Paris perfume highlights

Even though we managed to visit and sniff our way through many perfume shops (Serge Lutens, Costes/Iunx, Colette, Rosine, Guerlain, JAR, several stands at Printemps) there are two places that stand out in my mind as the highlights of the trip.

I knew Asali was disappointed we didn’t get to visit Jovoy together in December and we decided this time around, it was one of the non-negotiable stops.
And I now understand completely why someone who’s been there would be disappointed if another perfumista in Paris skipped the store and the experience.

I don’t think my words will do justice to the whole experience. I believe we spent over 2 hours there, taking some time to rest on the couch and sofas located in the back for just that purpose.
Even the espresso we all received upon arrival couldn’t keep us on our feet after the sniff-a-thon we had there.

As Asali is already known there, she was the one discussing perfumes with Monsieur HΓ©nin the most while we slowly worked our way through the store, coming together to check who tried what and sniff each other’s arms and then went on our own again to discover new fragrant wonders.

At some point we all converged on the oud range by Xerjoff and had a lively discussion with Monsieur HΓ©nin there over oud while smelling the Oud Stars. And when I say lively, I mean we all had fun and laughed a lot as Monsieur HΓ©nin is this charming, smiling, elegant man with a slightly wicked sense of humor which he wields as part of his charm. And he even burned oud chips for us. πŸ™‚

If I remember correctly, the whole Xerjoff oud series is very good – there is something to be found for every taste (possibly not wallet). πŸ˜‰

I will let the girls tell you their side of the story – I just know I’d go to Paris just so I could go and have fun at Jovoy again.
The bottles  I came out with were Mona di Orio Vetyver (which I knew I would finally buy in Paris) and Brecourt’s Haram – another oriental for my ever growing collection.
(I should also mention a bag full of samples of everything I wanted to get to know better)

Mark’s photo of the three of us outside Jovoy

The other place that stands out in my mind as a great smelling experience was a stand at Printemps which holds several collections, among others: Nez a Nez, SoOud, Boadicea and Nasomatto.
Asali is also known there, and she recommended the place as there is a great SA working there who, lucky for us, was there when we arrived.
His name is Alexi(s) (we didn’t get to hear it right) and he also remembered Asali (like Suzanne said, men love her).
So he proceeded to familiarize us with the ranges and we smelled our way through many of the perfumes on display there. At the end of the session I fell madly in love with Nez a Nez Bal MusquΓ© and promptly took the bottle home with me.

In the end, an honorable mention goes to the nice man at the JAR boutique who was very generous with his time since we entered the boutique after its closing time (the doors weren’t locked) and we asked if it would be ok to smell the perfumes even though it was after closing time, and he was very nice and said we had enough time for a quick tour (only it didn’t seem quite that quick and he was displaying the perfumes for the four of us rather elegantly, without any hurry).
The one I fell for is the Bolt of Lightning. It is THE perfume I imagined in my post here. It has that metallic smell of lightning in the warm air and the smell of wet asphalt is in the mix. The fact that all this is possible through white flowers never ceases to amaze me. (I knew the price would amaze me too, so I didn’t even ask) πŸ˜‰

The pic of all of us in front of Jovoy is Mark’s and Suzanne’s.

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20 thoughts on “Paris perfume highlights

  1. Olfactoria's Travels June 12, 2012 at 07:48 Reply

    One thing I learned here today is that I should definitely not go to Paris without Asali. She knows people, she gets you places. ;)Other people want to got to Paris with their sweethearts, pah, stay home husband, I want to go with Asali (and Ines and Suzanne of course!)Jovoy sounds like the perfect Perfumista experience.


  2. womo531 June 12, 2012 at 08:43 Reply

    Oh Ines, I wish that I had gals like you guys when I went to Paris a few weeks ago! I could not find JAR for the life of me.. walking past JOVOY and then ended up at Annick Goutal =P


  3. Ines June 12, 2012 at 09:44 Reply

    He, he, he, yes, she's essential to both getting you places and getting most out of those places. :)Btw, you know what I'm thinking? But don't tell my boyfriend this, πŸ˜‰ – Paris is the city for girls.


  4. Ines June 12, 2012 at 09:48 Reply

    I'm so sad we missed each other! Last time we missed Vanessa by a few days.Honestly, if it wasn't for Asali who knew exactly where JAR was, I would never be able to find it either (I once tried looking for it by address and thought it was somewhere else). :)But maybe I shouldn't tell you then that's it right close to Jovoy – on that same stretch if I remember it correctly.


  5. tara June 12, 2012 at 11:54 Reply

    Lovely! I didn't know about Jovoy so that's good to know. Congrats on your full bottle purchases and all those samples. Keeping my fingers crossed for a post from man-magnet Asali on your visit to Guerlain!


  6. Asali June 12, 2012 at 13:35 Reply

    I so enjoy reading your impressions Ines, it makes me relive everything (yay), and remember things I forgot. Should I be getting worried about my man-magnet-image, and perhaps my Paris knowledge as well? I don't feel that "i deserve neither such praise nor such censure" as Eliza Bennet says πŸ˜‰ I'm quite certain that the SAs Ines mentiones would be equally lovely to anyone who cares and shows sincere interest:-) Thanks Tara, I'm working on it, with all these great accounts, it's getting increasingly difficult. And I certainly agree with Birgit, Paris is for girls, although I must say that Mark was a great addition to our party, we wouldn't have wanted to miss out on his company for the world.


  7. Ines June 12, 2012 at 13:56 Reply

    Thank you Tara! :)I am hoping Asali finishes her post soon, I'd like to read her view of the whole experience.


  8. Ines June 12, 2012 at 14:00 Reply

    I don't think you should be worried of your men-magnet image. πŸ™‚ It's more like they have a soft spot for you than anything that would reflect badly.And speaking of Eliza Bennet, I know have this great urge to go and read the book. :DI agree about Mark being a great addition – it wouldn't have been the same without him. P.S. You know, when I started writing this post, I had completely forgotten about the JAR shop. It only occurred to me by the end of the post we were actually there as well. πŸ™‚


  9. Asali June 12, 2012 at 14:23 Reply

    Thanks Ines, I like that version:-DP&P is such a great book and Elisabeth rules, I was glad to be able to quote her:-)Yes, I forgot about JAR too, I'm so glad you reminded me.


  10. Suzanne June 12, 2012 at 17:47 Reply

    Ines, late last night I finished my post on the perfume I bought at Jovoy and on the boutique itself, then popped over to your blog and read your account and was jealous of your lovely write-up. You really captured the dishy and delightful character of Monsieur Henin so well (much better than I did) — as well as the spirit at all three of these stores. It's a treat reliving this through your post — and thanks for letting people know how lovely and generous that fellow at JAR was with his time. I think it would be easy for people to think that JAR might be an intimidating place to go, given the price of the perfumes, when it's not at all. In fact, quite the opposite — a true pleasure.Note to Asali … no need to worry over your man-magnet image. Ines and I love that about you (and it gives us something to tease you about) so enjoy it!!Also another quick note to Ines: a couple days ago Mark announced to me, "Ines has a new post up. Did you know?" The man is clearly now in perfumista mode! πŸ˜‰


  11. Ines June 12, 2012 at 20:19 Reply

    Elizabeth really rules. :)I'm so happy you reminded me of her – she's one of my favourite female characters ever.


  12. Ines June 12, 2012 at 20:29 Reply

    Suzanne, I'm pretty sure you did Monsieur Henin justice. πŸ™‚ and I just read your post, so now I know I'm right.I also hope he reads it, because he should know the impression he leaves on people and the good reactions Jovoy is getting.I tried my sample of Chypre Palatin today and I completely understand how easy it is to fall in love with it. I certainly never thought I would (but it snuck under my skin, the little mischief).One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is that the people we came into contact with in such incredibly elegant places (and all of them elegant) were at all time perfectly lovely without ever becoming snobbish (and between the four of us I do believe we all would be able to catch hints of it).Honestly, each time I come back from Paris, I am more in love with it.P.S. You better watch out, Mark might start his own blog soon. πŸ˜‰


  13. Undina June 12, 2012 at 21:35 Reply

    As I've mentioned already on a couple occasions, reading about perfumistas meet-ups is the next best thing after being a part of it – so thank you both (and Asali who, I'm sure ;), will post her notes as well at some point) for sharing your experience.How many times have you tested Haram before going for the FB? I have the full set of samples from the line but haven't gone through half of them yet. Haram was one of those I did test and I didn't dislike it but wasn't in love either.


  14. Ines June 13, 2012 at 10:19 Reply

    I'm impatient to read Asali's post. πŸ™‚ Even though we were together, I really enjoy reading how was it experienced by others. I tested Haram there in the shop, put it on my arm and went on through other interesting things all the while smelling the development of Haram. And it just got better and better for me. πŸ™‚


  15. Beautiful Things June 13, 2012 at 10:49 Reply

    Sounds like you had a great time. I love Paris. x


  16. Ines June 13, 2012 at 12:27 Reply

    The greatest time. πŸ™‚ It really is easy to love Paris.


  17. June 16, 2012 at 18:54 Reply

    So jealous, thank you for sharing. I feel like I was there too.Portia x


  18. Vanessa June 17, 2012 at 02:19 Reply

    Just caught up with this post and enjoyed hearing about your various sniffing destinations, and the lovely welcome you received wherever you went. My brother and his wife were in Printemps around the same time – I must check the dates – they bought his and hers Diptyques there and spent a good long while in the store.Now JAR I have been to (probably the same fellow?), but Jovoy is a store of which I have heard great things, but not yet managed to visit. Sounds like it's not to be missed next time!As Undina says, reading about perfumista meet-ups really is the next best thing to being there too, and it sounds as though you all got yourself some great "souvenir bottles" while you were about it!


  19. Ines June 17, 2012 at 12:28 Reply

    πŸ™‚ I'm always jealous when I hear of other perfumistas meeting. I'm just happy I could participate in one.


  20. Ines June 17, 2012 at 12:32 Reply

    Vanessa, I believe one of the reasons we all had so much fun is that like you said, everywhere we went, we had a really nice time and people were incredibly welcoming.I think the guy at JAR might be competing for the best SA if everyone who goes there only has nice things to say about him (young-ish, tall, light hair and wearing glasses).And Jovoy is a must-stop next time you're in Paris! πŸ™‚


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