It may not seem exciting to those of you who live in big cities with access to plenty of large perfume departments, boutique perfume stores and so forth, but I am always pleased when new perfume lines come to the two department stores in Tunbridge Wells, where I live. Admittedly I only live an hour's train journey away from London, but even so, I only go up to London a few times a year.
Fenwick has really upped the ante over the past few months and appears to be taking a firm step away from lowest common denominator perfumes that one can find in any store in the land, including England's most well known chemist. Not that Fenwick had a poor selection of perfumes before, far from it. However, recently a Jo Malone counter opened up, carrying the full range, as far as I can make out, and within the last month Tom Ford's Private Blends have entered the fray too, which I find exciting. I will be writing more about both these lines over the next few weeks, hopefully. I also understand that there are some other exciting brands in the pipeline over the next few months. In addition to these lines, Fenwick also carries Penhaligon, Serge Lutens, Hermes, Annick Goutal, L'Artisan, Floris and Miller Harris.
Hoopers, the other department store, had a makeover fairly recently, modernising its old interior considerably, with a lovely perfume space. There has been less happening there of late, but they also stock a good selection of perfumes, including Commes des Garcons' main line (if only they could get in the rest!), Amouage, Terry de Gunzburg and, remarkably, Ineke.
As a closing question to those of you who live in smaller centres - do you have decent perfume selections in your town, or do you have to travel far and wide to track down the good stuff?