Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Window Sniffing: Holt Renfew, Frederic Malle Counter

OMG, they have the booth!

So I spent my lunch hour monopolizing the time of the very helpful SA, Yonge, at the Frederic Malle counter in Holt's. What a fantastic substitute for food! My nose is full.

I was so excited to see that they have "the booth." It looks like a cross between an English red telephone booth and a space-age teleport tube. Perfume is sprayed into the booth, then you can enter or just stick your head in to experience the scent more fully than you can on a card. It's very effective and it saved me from covering my arms in tests and suffocating my coworkers later.

I also left with a couple of samples for more in-depth sniffing. I will do full reviews of the fragrances later, but I thought I would jot down my first impressions of some of these gems, before the memory fades.

Geranium Pour Monsieur: The first spritz made me laugh; mint and geranium! But I kept coming back to the card again and again. It is so interesting and strangely addictive. I don't know how I would wear it but I like it. Maybe the new Portrait of a Lady (which was not available yet) will give me a version I could love.

Carnal Flower: A wedding scent; this is a big white bouquet. It's more wearable than I thought it would be, though. I'm somewhat tuberose shy, but I liked this combination with lily, jasmine and orange blossoms. It's heady and thick and waxy white petals and completely gorgeous. Yonge tells me that women tell him they get tons of compliments in this one. I can believe it.

Le Parfum de Therese: This one I could see buying for myself. It's a rich progression from fruit and spices to flowers to an earthy leather base. Complicated and full-bodied. And the creator, Edmond Roudnitska, also did one of my favourites, Rochas Femme.

Cologne Bigarade: Lovely oranges! If it was summertime I would be dousing myself in this.

I sniffed everything at the counter, but those are the ones that stood out for me.


  1. I really love PdT. :) I didn't at the first sniff, but second time, it got me.

  2. OOOH looks like fun! I keep thinking Dr. Who for some reason...

    Can't wait to hear about the samples. Le Parfum de Therese in on my list!

  3. Oh, the novelty! I keep thinking of Dr. Who too!
    I like Lipstick Rose, Parfum de Therese, and Iris Poudre. Actually, I like all of the FMs that I've sniffed, even if they all aren't "me".
    I've been saving up for Musc Ravageur for months. But, now I'm waiting because of the newest launch! Portrait of a Lady sounds more like what I want.

  4. The booths are fun, aren't they? I tried a couple in Paris - also Carnal Flower and L'Eau d'Hiver. I am sure they weren't so fabulously glossy and red, though it was dark in the small shop.

    Holt Renfrew sounds like an excellent outlet for high end perfumes - my friend Lovethescents goes to the branch in Montreal.

  5. Ooh! Cool! Barney's has a booth, but they've never offered it to me. (Hmph.) And I never quite have the nerve to demand a booth experience.


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