A Day of Sniffing in Boston

Yesterday my daughter wanted to explore the Harvard campus, so off we went. It's my husband's vacation and the weather was perfect-- breezy and low humidity.

Since we were in Cambridge anyway, we stopped in at Colonial Drug. This is not a pharmacy, but rather a shop specializing in hard to find and European brands of perfumes, toiletries, and high quality brushes and combs. They have testers. They do not take credit cards but they do invoice and ship. (See their website for more information.)

I had been curious about the new Berdoues Les Contes Bucoliques line of fragrances and was delighted to see them there. At $45 they make nice gifts and the adorable bulb type atomizers are very pretty (but evaporation may occur through the bulb, so don't leave the bulb attachment screwed on when not in use; they come with a separate cap.)

Bal des Clochettes-- lily of the valley which gets a bit sweeter in about half an hour as jasmine emerges and LOTV fades; I had hopes for this, but I found it had low sillage and poor longevity. Also, I decided that I prefer my LOTV without jasmine.
Claire de Rose --not much rose here, quite bland IMO
Brume de Jasmine-- too fruity for me, glad I'd only tested on paper.
Violettte Divine-- really nice especially at first, as the violets and wood are in balance, but got too sweet for me quickly. However, I'm sure many will like this one. Put this on your list to test if you love violets.

I also sampled Caron Bellodgia edt. This otherwise lovely carnation turns rubbery on me-- even my daughter noticed. Too bad! I wonder if the parfum would be different? I must try the parfum at the Caron boutique in NY on some future trip.

On paper I tried 3 Yardley EdTs:
Hyacinth (it isn't hyacinth; it wasn't compelling.)
Orange Blossom (which starts off with a strong lavender and never really becomes orange blossom, not to my nose anyway.)
Geranium (I've smelled better and truer geraniums, including Demeter Vintage Naturals.)
English Rose-- I already own and love this delightful rose and recommend it. (There are other sources for this one if you can't get to Boston or are looking to buy it online-- try shoplondons.com.)

Ultimately I only bought 2 very nice hand made combs to help me when cutting my daughter's and my own hair.

After visiting Raven Used Books in Harvard square, where I found a hardbound copy of Northanger Abbey for my mother, we made our way to Copley Place to try a few fragrances. First stop was Neiman Marcus.

I had a lovely chat with the sales associates (the warmest, friendliest SAs I've met anywhere, may I add) about the BN meet-up last week, which I just could not attend. It was fun meeting a BN lurker who happened to visit the counter while we were there (*waves to Greg*).

As to perfumes, I sniffed a bunch of Atelier, Van Cleef & Arpels (including Muguet Blanc, a disappointment-- too much like Dior Lily, which I disliked), and some new Chantecaille 'fumes whose names I forgot to write down, along with the newest Tom Ford (Azure Lime). I brought home samples of Atelier Cologne: Orange Sanguine and Trèfle Pur (turns out not to be very clover-like) and Tom Ford Azure Lime to test some more. On paper, the Azure Lime lasted little more than one hour....

My husband tested Tom Ford Amber Absolute; he liked it quite a lot, as did I. I like that is isn't sweet as most ambers are, and the woody notes are fantastic. However, afterward he was disappointed at the speed with which the brighter top notes departed and the fragrance as a whole lost projection and strength on his skin. Well, he is like a furnace, so a lot of scents do this on him. That is why one needs to test before buying, right?

At Barney's I tried Serge Lutens L'Eau Serge Lutens (meh) and Chêne (pleasant oakmoss), TDC Rose Poivrée (I can see why so many like this), retested various Malle perfumes with focus on Lipstick Rose (quirky, unique) and Une Rose and then bought the travel set of Une Rose (three 10 ml testers, $110).

I have to say Une Rose is one of the best roses I have smelled. It is very true to nature, has great projection and longevity and 1 to 2 spritzes are plenty, so a little goes a long way.

My husband has been interested in a several of the Byredo scents since trying them in New York. He applied Chembur and I sprayed on Pulp for the ride home, to check out how they wear. Hubby was happy with Chembur's longevity and development and is thinking of buying a bottle. All three of us liked Pulp quite a lot-- I know this doesn't get much love on BN but it was a bright and happy-making scent for us. $190 worth of happy? Not so sure! Pulp reminds me of a much less expensive scent, Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava. It would be interesting to test them side by side.

Finally we stopped in at Saks in the Prudential mall across the road so I could sniff Rose Barbare. Another wonderful rose based scent, worth trying!

Blog Comments

30 Roses

Well-known member
Oct 8, 2007
Well, we did try Byredo Pulp side by side with Pacifica Hawaiian Ruby Guava (we had been given about 1/2 ml of Pulp as a sample so we took it with us to test the Pacifica one.)

It seems my memory was playing tricks on me; the Pacifica is really not like Pulp at all. Pulp is the better of the two.

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