Thursday, April 1, 2010

Hermes "Un Jardin sur le Nil" , Bond No. 9 "Chelsea Flowers" and other sniffs at Saks

I was in a sniffing frenzy Tuesday night - after meeting up with some family members for dinner after work (on the far east end of town - I live far west), I passed a Saks on the way home and just HAD to see what they offered.

Jo Malone, Bond No. 9, Creed, and Hermes!!!

I was like a kid in a candy shop but I only had about 45 minutes to sniff.

Oh woe is me.  What do I do?  What do I sniff first?

Before I go on, I have some thoughts:

1) Department store perfume counter folks really don't know perfume.

2) Clerks at ritzy stores sometimes come off as being all that, but I learned a long time ago just to silently giggle at them when they are snooty "you only WORK here, buddy, you don't own the place!" 

Regarding 1)  I know this is a huge generalization.  But here I am, in one of the ritzy-est stores around where silk scarves are going for $300.00+, and the counter guy looked at me blankly when I said I don't like perfumes with aldehydes.  Counter guy WAS really nice and  complementary  "you know your stuff" (I am actually just learning, but okay) but I really wanted to talk perfume and he couldn't.  Sigh.

Okay back to the sniff-fest...After a few tries at the Jo Malone counter, I lost interest. I then saw the Bond No. 9 display and was all over that.

I tested New Haarlem which I thought too much honey, and their High Line- just green and citrus I thought. Silver Factory was awesome, but so much like everything I'm initially drawn to. I have it in my head that I need to learn how to appreciate florals. Lexington Avenue - ho hum. Chelsea Flowers - oh I'm in a non-stuffy non-fake flower shop!

Then to the Creed - oh my!!! Fleurs de Bulgarie is, dare I say, more intriguing than Fleurs de la Rose Bulgare? FdlRB is on my Want list - but can I also Want another Creed?

Back to counter guy. Hermes counter didn't have Un Jardin sur le Nil in plain sight, so he found it for me. I HAD to try that!!  (BTW, he also made me a sample of Creed FdB after I asked for one - score!!)

Then there was another salesperson, a woman, who was really annoying.  She showed me the bottle of La Prarie's Life Threads (cannot remember which one) and was saying something like this is the fragrance for the strong woman, blah blah blah.   I sniffed and walked away, nicely of course.

I felt like I had to buy something - well actually I WANTED to buy something, but I couldn't decide between the Creeds and the Un Jardin sur le Nil  was at the part in the drydown which smelt like rotten mangoes, so I went back to the Bond No. 9 counter and bought Chelsea Flowers.  Again, because I need to learn florals (or so I think).

After my expensive purchase, counter guy asked me if I wanted some Bond no 9 samples and I had him choose for me - Silver Factory (yay!), Scent of Peace and Saks Fifth Avenue for Her.

Driving home, I was kicking myself for buying the Bond No. 9.  I should have bought the Un Jardin sur le Nil because after awhile UJslN is was the most crisp and dry and wonderful thing ever!  Arggh!  Do I or will I ever really LOVE CF? Why did I do that!?!?

So yes, buyer's remorse. 

Anyone want a sample of Chelsea Flowers!?  I'll feel better if others will enjoy the purchase with me.


I wore CF all day on Wednesday - I would catch a whiff of flowers every once in a while and it hit me 'wow that's me!"    So although I'm not over my remorse, I'm living with it!  I must learn florals.  I must!

photo from


  1. I would love a sample. That Silver Factory has me interested. I don't wear a lot of sent. Oh boring me with a dash of "Happy" (don't laugh it was a gift)from time to time.

  2. Silver Factory - "The Silver Factory fragrance, designed by Aurelien Guichard, is soft, smoky scent, wrapped in veil of incense, woody notes and amber. Flowers flourish at the heart: jasmine, iris and violet, the favorite flower of Andy Warhol, bringing, along with iris, metal accord to the composition. Base notes include: bergamot, mildly bitter grapefruit, lavender, violet, amber, jasmine, iris, a mix of wood resins, sweet vanilla and sensual cedar wood."

    Chelsea Flowers - This perfume contains notes of peony, tulip, hyacinth, magnolia, rose, musk, sandalwood, vetiver and moss.

    The notes are from

    I'm not laughing! "Happy" gets wonderful press from the 'god' of perfume, Luca Turin. I have never sniffed it, yet!

    Email me your address and I'll send you a sample of Chelsea Flower (I only have a small sample of Silver Factory so I cannot send you a sample) carol dot spiros at gmail dot com.

  3. oh and Missy - two great sites to get samples from.... and Again, sorry I'm being greedy with Silver Factory!

  4. I always end up buying something even if I go to the shop only to sniff stuff (can't help it).
    So bad you don't like New Harleem, I adore it. Hm, I think I have a sample of Chelsea flowers somewhere, I'll have to try it again now. :)

  5. Ines, pheww I'm glad I'm not alone!

    And I believe it was your post re: NH that made me interested in trying it. and I really wanted to like it. I'll re-sniff at some point.

  6. So funny - I feel that exact same frenzied feeling when I'm in a department store with loads of great sniffs. I feel like an excited puppy running round, not sure where to stop!

    Glad you made a purchase though. To be honest there are so many great perfumes out there, whatever you buy you will regret not buying something else (if that makes sense).

    You must try my Jardin apres le Mousson and see if you like as much as 'sur le Nil'. Will be interested to hear what you have to say. I was really disappointed by Voyage though - sorry can't remember specifically if you've mentioned Voyage before.

    In London the only place that sells Bond No 9 is Harrods, and the staff there are so pushy that I come away really frustrted each time. I don't have the head space to reflect on what I really want to try. And the staff keep saying, try this, try this until my head's spinning and I can't remember what I've tried and what I haven't.

    (You know life is good when all you have to complain about is perfume counter staff!!)

    Great post.

  7. Fun sniffies! I thought Chelsea Flowers was perfectly pleasant - but very much like my old standby Pink by Victoria's Secret, which I wore for yearsnyears, so I didn't need any CF.

    Really like JslN.

    And perfume clerks are typically clueless, in my experience. The last one I talked with was at least NICE, though. (Best "clueless clerk" story to date: the 50-YO SA with horrendous Tammy Faye Bakker makeup who tried to steer me toward Chanel Chance "Aw Fresh" because it was "so young and sparkly." I'm 42, okay?? This after I had told her that I liked No. 5 Eau Premiere but not Chance. Ugh.)

  8. I love to read about your perfume experiences. I get to live vicariously. Thanks!

  9. Blogger ate my comment!! Urrrrgh!!

    Ah, yes-- finding a good SA-- rare, but when it happens, a beautiful thing... I keep fantasizing about my dream perfume shop, with little hand-printed write-ups like in independent bookstores and wine shops-- Staff reviews, or snappy reviews from Turin, Burr, and the lot. Or from the blogosphere, when one of us happens to write a review that really nails the scent.

    Then we could all read about a scent before we tried it!

  10. Enjoy your Chelsea Flowers! I don't care for many of the Bond No 9 line, but I recall that one as being a pleasant floral - and I am sure the bottle packs a punch too.

    I like LCN's idea of hand printed shelf labels with reviews on them, though sadly I expect it will be a long time coming. Finding a knowledgeable SA is such a joy when it happens, though it is a rare thing.

  11. I've always thought the SA thing to be just...odd. I'm not much for oneupsmanship, so will usually ask any pertinent questions I have in a matter-of-fact way. But they STILL try to steer me to whatever the dreck-of-the-week is. The only one I've ever met who seemed to be at all knowledgeable was at the Scent Bar in LA, and she was a little, um, snotty. So I'm all about online, so much less grief.

    I love sur le Nil, thought Bond 9 was just ok, haven't tried Chelsea Flowers but it does sound so right for spring. (Not fishing -- I'll include it in my next samples order.)

  12. I'm still wobbly from sniffing Secretions. Oh man! Anyhoo, thanks folks for your replies! Olfacta,I could send you one - you weren't fishing because I offered. Missy, I'll be sending your sample this week.

    I wish I could find a good SA (I'm assuming that means Sales Associate?). This is the Cleveland area and we don't have that many high end places around.

    LCN, that would rock! Mals, I just got a small decant of Nil and it's wonderful! SS, I'll be making up your samples as I just got the atomizers I ordered, and you made perfect sense! Callie,hope you're on the mend.

    I'm dousing myself tomorrow w/Chelsea Flowers - I have to get the memory of that Etat out of my mind and nose!

  13. oh Bonkers, the second paragraph was addressed to you, btw. And glad you're back!!

  14. SA does indeed mean Sales Associate - or Sales Assistant over here!


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