Thursday, 7 July 2011

London perfume journeys

I was in London again yesterday, this time for pleasure, not work. I was showing my sister some of the sights, trying to focus on areas she hasn't seen before, in particular Notting Hill and the Portobello Road Market. It was fun. Markets aren't really my thing, although I do like food markets, but nevertheless we enjoyed ambling along, enjoying the quirkiness of this market. I last visited Portobello Road almost a decade ago, amazingly (it seems like yesterday) and in the ten years it has gone quite a lot more up-market. It still has some fringe grunginess, and while it was already trendy back then, overall the tone is very much a sanitised boho-chic.

While I was in the market I bought a sample pack of Gorilla perfumes from Lush. I've read mixed reviews of these, but thought I would get a few samples and see for myself.

We eventually headed back to the horrors of Oxford Street. Every time I go to Oxford Street, it is a reminder to me of all that used to irritate the sh1t out of me about London - rude crowds, dirt, chaos and a commerciality that borders on the insane. Still, Selfridges is on Oxford Street and it has a great collection of perfumes. I tried Chanel's Sycamore for the first time, although the sales assistant was so stingy that he only allowed me a brief spray on one wrist. Which begs the question - why do they have to be so condescending as to not allow you to spray yourself? It's not as if I'm going to grab the tester and spray half a bottle over myself in a frenzy, is it? Sycamore was nice, but I'm still not massively sold on the Chanel Exclusifs line. I also tried a few from the Dior La Collection line. Crazy bottles - for Pete's sake, who needs almost half a litre of freaking perfume? Having said that, I love Leather Oud and I also was impressive with Ambre Nuit, Vetiver, Mitzah and Granville. I could do with samples of all of these. Actually 30 ml bottles would do very nicely thanks.

The last perfume I tried (on skin this time) was Opus V by Amouage. Hmmm, I don't know. It was ok but that oud note is too piercing for me. It seers my nostrils and never seems to go away. I'm not convinced it is totally for me...


  1. I could never understand those SAs. How do they think people can decide if they want a perfume - by looking at a bottle from far away and reading a description?

  2. Undina, my feelings exactly. But I think the large department stores like consumers making snap or rash decisions - one tends to spend more (and impulsively) like that. There are some stores though that do positively encourage you to take your time, but they tend to be staffed by genuine perfume lovers. Which helps...

  3. There is absolutely no excuse for a sales assistant to display any snootiness whatsoever. They are there to serve the customer. That's the kind of treatment that compels me to write complaint letters. Absolutely disgusting!

  4. Persolaise I agree, although to be fair the lady at the Dior counter was much friendlier and happy to spend some time showing me the La Collection perfumes. She seemed a lot more passionate, which goes to show that for some it is simply a job... Easy for me to judge, I know!



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