Wednesday, January 9, 2013

New Fragrances for a New Year

I don't really ever need an excuse to treat myself, but the start of a new year seems like the ideal time to try new things. Instead of the classic resolutions of trying to eat better, trying to get more fit, this year I'm going for something a little more hedonistic and a little easier to stick to... trying a bunch of new fragrances.

Armed with two newly acquired gift vouchers received as Christmas gifts from my sisters, I headed into the Mecca Cosmetica counters inside the city Myer department store. I figured that now was the time to act and splash out on something a bit swish. Paying full retail for fragrance is not something I find easy, but shave a good chunk off the retail with some gift vouchers and I'm ready to buy something top shelf.

My shopping experience at Mecca Cosmetica in Myer was absolutely brilliant. I was in there fairly early so the store was relatively quiet and the staff able to spend some time without feeling pressured. Twice I have shopped at Mecca Cosmetica in Myer and twice I have received fantastic service. (So much so that I emailed Mecca Cosmetica and told them so, and received a lovely email back in return, with a promise to pass it on to the staff in question. I don't know if they receive any commission, but if you're shopping with Mecca I recommend speaking to Prue in the city, and Fiona who normally works out of the Bondi Junction store.)

I found a fellow perfume nerd in staff member Prue, and we had a fantastic natter and I tried a bunch of their high end niche fragrances. In the end I plonked down my vouchers plus a fair whack of cash to buy the 100ml size of "Mister Marvelous" by Swedish fragrance house Byredo. Not everything works out as we planned, and life can be a bit disappointing. I'll do a proper review of "Mister Marvelous" at some time in the near future, but it will be a cautionary tale about not rushing into a decision when buying fragrances. A lesson learned.

Sigh. Moving on.

At the start of my Christmas and New Year holiday I set up an account with the online discount retailer Cosmetics Now, and about 8 days later I had my first parcel. Three of the four fragrances I ordered were blind buys based on reading the main notes and other people's reviews Fragrantica; Angel Schlesser "Homme", Jacques Fath "Pour L'Homme" and Parfums Berdoues 1902 "Vetiver". (The Kenzo "Pour Homme" is an old favourite). They are all very different, and inspire differing levels of devotion, but thankfully not a dud in the bunch.

Around the same time I placed the above order I was also scanning the US website LuckyScent and decided to try their decant samples service. At USD $3 - $4 a sample it's an affordable way to try new fragrances without committing the big bucks. For less than $50 Australian dollars (including shipping) I have 11 precious little temptations to try. And they arrived through the letterbox on the afternoon of the same day I picked up my parcel of fragrances!

Riches! Riches, I tell you! The eclectic bunch I ordered:

Andree Putman "Preparation Parfumee"
Atelier Cologne "Mistral Patchouli"
Atelier Cologne "Vetiver Fatal"
Caron "Tabac Blond"
Caron "Yatagan"
Knize/Knize "Ten"
Parfums de Nicolai "Balle de Match"
Parfums de Nicolai "Cedrat Intense"
Parfums de Nicolai "Patchouli Intense Homme"
The Different Company "Bois d'Iris"
The Different Company "Sel de Vetiver"

I keep pulling them out of their bubble wrap envelope and staring at them. Little gems that they are. I'm almost hesitant to uncap any of them unless I can devote a bit of time and olfactory concentration to them, and of course the imagined worse case scenario sees me butter fingering the tiny caps and spilling the precious juice everywhere.

So all in a rush I have a whole bunch of new fragrances to try, and to review. Some tested already, and some yet to be tried. Even if I don't fall in love, although I might, I fully expect to be challenged and intrigued. I know what I'll be doing for the next few weeks.

Hello 2013! Don't you smell marvellous?!

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