Aromatics Elixir wearer is snort-tea-out-my-nose funny. Brilliant!
Anonymous said…
Very funny and, unfortunately, all too true. Some of the reformulations that I found hardest to bear: Diorissimo, changed from limpid and lovely to cheap drugstore cologne; Calandre, once angular and edgy, now a wishy-washy mess; Caleche, warm and sophisticated until they removed its brain; Bandit, that very bad girl who now feels bad about her past; and yes, Aromatics Elixir, which I used one tiny drop at a time, to celebrate the arrival of Autumn (loved that stuff, though my husband hated it.) But I have had some luck with both new and vintage thrift shop finds. Eau des Merveilles is one of the rare recent ones containing no traces of tutti-frutti, and I love all of Andy Tauer's smoky, incense laden scents. To those who mourn the bubblegum-free perfumes of the past, I would say don't be afraid to pick up an old bottle of fragrance at a yard sale or second-hand shop. The juice may have darkened and lost some fleeting top notes, but the essence you loved (that wonderful oak moss, especially) will still be there if the bottle was stored with reasonable care. I have found a great old Miss Dior, an unopened bottle of Shalimar, a tiny black flagon of vintage Joy parfum, Ma Griffe, Ecusson, and vintage Caleche eau de toilette, and a rare treasure from the dangerous-lady perfume era, a crystal bottle of Lanvin's Pretexte extrait still in its Deco paper and lacquer box. I rarely buy vintage fragrances online; there are too many fakers out there. But I buy almost every interesting vintage bottle I see locally, and I'm rarely disappointed.


Duchesse said…
Pam: Great that you did not have to be pried away weeping, but went willingly.

materfamiias: Thank you; like you I am wearing a lot of Hermès scents, especially Eau des merveilles and Jardin sur le Nil.

C. You have given me a new reason to check yard and jumble sales. I had given up on them for clothes as don't have much space anymore, but- aha!-fragrances. I'm salivating over your finds. And will order more Tauer decants; just received Le Maroc pour Elle. Am already wearing Eau des merveilles and am grateful for it's grown-up but supple attitude.

Hadilly said…
I think Tom Ford's Tabacco Vanille is absolutely luscious for winter, rich, long lasting and edible. I also like Virgin Island Water by Creed, coconut and lime, very fresh and a bit dirty.

The Hermes Jardin en Mediterranee is lovely, it smells of fig to me.

I also like the Ginger perfume by Origins. Not expensive and delightful on, all the zippiness of gingerale.

Lastly, I read that Jo Malone is back to making perfumes. Very curious about those. And the NYT just had a review of a Dyptique solid perfume that sounded intriguing.

Do check out the top two I recommended, I'd be curious to hear what you think!
Duchesse said…
Hadilly: The "Jo Malone" brand is owned by Estée Lauder; Malone's own brand (launched in 2011) is Jo Loves ( Let's hope that line has more staying power than Jo Malone, which is the brand I had in mind when I mentioned "Lovely" as an alternative!

I have never gravitated toward vanilla fragrances, but Diptyque's Phylosokos (a fig) is one of my
most-worn daytime scents, as is L'Artisan Parfumeur's Premier Figuier.

Tried sample of Virgin Island Water, not worth the steep price as it, too, wore off so quickly. (Warning: I like to smell them lingering the next day!)

The one I want to check out is the Ginger. I'm always interested in an exceptional frag that does not cost the earth. Thanks!
Anonymous said…
Happy hunting, Duchesse! The idea of indulging in a perfume "wardrobe" makes great sense, I think. And do you find that scent in general has become more important to you? I always wore it, but matter-of-factly, and thought aromatherapy just sounded silly. Then I reached middle age, and began to experience all sorts of aromas very acutely, and to feel my mood tune itself accordingly. Now I choose fragrance for myself every day with great care and pleasure, and when I dress to go out, I think of how I want others to experience my presence.

I used to love wearing Diorissimo in damp weather, because it released its fragrance beautifully in the rain. One wet morning, waiting for a train with a group of raincoated business men, I noticed after a few minutes that they were all leaning at angles toward me. It seemed very odd until it struck me that they were literally following their noses toward that intoxicating scent of lilies of the valley in the mist!

Beth said…
Gosh. I didn't know any of this, since I don't wear daytime scent and am still using my vintage bottle of Guerlain's Shalimar, still my all-time favorite scent (guess I've pretty much dated and pigeon-holed myself with that one, eh?) I was thinking I'd better replace it -- but is that even possible? What are my current options in the Exotic/Spice Road area of perfumery?
Duchesse said…
C: You have such a refined attunement to scent. And yes, it is a deep pleasure to me. Sometimes friends complain if I am not wearing the scent they associate with me.

Diorissimo, what a marvel it was. Ca.2008, Perfume Shrine spoke of 'impending restrictions implemented to the levels of hydroxycitronnelal (a lily of the valley aroma-chemical and the main constituent of Diorissimo's muguet bouquet.)'

Beth: Go to LuckyScents and put "Woods and spices" in the search box... and have fun!

Because you are on the move a lot, I thought of Diptyque's "Eau Duelle" in the solid perfume compace:
Duchesse said…
Beth: Typo- that's "compact". I would love one myself; perfect for travel.

If at Ogilvy's drop by the Serge Lutens counter; Cuir Mauresque is gorgeous.
Jane in London said…
I enjoyed this post so much - ah, you can never go back. And probably just as well. I can remember, in the early 70s, thinking that there was nothing so glamorous as swishing into a room on a wave of Youth Dew. Now, not so much. For what it's worth, here are my up to date favourites for modern, elegant scents:

Summer day time - Prada Infusion d'Iris

Other months day time - Lacoste Pour Femme (I have had more strangers stop me in the street to ask what this perfume is than any other I have ever worn)

Evening - Elie Saab Le Parfum

Jane in London
Anonymous said…
I use The Perfumed Court to purchase sample sized decants. I have bought by flower type and by name.
LauraH said…
I used to love Coco but lost my desire to wear perfume several years ago. Your post is making me re-think that and I may start to wear it again and/or explore other possibilities. In any case, as always I love your writing, so funny with that edgy little 'snap' quality.
Anonymous said…
I don't have the best "nose". So I'm not sure I would notice the differences in some scents, although i'm curious about L'Air du Temps, which I've worn for years, but ran out of probably a year ago and haven't replaced. Not sure if my last bottle was reformulated or old-school!

I still love Shalimar, as my "evening" scent. But I was given a bottle of Jardin sur Nil probably two years ago; gifted perfumes (especially from a corporate client) are iffy at best, but I loved it, and recently bought another bottle. I also received, last year, Jour d'Hermes, and I quite like that as well. So apparently I like the Hermes perfumes.

---Jill Ann
Hadilly said…
I hope you like the Origins ginger, not sure it will last long enough for you.

I don't think the Ford smells much like vanilla, so if you find yourself somewhere that sells it, worth sniffing.

I'll have to try the fig scents you mention.

Currently, I'm contemplating going old school and buying some Kolnischer Wasser, the 2711 cologn.
Anonymous said…
However glamorous you may all feel when you walk around in a toxic cloud of chemicals, remember that the world has changed and there is a strong consensus that no one has the right to pollute the air we all have to share. I recommend the site "No More Dirty Looks" for safe alternatives to the poisonous perfumes on the market.

Also see MCS America for further edification.
Duchesse said…
Anon@ 7:38:

Scents are now being made (more all the time) that do not contain the chemicals that concern you, by makers such as Aura, Living Libations, Sarabecca, White Note Apothecary, and the truly wonderful A Perfume Organic.

Could it be we could enjoy our scent and meet your needs, too?

Northmoon said…
I stopped wearing perfume a few years ago when I read that laws and profit motive had changed many of the ingredients to synthetic chemicals. There are enough chemicals in modern life without adding more directly onto my skin. However I enjoy a good scented candle so I may check out A Perfume Organic as a healthy option.
Duchesse said…
Northmoon: The organic candles, sachets and incense sticks are lovely ways to enjoy scent.

Should you wish to apply scent to your skin, have you thought of wearing essential oils (the authentic, non-synthetic kind) mixed with a gentle carrier oil (almond is a nice light one)?
Rita said…
Wow, I'm glad I saw this post - I though my sense of smell had deteriorated!

It's not only perfume - yesterday I saw some old-style cans of the hair spray I use. I sent an inquiry to be sure these were indeed the old formulation, and the store confirmed that the new formulation is different. Fortunately, they are shipping the old style sprays they have in stock. After that supply runs out, I'll have to find another brand, and I've used the same one for over 25 years.
Anonymous said…
Oh Duchesse, It is sad that most perfumes out there now smell like every so-called fragrance from Bath and Body Works, located in every mall in the US. The current perfumes are sickly sweet - I don't want to smell like food, much less candy. Have you read the book, "Perfumes: The Guide" by Luca Turin? It was very informative and an eye opener. It educated me on appreciating the layers of a quality perfume. It also rates hundreds currently on the market and rare historical ones. According to the book, even the iconic Chanel No. 5 has veered off the original formula. Still, my all time favorite is Piguet's Fracas from the same era, but I find only available online now.
Duchesse said…
Anon@ 2:01: I think I bought Turin's book the instant it was released :)

Once, in NYC, when I paid the fare, the cabbie said, "Lady, what is that perfume?" (Fracas.) Then he said,"Don't wear it if you don't want to drive us crazy" and put the money back in my hand.
Duchesse said…
Rita: Never occurred to me that hairspray would change, too. Hairspray (capped) will last for years.
barbara said…
I used to love the mentioned Fragrances like Joy, Arpège & Co.
My husband's Perfum is "Pour un Homme" by Caron which smells the same since decades, and it seems, they don't change men's fragrances as often as those for us women.
I now love the collection of "Parfums de Rosine" whose Rose d'Ete is my currently favorite.
They even make an extraordinary Rose d'Homme which is absolut gourgeous on my hb.
Although living in a big city, I have to order online.
For those of your readers who travel to Paris, Rosine has two Shops and I highly recommend a visit.
Duchesse said…
barbara: I have been in their Palais Royale boutique, enchanting! In the US they are sold at Barney's- last time I looked. Even found sometimes on eBay, from well-reviewed vendors. Also of interest is that the line was founded in 1911 by Paul Poiret.

Unknown said…
Great post. I'm mid-40s and can't handle "fruity floral." In fact, I can't stand visiting the mall and walking by BB&B on one end, and Lush on the other - yuck! Magnolia Cherries on one extreme and Body Odor Patchouli Lemon-Lime on the other. Barf. Currently wearing an older bottle of Caron's Nuit de Noel - lemme tell you, one drop of that is enough. Two might kill a person, but that's why we love it (oakmoss up your nose, slapping your face hard in a leather glove... "OK, I'll never disrespect the sugarplum fairies ever again? pleeeese stop....").
tess said…
Interesting post, I am looking for a sexy chypre fragrance--any recommendations?

20 years ago The Body Shop, carried and then discontinued a fragrance called simply Chypre. I loved it an still miss it terribly.
Duchesse said…
Artful: You made me snort my morning bowl of café au lait (unscented)! Have long wondered how people can walk in to Lush, let alone buy it. Nuit de Noel is •exactly• the kind of perfume I am mourning, and it was sublime- a perfect example of the lost glory.

tess: I would like to know that too. See this post:

I know Bandit (Piguet);IMO outstanding but you might order a sample (get the eau de parfum or parfum) to see how it works for you, for example:
Duchesse said…
Anon@7:38: Further to your comment, about which I have been thinking:
There are two issues: whether someone enjoys •smelling• fragrance, and the health effects of chemicals in the air.

Wearing natural scents should alleviate the latter; re the former, scent is properly worn so that only those within intimate personal space (12 inches or so) can smell it. Heavy scents are not usually worn for day; your boss was overdoing it and I am wondering why you or no one else made a request for her to reduce the intensity, or stop wearing it. I doubt she would knowingly wish to induce you to vomit.

There is certainly an intrusive effect when a man or woman overloads fragrance.

I support the request to wear unscented products in contained public spaces, though I prefer to use naturally-scented products.

I'm disturbed by the unilateral "all scent is bad" dictum, as I have noticed the same people who ask me not to wear scent clap a cell phone to their ears for hours, and drink from plastic bottles.

Eleanorjane said…
Yes! I loved Kenzo's Pafum d'ete in the 90's - it was the only 'signature' scent that I've had. I wore it 'till I used the bottle. Nowdays the modern version just isn't as delicious and I haven't found anything that I feel as comfortable wearing during the day but that is interesting and fresh and complex...

Since inheriting a heap of perfume after my mum died, I am trying to wear it more on a daily basis.
Eleanorjane said…
Hello again - you inspired me to blog about some of my fragrance memories... here you go:
Duchesse said…
Eleanorjane: Thank you; loved your post and am now following.
Anonymous said…
Great post! I had been looking for a scent that was "me" and getting frustrated because everything seemed to be too sweet. Then we stayed at a hotel in Scottsdale that used Rose 31 from Le Labo for its in room soaps, lotions, etc. I couldn't pull the trigger on the price though (available only at Barney's or online in the US). I just found Marni on a recent trip and it is a very similar scent...woodsy, spicy, with a tad bit of rose. It, too, is a bit pricy and it doesn't last at all, but for the moment, I'm happy with it.

And regarding the comments about not wearing scents at rule is to put only enough so that only someone in very close proximity to me can get just a whiff. If I'm going to be in a place where a person is stuck next to me for a period of time (flight, concert, etc.), I don't wear anything, even a scented lotion. What I love just might be what makes another person want to gag...and vice versa.
Duchesse said…
Anon@9:49: I don't know Marni (as a scent) but "doesn't last at all" would be a deal breaker for me. (That's why I stopped buying Jo Malone.) Le Labo's line is gorgeous.

Like you, I don't wear fragrance on a plane flight. If around people and don't know their preferences I wear nothing or this marvelous 100% natural, eco-certified one:

There is a middle ground, where I hope both scent-lovers and the scent-adverse can meet. The rise of natural perfumery suggests a great deal of the solution.

tweedlibrarian said…
It's so sad that some wonderful fragrances have changed substantially in the recent past. I wore Hermes L'Eau D'Orange for years but the last bottle I bought a few years ago smelled like a pale imitation of the original. Miss Dior has changed as well - I wasn't able to afford a bottle till after it'd been reformulated. Sigh.

I live near the Perfume House here in Portland - it has some amazing perfumes. I haven't found my signature scent yet but your post reminds me how much fun fragrances can be.

Perfume House link-
Duchesse said…
tweedlibrarian: A top-drawer perfumerie gives knowledgeable, honest advice and is an asset in the search.

This is OT but I recently had an earnest young sales associate in a cosmetics store tell me that if I liked one scent (no discontinued) I should look at other ones of the same colour, as they would smell similar.
Duchesse said…
tweed librarian; Sorry, that should have been "now discontinued".
Sandra Sallin said…
Oh, I just looked up Lucky Scents and discovered it was just down the street, You've inspired me to go take a whiff. Thank you.

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