Super Member
Jan 25, 2004
I noticed this hasnât been posted yet, so here it is. I try and get to San Francisco once a week, but that hasnât been happening lately. San Francisco is truly an amazing city.

Weâve got basically every thing here. Weâve got a Nordstroms LâArt du Parfumery in the San Francisco Shopping Centre, which is downtown. This is the flagship Nordstroms, and they carry the full line of MPG, Miller Harris, Keiko Mecheri, Clive Christian, Etro, Annick Goutal, CSP, and a few others.

There is also a Saks in union square. Saks stocks LâArtisan, CC, Etro, Jo Malone, Bond 9, etc.
Neiman Marcus also resides in Union Square, and they stock Creed, Aqua di Parma, etc.

There are also many boutiques: Chanel, YSL, Hermes, everything except Etro.

Basically, you can get everything except Serge Lutens in this city. If any basenoters are ever in the city shoot me an email or IM. Iâd love to give a tour or go fragrance shopping with some one.


Basenotes Member
Dec 23, 2004
I just made my first visit to the Jacqueline Perfumery on Geary (off Union Square). The proprietor is charming and loquacious.

He carries Amouage. Although I didnât check the womenâs, he currently has in stock for men: Gold, Dia, and Ciel.


New member
Feb 16, 2005
Hello from SF,
Nordstrom L'art du Parfum also carries select pieces of Amouage.

Other unique finds in the city: Keihls West Coast flagship store on Fillmore, Lush on Powell St., Body Time (fragrance, bath, body), and a great gem- Rare Essence on Sutter St.


New member
Aug 10, 2005
The Nordstrom L'art du parfum carries men's gold Amouage as well at the downtown s.f. store


Basenotes Dependent
Aug 3, 2005
Went to Union Square yesterday. Saks Fifth carries the full Bond No. 9 line but no longer carries L'artisan. Neiman Marcus just down the street had L'artisan but didn't have Dzing, Tea for Two, or Voleur de Roses. They also have the full line of Creed.


New member
Jan 7, 2006
Since it seems popular, there is a Perfumania in Gilroy which, a month or so ago, carried several bottles of M7. No word on their age or other such status.


Basenotes Dependent
Aug 3, 2005
The Nieman Marcus store in Union Square now carries the export line of Serge Lutens. It also has a wider selection of L'artisan scents to choose from.


Basenotes Dependent
Nov 13, 2005
Other places to consider are Caswell-Massey, just a block or two from
Union Square, and Gumps, the specialty store with unusual fragrances and
gifts of all kinds.

I definitely recommend the Diptyque boutique. SF and Boston are
the only two in the U.S. Friendly, knowledgeable staff. Great scent
and candle line.


Super Member
Jun 23, 2006
Checked out the new Westfield Mall - hit Nordstrom's and Bloomie, along with L'Occitane, and the Art of Shaving. While the former two were over eager with SA's, the latter 2 who terrible experiences. The SA at AoS didn't even stop packing up the items into the store's closet when I was in there - and I was the only so-called "customer". Sprayed their sandalwood on a card and promptly left (his attitude was not worth the commision even if I loved the fragrance). L'Occitane, was somewhat helpful, but I've had way better (read "friendly" but not pushy) experiences at the other storefronts located in SF.

I did see Gier and V+R antidote at Nordstroms, and I tried YSL new frag along with the aforementioned Antidote at Bloomies. No worthy so-called "niche" scents observed at either dept store.

The quest continues.


Basenotes Member
Dec 29, 2006
I was just there last week and was both surprised and pleased that the NM in Union Square has the largest selection of Guerlain scents outside NYC and Paris. The SAs are also very knowledgeable and generous with samples. Highly recommended for a Guerlain fan.

The Saks in Union Square has some of the classic Guerlains but nowhere near the amount of NM.

The Chanel boutique in Maiden Lane has the full line of Les Exclusifs, including the repackaged Rue Cambon scents (22, Bois des Iles, Gardenia). Unfortunately, No.22 is no longer available in pure parfum, as it has been discontinued in the US.

The YSL boutique across the street from Chanel has M7. :)


Basenotes Junkie
Dec 20, 2001
There is a new fragrance shop in the San Francisco Centre (aka Westfield Mall) near Union Square. It's called Fragranza, and it's located on the 4th floor of the mall.

They stock a pretty decent selection in terms of discontinued items and things not easily found in the States as well as a large assortment of miniatures. They also have some Creeds but I didn't take a mental inventory. The guy staffing the shop was helpful and not pushy at all. I didn't price anything, so I can't really comment on that, but I am sure they're going to be higher than places like Perfumania and the gray market shops seen along Powell Street.


Basenotes Dependent
Dec 31, 2006
Oh, I guess I get to be the first to mention Barneys in this thread. The main lines they carry at this point are: Serge Lutens, L'Artisan, Tocca, Bois 1920, Gendarme, CdG, DelRae, Rosine (approx. 4 scents from this line), A few more mainstream designers, and a couple of exclusives for the city: a Le Labo corner and a Frederic Malle nook. Staff are friendlier than many of the bigger department stores around Union Square.

Also found today: Parfumerie In Fiore. A small, privately owned shop on Post at Hyde. They too carry Serge Lutens (including the limited American releases like Vetiver Orientale), plus The Different Company, not much more. But they also sell their own line, which consists of seven fragrances. I sniffed a few and especially like Fumée d'Ambre (smoky incense, vetiver, patchouli, amber) and Patchouli Royale (with basenotes of sandalwood, oud, and balsams). These are only made as perfume solids, which is not my favorite way to wear fragrance, but they seem well made and a dab of the patchouli is going strong on my wrist an hour later. $58 for a small metal compact with the perfume and a hinged, mirrored lid.


Basenotes Junkie
Mar 4, 2008
A great place to find scents (men's and women's) at discounted prices is Loehmann's on Sutter (near Kearny) in San Francisco.

This week I picked up Michael for Men (2.5 oz. EdT for $39.99), Bulgari Black (1.3 oz. EdT for $29.99), and Burberry Brit (1.7 oz EdT for $39.99).

Good savings on the Michael for Men, so-so on the Bulgari, and good savings on the Burberry.

Stock rotates at least once a week. The bottles and packaging do not appear to be counterfeit, the scents out of the bottle match posted descriptions, and nothing is opened/tampered with (plastic/cellophane sealing is intact, etc.).


New member
Apr 22, 2008
i was travelling to San Francisco and did not have a chance to really shop till the last minute

but went to a new mall near the san francisco airport (Tanforan) and they had a great small perfumerie that had a lot of old fragrances that i had not seen for a long time

prices were even better that duty free but they did not have a lot of the prestige lines that youll mentioned above (they had a few of the creeds-not the entire line)

they seemed to have a huge variety but i think they specialize in old discontinued fragrances- prices were good inspite of the fact that i needed to resell some of that stuff!!!!!!


Basenotes Junkie
Sep 1, 2008
There's a small store in Palo Alto, which is 40 mi south of SF, but it's in the Bay Area, so I thought I'd mention it here.

It's called Mahin & Co., and it's only the front part of a women's salon on California Ave, but it has a selection of L'Artisan Parfumeur, Bond #9 and Diptyque, probably the only store in the South Bay to carry these. But the main reason I mention them is that they carry a selection of Caron fragrances, which I haven't seen anywhere else in the Bay Area. This selection is expanding, and they said they'd be getting the urn fragrances (along with the urns) before Christmas this year.


Basenotes Dependent
Feb 28, 2008
San Francisco is a perfume lover's dream! Tons of shops, all within short walking distances of each other.
Needless Markup (Nieman's) on Union Square has Serge, L'Artisan, TDC, Acqua di Parma, and many more niche/luxe lines. See their website. Needless carries Anthousa, also, both home and personal frag.

Saks is great too, also on Union Square, but they are very stingy with samples and you feel a lot of push from the SA's to buy something (except the lovely many who sells Acqua di Parma and Tom Ford right now..he's a sweetie). By Killian, and a big Bond no. 9 display right as you walk in the door. Heavenly.

The above two also carry Jo Malone, Miller Harris, and Saks has a big Annick Goutal section. Overall Saks has a relatively small space for trying fragrance, compared with Nieman's which is more spacious. If you go to Niemans have an expensive (ridiculously so) lunch at the Rotunda because the view is just great, the wait staff is great, and you can linger and people watch. Barneys is also on Union Square and carries Frederic Malle and By Kilian to name a few. I haven't purchased there, yet, so can't tell you about the service..

And of course SF is also the home of Yosh Han and Ineke Ruhland (spelling?), and Parfums DelRae and several local SF shops carry their lines, I believe. Just google

Nordstrom is another great resource and they WILL give samples, part of their excellent customer service.They are only a few blocks away from Union Square, down the hill on Market. Macy's on Union square has a good selection of designer brands and if you purchase something they can be very generous with samples. I don't recommend Bloomingdales which is near Nordstrom. They don't carry anything the other stores don't have, and they are rather blase about fragrance. Not nearly as knowledgeable as I would like, not NEARLY as excited about their wares either. They seemed bored with the whole things..yawnnnn!! Maybe I just went there on a bad day. But really....

I'm sure I'm missing a lot and have duplicated previous posts...will update if I think of anything crucial!


Basenotes Junkie
Mar 4, 2008
Annick Goutal at Loehmann's SF

Loehmann's currently has several bottles of two from Annick Goutal:

Eau d'Hadrien and
Gardenia Passion

50ml bottles for $49.99 - they're on the small racks across from the checkout counter.


Super Member
Jun 23, 2006
Kilian Hennessy will be at Saks tomorrow (12 November) from 2-7pm. To schedule a consultation call them at 415-438-5484.
Nov 13, 2008
Nordstrom no longer carries MPG. I asked and they said 'we no longer carry it'. I did not see any amouage there. One sales rep gave me this increduous look when I was sniffing whatever it was I was sniffing "The Versace just came out!" like...what was wrong with me not sniffing the Versace? Since there was nothing I was led to expect would be there from reading this thread I stopped and smelled the Mitsuoko, which I'd never sniffed before. Interesting stuff for a woman!

I was at the H&M when the Comme des Garcons was launched, incidentally. There was a huge line outside that was just beginning to move as I arrived. I was surprised everyone fit inside, where it resembled "The Birds" with all the black clad fashionistas rifling through everything maniacally. I never even saw the fragrance display and only finally saw one woman clutching two bottles. I hoped maybe she'd open one so I could sniff, but... not a chance!


Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 2, 2009
I'm pretty much going to repeat what others have said, but I have to put in my votes:

The Neiman Marcus men's cologne counter downstairs is small but well-stocked and they're quite generous with the samples (on a recent visit, they gave me samples of 10 different L'Artisan Perfueur scents!).

I also love Barneys downstairs - they're incredibly helpful and friendly. The human-size scent-smelling vacuum pods and the special cologne lounge are kind of ridiculous, but fun. And I love Le Labo and it's great that it's available here now.

Bloomingdales has a decent selection, including a great Jo Malone counter (when you buy something, ask for samples - they're quite generous) and the new Space.NK counter, which is sort of a mixture of beauty products, fragrances, and make-up. I just stumbled on it recently and the guy there was really good. They have their own signature scents that are only now available here in SF.

And I'm surprised no one has mentioned Gumps yet. They have a small but very nice selection of perfumes and colognes I've never seen anywhere else, and a good selection of home scents and soaps, including local favorite Elizabeth W. **edit** Gumps has Geo F Trumper.

And don't forget the Fresh boutique at Sutter & Grant. It's mostly beauty product, but there are some great frangrances (and their signature amazing soaps) mixed in.

But, alas, Caswell-Massey closed earlier this year...

Oh, and the staff at the Saks mens' store is pretty unhelpful, so I've never bothered to buy anything there. It's sad, because the Saks in NY is one of my favorite stores in the world, but the SF store is really kind of sad (in my personal opinion). Until the salespeople lose the attitude, I don't want them getting my money...

**edit** Because I always hated the Saks Mens' store, I had never bothered to go into their main store on Union Square... My mistake - the people there were incredible. Every bit up to the standards of the NY store.

Also, Wilkes Bashford has Penhaligans and the harder-to-find gifts from L'Artisan (like that Mure Et Musc in the cute blackberry-shaped bottle).
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New member
Feb 28, 2008
Hi all,

I'm new to all this and I'm interested in Etro products. Can you tell me what stores carries Etro in the San Francisco Bay Area?

Thanks in Advance!!
Aug 16, 2009
I"m just visiting the city and have to disagree about saks, they were very very very nice to me. I even got a few of the tom ford musk samples! will report on the other stores. I intend to hit everything mentioned downtown probably won't make it to hayes valley but I'm staying right in union square. . .
Aug 16, 2009
Fragranza is no more.

"Rare Essences" is no longer in the city; they have moved to Mendocino.

The old cow at Jacqueline perfumery acted like I wasn't even there in his tiny store, spectaculary rude proprietor. I didn't see hide nor hair of Amouage nor of anything interesting at all for that matter. A friend from MUA tells me he has "the good stuff hidden". What's up with that?! Anwyay I wasn't about to disturb the old fool who evidently took me for someone ducking in off the street to avoid immigration officers or something. I was happy when my phone rang and I was able to just return his rudeness by using his store as a particularly spacious phone booth!
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Super Member
Dec 6, 2005
There's a new kiosk store in the Westfield Mall......as noted Fragranza is no longer there.
Anyway, I was looking at stuff at the kiosk store, and the guy was trying to push some unknown fragrances on me......I was shopping for the wife, and he gave me a few samples, a couple of which I liked...then he gave me the hard sell......."If you buy three, I'll give you this deal, but normally they're $99 a bottle......."

Anyone have experience with this place? The men's frag that I sampled came in a regtangular clear plastic bottle, chunky and looked like lucite.....with a silver spray cap inside a lid of some sort....and one of the women's was called Flor something....and had a "flower" sculpted kind of lid......


New member
Dec 18, 2009
Barney's is my fave, but as long as you're in the Market St./Union Square area you might as well buzz into Sephora on Powell for free samples---Guerlain, Hermes, etc. Hand your tester bottles to any sales associate and they'll decant a take-home spray sample--so beautifully easy!


Super Member
Dec 6, 2005
So, about that kiosk....
It's called "Signature Fragrance" or "Signature Perfume" I think, though the bags say "Top Line Fragrances" --I picked up Rive Gauche PH for a pretty good deal yesterday---sticker price was $89 and change, I asked for the smaller size, they only had the big size, salesguy offered it to me for $59, as I was walking he said--"I'll give it to you for $35, the price of the smaller size." That's about what it would be on-line, after shipping, so I took it. I imagine they may have rented the space for the holidays, and are looking to liquidate some stock...so you may find some deals.

But they will likely try to push little-known and marked-up frags on you first......still haven't found out what that stuff he tried to sell me back in mid-December.....

Anyone else had experience with this vendor? I'm not complaining, mind you....they're doing business.

G Man

Basenotes Junkie
Feb 4, 2007
Does anybody know of a legit grey market place in the Bay Area that has prices similar to online stores? These places in the malls are way overpriced.


New member
Jan 20, 2011
I went to Barneys recently and it blew my mind. After going through the Le Labo and Frederic Malle counters I was done. I wanted to sniff more there but I was in perfume overload. The woman there was super helpful. I think her name was Billie? It appears that they mix the Le Labo fragrances onsite or was that some sort of gimmick?

i dont make it up to sf enough, but i need to. i need to go to saks, neiman marcus, nordstrom, Chanel and Hermes. There is so much I haven't had a chance to sniff.

the nordstrom at valley fair in san jose is fair. they have all the Tom Ford private blends and even had a few Bond no9 fragrances there. they told me Nordstrom was possibly going to pick up the full line.

the neiman marcus in palo alto is also fair. they have a great Creed counter with a helpful and knowledgeable saleswoman. they don't have l'artisan there anymore. they carry Atelier, Acqua Di Parma.

i would love to meet up with other fragrance geeks to go sniffin in sf sometime. message me if interested.
Dec 26, 2011
Barneys - really knowledgeable and friendly folk. Full range of Le Labo, Frederic Malle and L'Artisan plus the usual designer suspects. (plus an assistant who likes to take the mickey out of Creed longevity)
Macys - disappointing range. Nothing like as strong as in New York.
Saks - Tom Ford, By Kilian and Bond St. Jo Malone plus lots of designer stuff.
Neiman Marcus - Creed, more Jo Malone plus designer stuff.
Bloomingdales - very disappointing selection. Nothing special.
Sephora - normal stuff, plus DSquared which I haven't seen anywhere else.
Saks for Men - Tom Ford, Clive Cristian and Bond Street. Small selection.
Chanel Boutique with the exclusives.
Diptyque with really helpful team.
Gumps - Floris, Penhaligons and Histoires de Perfum. Sniffing 1740 on my right wrist as I type.
...and sniffing Tiffany for men from Tiffany's on my left wrist.
Nordstrom, more Jo Malone and a big designer range.

A whole bunch of designer stores, plus 50% off at Ed Hardy! :D

Really good for frags. No Serge Lutens still but I will look again tomorrow and try to score some more samples. :coolold:
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New member
Dec 18, 2007
I'm going to San Francisco next month and I neeeeed to know: Neiman Marcus stil carries Guerlain exclusives?

And I saw the city has Prada stores; do they sell the exclusive line? I want so badly No. 11!!


New member
Nov 25, 2011
I will be going to SF in July and am looking for Oliver Durbano Black Tourmaline. Anyone knows where I can find this?

If anyone from here wants to sniffing in SF somewhere in the middle of July, give me a line. I am a tourist though, do not know my way around the city ..
Mar 15, 2012

Sheesh, this is a very dilatory response, but yes, Neiman Marcus does stock the entire Guerlain collection, including the exclusives. They, however, don't carry the Desert d'orient collection.

- - - Updated - - -

Also, Bloomingdales at Westfield Centre now carry the entire Tom Ford Private Blend collection. They, however, don't provide samples even after repeated requests. They just say they don't have any, and even refuse to make some. Fine then, I'll take my business to the Tom Ford counter at Neimans or to Saks who're more than happy to furnish me with generous samples.

Also, Serge Lutens is only available at Barneys. Neimans doesn't carry it anymore. Barneys, on the other hand, doesn't carry By Kilian anymore. Byredo is exclusively sold at Barneys.

Personally, I find the staff at Barneys, Saks and Nordstrom to be the friendliest. Especially at Barneys. I've been there three times, and on two of those occasions I've ended up buying FB's, but regardless of whether I buy or not, the staff are excellent. The SA's at Saks have been pretty amazing as well. The SA's at Neiman Marcus, on the other hand, tend to be either out of their depth or too busy. Or they're just stood there and answer you in monosyllables. I'd rather head to Barneys or Saks or Nordstrom than cop attitude from a NM SA.

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