The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective

New York City – Part 2

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bergdorf-goodman

Day 3:  Let me just say… I love Bergdorf Goodman.  From top to bottom, the store is a class act all the way.  Bergdorf’s home store to me is one of the best.  You can find items there that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else.  And albeit it’s small, their Christmas section is always filled with some unique baubles.  We ended up at the store on Monday and we must have gotten there early enough because the store was pretty empty which made for fun shopping.  As for the beauty section, it’s great to walk through a store without people shoving things in your face or who are extremely aggressive about selling.  I spent a good deal of time at the Guerlain store and the sales associate was a sweet as she could be.  First I wanted to check out the new Les Deserts d’Orient line and really liked Rose Nacree du Desert and upon more sniffing found Oriental Brulant and Angelique Noire to my liking as well.  After getting a few samples for testing, we toddled off once again and spoke to the woman who was working the Dior Privee collection.  What is with those 250ml bottles that look like they are meant for shampoo?  Finally there was a really fun sales associate who was selling Houbigant Fougere Royale which my husband was much more into the beautiful bottle than the fragrance itself.

gty_kelsey_grammer_tk_120921_mnWe then headed off to the BG Men’s store across the street only to find another CELEBRITY SIGHTING!  It was Kelsey Grammer.  Again, he looked exactly how you would expect, maybe a bit bigger as he was about 6 ft tall and looked pretty normal.

Next, off to Barney’s to get a glimpse of the coveted Serge Luten’s Bell Jars.  For some reason, I was expecting these iconic jars to be much larger than they were.  They seemed so tiny and delicate.  The sales associate could not have been nicer and after sniffing the scents, I again was drawn to Chergui.  My sweet husband told me that I should buy a bottle, but part of my brain just couldn’t let me purchase something that is twice as expensive as it is overseas.  We then went toddling off again.  One comment, when we were going through the fragrance section, the sales associates (besides the SL one assisting as with the bell jars) had some attitude issues.  I hate snotty sales assistants!

newsiesAfter doing some non-perfume shopping it was time for a rest before cocktails and off to the theatre to go see Newsies.  I had really no desire to see this show, but friends of our got tickets for us all.  I’m glad they did, the show was incredible.  The dancing was amazing.

Day 4:  While my better half went off to work, I went off to the Museum of Art and Design to check out the Art of Scent exhibit.  Now, I’m not going to intellectualize the exhibit; that I’ll leave to others, but I did find it interesting.  It’s not a large show, basically it’s comprised of 2 rooms.  The first part of the exhibit, you photo (7)enter a large room void of any visuals except for a brief description projected upon the wall that introduces a scent, it’s creator, the year it was introduced and its place in the evolution of the perfumed arts.  Next to this description is an indentation in the wall in which you insert your head only to have the perfume described released in a spray of fragrance.  There were 11 fragrances in all, stemming from Aimee Guerlain’s Jicky (1898)  to Martin Margiela’s Untitled (2010).

The next room contains a table of all of the scents in the exhibition, the same 11, in the traditional perfume liquid form.  What you are asked to do is to dip the strip in the perfume and then record your thoughts on the perfume using a computer with a list of descriptors.  The descriptors are then displayed in real-time on the screen so you can see what others have thought of the same scent with the most used descriptors projecting as the largest.  It was fun to be part in the exhibit.

photo (6)The final part of the exhibit was designed to show a perfumer’s development of a fragrance.  In this case, Sophia Grossman described how she developed Tresor in 1990 going through various compounded steps.  As you go through each step, you pull out a
card from the wall which describes what she was doing in that step.  On the back of the card is a pull back which releases that accord and what it represents.  If you take each photo (8)of them as a separate entity you wonder how this fragrance could come to a successful end.  But the 5th and final card represents the final product and you can really see how all of the accords came together so beautifully.  I would have to say that this was the most interesting part of the exhibit.

I was glad that I had a chance to see this exhibit and I recommend that if you’re in NYC in the next couple of months to go check it out.  The exhibit ends in February. More information can be found on the Museum of Art and Design website.

It was a really rainy and slightly snowy day so after the show I trudged back to Bergdorfs determined to find something to buy. That morning I had tested on my skin all of the Guerlain’s listed earlier in this post, but none were pushing me to a FB purchase.  Finally, after a 2nd round of sniffing, I found my love; Spiritueuse Double Vanille.  For tax savings, etc. I ordered this  but have yet to receive it.  More to come when it arrives.

Finally, we ended our day with the theatre in which we saw Chaplin.  It was really well done, but the lead actor who play Charlie Chaplin was exceptional.  I highly recommend the show.

In all this was a great trip, but I could have spent another week there as there was so much more that I wanted to do!

Author: The Scented Hound

Just a normal guy with the nose of a beagle!

25 thoughts on “New York City – Part 2

  1. Wow that exhibition looks fabulous. Sounds like you had a great time and congrats on the Guerlain purchase – smart move on the tax saving, I like to see a bargain hunter like myself! Haha. Lovely journey through your vacation Steve.

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    • You’re next… although you are going to be experiencing the real thing. How did this dinner come about?

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      • Well I got in touch with Tauer and Vero saying I really wanted the chance to grill them in Zurich and meet up for a coffee (as it is the only reason I’m going to Zurich – along with visiting Osswalds) – I knew they were mates already, and Andy arranged a lovely night at his for us all 🙂 Can’t wait! I was going to contact many others in Pairs and Rome – but Tauer and Vero… I dunno, I feel so passionate about their work I’d hoped to see it less as an interview opportunity and more as a chat, which I don’t think I’d be comfortable enough doing with any other perfumer’s as I have explored both of their lines so thoroughly. Should be fun 🙂

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        • That is so sweet and wonderful. You’ll have a great time. I still have yet to try Mito, I just keep hearing such wonderful things about it.

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          • It’s one of those perfumes which grows on you – a bitter green lemongrass, simple at first but perfectly composed as you wear it more and more 🙂
            Have you tried the rest of the Vero Profumo line? I can’t wait to get my hands on some Rubj EDP – gosh I have a big shopping list for my holiday D: !!!
            But yeh, Tauer and Vero have been so welcoming – I’ve always been in touch with them when reviewing their work so will be nice to be able to ask away first hand. Anyway – back to your post – lovely stuff 😀 How come you didn’t go into the JAR boutique in BG? Or is it NM? I can’t remember…
            You’re right though, the Lutens’ jars are much smaller than expected – Iris Silver Mist is the only one I KNOW I’m buying in Pairs, I keep getting drawn to La Myrrhe but I think I’d rather have Miriam for an aldehydic resin. Do they stock Aftelier’s in NY?

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          • It’s one of those perfumes which grows on you – a bitter green lemongrass, simple at first but perfectly composed as you wear it more and more 🙂
            Have you tried the rest of the Vero Profumo line? I can’t wait to get my hands on some Rubj EDP – gosh I have a big shopping list for my holiday D: !!!
            But yeh, Tauer and Vero have been so welcoming – I’ve always been in touch with them when reviewing their work so will be nice to be able to ask away first hand. Anyway – back to your post – lovely stuff 😀 How come you didn’t go into the JAR boutique in BG? Or is it NM? I can’t remember…
            You’re right though, the Lutens’ jars are much smaller than expected – Iris Silver Mist is the only one I KNOW I’m buying in Pairs, I keep getting drawn to La Myrrhe but I think I’d rather have Miriam for an aldehydic resin. Do they stock Aftelier’s in NY?

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  2. Sounds like a fun trip. It’s nice you got a fragrant souvenir as well.

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  3. Well thank you Hound for letting me tag along with you and your hubby on your Manhattan adventure. Everything was wonderful. I liked Bergdorf’s and the Exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design the best. Oh and the shows too! What fun! Looking forward to your Spiritueuse Double Vanille review.

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  4. Out of all the department stores, I consistently find Bergdorf’s the most pleasant. I never feel that the floor is crowded, and I have never met one SA that was pushy (unlike Saks or sometimes, sadly, Barneys). I am glad to hear that you had a good experience there.

    I think those Dior Collection Privée’s come in a smaller size too. It’s hard to see how anyone could drain 250 ml without exerting a lot of effort!

    I’m curious about the MAD show . . . am planning on hitting it up this week during the open studio…

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  5. First of all, I want to say that your description of the perfume exhibition made me to change my mind about it (from everything I’ve read before I was very sceptical): it does sound like an interesting an innovative way of presenting perfumes. I wish I could visit it.

    Next. On my trip to NY in October we also saw Chaplin and I absolutely loved it!

    Now about those bell jars. There is absolutely no sense to pay even European prices just for a bottle. I understand buying a bell jar of a perfume not available otherwise (I keep recommending that personal shopper who bring everything from Paris for a small mark-up – let me know if you need a link) Chergui will smell as great from this regular bottle for $86 as it will from a $300 bell jar.

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  6. Just lovely. I wish I was there too!

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  7. I had a sample of Spiritueuse Double Vanille in the decant package I sent your way. I wonder which will get to you first, the decant or the bottle itself lol. I’m happy to hear you like SDV, it’s one of my absolute favorites!

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    • Yours arrived first! Thanks so much, what a lovely package! I had to try your pre-60s Coty Chypre first. In the bottle it smells just like what I remember my mother’s perfume bottle smelling like…and wow, a little on the skin goes a long way… I love the opening, then it turned incredibly sweet, and now it’s starting to calm and become a little powdery. It reminds me of the Ambra Nera by Farmacia SS. What a real treat…thank you so much. Now I know what a real chypre is like!!! I am hooked.

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  8. Thank you for sharing your NYC trip!

    I have a stinky (hardee har har) feeling that we are scent twins and that I would love Spiritueuse Double Vanille as much as you do…I must hunt down a sample.

    Re: the bell jars. Like you, I was surprised that they were actually quite small. When I first saw them, I was reminded of the Mona Lisa — after fighting the crowds, the perceived larger than life painting was actual tiny, and even felt tinier due to it being behind plexiglass (or at least that was how it was displayed at the Louvre 20 years ago).

    This past Saturday, I had a “me” day in NYC. I hit Macys (Friends & Family), the new Louis Vuitton boutique inside Macys, Henri Bendel, Chanel and Barneys. Henri Bendel was having a $ off of different tiers of spend, including spending on beauty and fragrances! Alas, I did not buy anything there but instead, got my POAL at Barneys. In any case…I also went to the MAD Art of Scent exhibit. It was pleasantly uncrowded and I thought the “scent urinals” (i know that sounds disgusting but that is what those openings reminded me of) were just the right method to deliver the soft puffs of fragrance without contaminating the room. Unfortunately, the technology in the 2nd room was on the fritz and I did not get to experience the Tresor mod display (but was able to take the mod cards except for mod 1), nor the video interviews 😦 …. but since it wasn’t crowded, I was able to do 2 rounds of dip and sniff. I ended up going to the other exhibits (Doris Duke’s Shangri-La and Glass) so i felt that my $15 was well-spent!

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    • I love the “scent urinal” statement. You described them perfectly. The attendant at the exhibit said that the perfumes were formulated in that room in such a way as not to be wet and overpower the space. Makes sense. The interviews weren’t working when I was there as well. And I thought the Doris Duke exhibit was very interesting as well. Although, Doris Duke looked very alien like in her pictures… but oh to have that money!

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  9. Fantastic post! I can’t wait to visit the exhibit in February. 🙂

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