Sunday, 1 June 2008

Sniffing...




I adore scent and I can always while away time in a perfume department or shop sniffing and assessing the olfactory offerings. Sniffing is actually a past- time enjoyed by more people than you might think, so there is no need to worry that the departments will be annoyed if you spend some time feasting on their scents and examining the beautiful packaging. Any proper perfume sales person will know that it takes time to decide if you like a scent and also that people enjoy the process of trying perfumes. The best places will leave you to yourself but offer help if you should require it.

My London favourites are the Liberty perfume room and Les Senteurs but there are many others I love. Liberty is to me what Tiffany’s is to Holly Golightly, the shopping equivalent of heaven, instantly relaxing and calming but also beautiful and stimulating. The perfume room is one of the best parts of the shop- it’s decked with decadent wallpaper and has a great variety of scents laid out enticingly; favourites they offer include Tann Rokka, the Comme De Garcons fragrance line and L’Artisan Parfeumeur.

Les Senteurs is a specialist scent shop located in Belgravia which specifically offers more niche and unusual lines and has real exclusives including the fabulous Frederic Malle scents amongst many others; the staff are real aficionado’s and are very helpful. The shop is also on a lovely villagey street surrounded by white washed buildings and tree lined squares. Visiting fills me with the same sense of excitement and anticipation that I had as a child when walking to the sweet shop- and I gorge myself on the scents as I did the sweets- often coming out with scents on the front of my hand and all the way from my wrist to my elbow.

For the amount of choice and space you cannot fault Selfridges, Harrods, John Lewis or Harvey Nichols. Fenwick's also has some surprisingly unusual brands (Diptyque, Antonia’s Flowers, Robert Piquet) and also some of the rarer offerings from the big companies (including some of the older and loveliest Guerlain's).

picture courtesy of www.allposters.co.uk

2 comments:

The solemn cat said...

I love going to Liberty to look at the beautiful fabrics. Must go there to sniff the perfumes too. And Les Senteurs, I can't believe I've not been in there yet! I get my samples online from them and keep on meaning to visit in person.

Rose said...

Hi! Thank- you for your comment and reading the blog.

I love the fabrics too! and all the ribbons they have. The whole shop is just perfection and I really like the way they continue to devout themselves to their fabrics and design tradition.

Perfumes are my real obsession though! I don't think Liberty would ever make their own scent but if they did they should definitely use their prints on the boxes!

You should go to Les Senteurs definitely- it isn't really on the way to anywhere except itself really but it's quite fun to seek somewhere out. The chap who was working when I went most recently was incredibly helpful and not at all pushy. He told me just to enjoy myself and take as long as I would like to look at everything. He then happily gave me samples of what I wanted and made me one for a 'fume they didn't carry testers for.