The Monday Mail ~ help Susan find a perfume in New York

Susan lives in Ireland, but she's going to New York next month, and she's hoping to try some new fragrances she can't find locally. Ideally, while she's there she'll find a perfect scent — an every day fragrance, something sophisticated but youthful, not brash or loud, and that will work through spring and summer — for under $100. Here is what we know about Susan:

She's in her early 20s, and loves traveling and the arts.

She trained as a ballet dancer and currently works in theater.

She loves to socialize and party.

Susan typically wears a perfume oil she bought in Egypt: she says it's very similar to Coco Chanel.  Last spring & summer, she wore Paul Smith Rose ("well done but not exciting"), and she also used to wear Acqua di Parma Colonia. Susan likes "something a little bit spiced, nothing overly sweet", and she enjoys notes of jasmine and/or rose. She is open to a darker, warmer fragrance.

Susan is not sure which notes she dislikes, but she does not like Kenzo Flower — "too chalky or heady or something".

Perfumes Susan has tried include Roger & Gallet Thé Vert ("nice but a bit too citrusy") and Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue ("too many people wearing it").

What say you?

Note: image is Postbox [cropped] by rebel rebel at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. kristinacologne says:

    First thing that comes to my mind is Paestum Rose by Eau d’Italie. A gorgeous dark rose with spices, wood and a touch of incense. For me, the perfect combination between warm and cold, transparent yet substantial. A unique perfume, definitely suited for all seasons. It should be avaible in most stores that carry niche scents. In Europe it retails for 85 Euros.

    • susanstar says:

      sounds really beautiful..thanks!

    • scentsappeal says:

      Dark rose, spices and incense? SWOONING while a lemming is born LOL. Does this compare at all to Amouage Lyric?

      • kristinacologne says:

        I haven’t had the chance to smell “Lyric” but given the reviews I would say no. Paestum Rose is a really transparent fragrance, not heavy at all (however, the staying power is terrific and the sillage is also very good). Would also be great on a man.

        • scentsappeal says:

          This sounds very promising as a spring/summer fragrance.

    • mjr17 says:

      Paestum Rose was exactly what came to my mind, too! :)

    • TallulahRose says:

      First thing that came to my mind too… over course, it is my signature fragrance, and I am addicted to it…

      • TallulahRose says:

        I read that Takashimaya was clearing out the whole Eau d’Italie line, and maybe they have some Paestum Rose left on deep discount… Mind you, since they are closing the store, maybe Takashimaya is a good place to check for fragrance bargains while in New York….

  2. saran says:

    I think you should stop by Aedes

    Aedes De Venustas
    9 Christopher Street
    New York, NY 10014

    I think you would like Carthusia Via Camerelle or perhaps if you like something fresh and feminie I would try L Artisan La Chasse aux Papillons.
    Have a great trip!

    • ScentRed says:

      I agree with Saran, Aedes would be a great stop.

      And while you’re there could also try Etro Shaal Nur and Santa Maria Novella Eva.

      Happy Shopping!

    • Yes, just go to the boys at Aedes and say, “Hello, I came all the way from Ireland to visit your beautiful shop, and I want to go home with a perfect perfume. Here’s what I like/don’t like, do you have any suggestions?” They’ll ply you with things, let you spray to your hearts content, and send you home with plenty of samples.

      And you’ll get to meet the dogs and see the stuffed peacocks.

      Love them!

  3. Julia says:

    Hmm, I am trying to think of an American perfume for you to try and the one that jumps to mind is Sonoma Scent Studio, but I don’t think you can find them in a retail outlet. I could be wrong, but I think they are only available online. Femme Jolie is lovely, as are all of her perfumes. DSH fragrances are made in Boulder, CO but again I’m not sure they have any retail outlets.
    You should also visit the CB I Hate Perfumes store in Brooklyn:
    93 Wythe Avenue
    Brooklyn NY 11211

  4. elise says:

    How about Penhaligon’s Amaranthine for a spiced scent? (or Keiko M.’s Genie de Bois…very spicy!)

    I’ll 2nd Carthusia’s..I like them! and if you find you like them too, stop by Taka (the store that is closing) because the Eau D’Italie line is 50% off! I like Carthusia and Eau D’Italie and find them similar…


    • Daisy says:

      Of course you NEED to stop by Aedes de Venustas… NEEEED to . Try Diptyque Philosykos because it’s amazing. But I second Amarantine…it’s a beautifyl fragrance!

    • romaayden says:

      Elise, Could you give me the address or any further info on TAKA need to stock up on Eau D’Italie perfumes and at 50% great find Thanks so much

      • elise says:

        I put the addy below…it is the NY store…not avail online as far as I can tell!

  5. Nina says:

    She might want to try Anne Pliska, which I think is carried by one of the US department stores? Susan, it’s an orange-vanilla-amber, very reasonably priced.

  6. Daisy says:

    this isn’t a great “summer” pick—but have you ever tried Jean Patou Joy ? in the Edt sounds like it might be a good fragrance for you.

    • susanstar says:

      both sound interesting..would jean patou be available in dept stores in the US?

      • Daisy says:

        Yes, but you can easily pick up a 2.5oz tester of Joy edt on ebay for under $50. Seems a lady I bought one from has another for sale right now. I get many compliments on Joy , but I only wear the Edt and the extrait — for some reason my skin picks up the indoles in the EdP….and I run away from indoles. (ick!)

  7. susanstar says:

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Aedes looks like the most amazing shop, I will definitley be visiting. I lived in Italy last year so the stories behind Carthusia really appeal to me now and I visited the farmacia santa maria de novella in florence.. could have some really evocative fragrances for me!

    Where is taka? will it be open for much longer? have not ever smelt any of the eau d’italie line.. no specialist fragrance stores here!

    thanks everyone making note of all these!

    • elise says:

      I think this is right…anyone?
      Takashimaya, 693 Fifth Avenue

      • romaayden says:

        Here is the address off the website
        Takashimaya New York, at 693 Fifth Avenue, will be closing its doors in June 2010. The store will operate under normal hours until that date. Online shopping will close on April 2, 2010, at 5pm EST. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our customers for their loyal patronage and support over the years.

        • susanstar says:

          fantastic, i go april 12th so will check in with them..might have something discounted!

  8. Karin says:

    Hi Susan! Hope you have a wonderful time in NYC. If you’re looking for a souvenir fragrance, what about dropping in at Bond No. 9 and trying their scents?

    • Karin says:

      Ooops! Just read your “under $100” requirement. Bond doesn’t really fit that bill. They do have 7ml purse sprays of some of their fragrances for $45 (“bon-bons”) or $85 (nice gold case with “leatherette pouch – expensive!). 7ml is hardly enough for a signature scent purchase!

      • Rictor07 says:

        they have Bond No 9 bottles and testers on for 50-60% of regular dept store prices.

    • Daisy says:

      unfortunately it seems that all the best stuff is outrageously priced….which is why splitting is so wonderful.

  9. sunshine808 says:

    Have you tried any of the Valentino Rock n’ Rose fragrances? I got samples of three of them, and the one that stood out to me as “springtime in a bottle” was Pret a Porter.

  10. maggiecat says:

    Susan – have a wonderful trip! I’ve not been to NY myself, but it’s on my list – right along with Paris – and Ireland! I shop Aedes online and second (third? fourth?) the recommendations. Safe travels!

  11. HemlockSillage says:

    I immediately thought of Costes (the original) and Costes 2. Both are lovely and sheer, but unusual. The original Costes has lavender, rose and incense, but in the classic Giacobetti transparent style. Certainly worth a sniff.

    I’d also recommend Paestrum Rose, as others noted. It is lovely. . .as is the Amouage Lyric, but that one would blow your price range. My vibe is that it may be too heavy and dark for your personal style. I love Lyric, but it is dense, jammy rose, with heavy powdery incense, and a single spritz is lots of fragrance!

    Have a wonderful time in NYC. Hope you have a great visit, and happy perfume hunting!

    • abirae says:

      Oooh! I like Costes as well, and the CdG Guerrilla scents which remind me of Costes. I’m pretty sure Aedes has Costes, and Bigelow Chemists is nearby, and they had Costes as well some unusual treats which I didn’t see at Aedes like the Mistral and Antonia’s Flower’s scents.

      • maggiecat says:

        Aedes does indeed carry both Costes scents, and I LOVE Costes 2 for everyday (Costes the original is wonderful as well, but a little heavy for summer, I think). Good call!

  12. abirae says:

    What about Sublime Balkis by The Different Company. I fell in love with the fizzy spicy rose beast at Aedes, and I think the travel size clocks in under $100.

    They also have Amouage Lyric. You can try it out and if you like it I’m sure there are folks who would be up for a split.

    • Dixie says:

      I second Sublime Balkiss. I love the grapefruit and patchouli-so seamlessly blended.

  13. Gilty says:

    Does Bendel’s still have the Etat Libre d’Orange line? Anyone know what else they carry these days? The ELdOs are around $70, which is well priced for niche… Bendel’s is across the street and one block north of Takashimaya.

    Also, maybe Ineke’s Field Notes from Paris…?

  14. TallulahRose says:

    Definitely check out Ineke! An American perfumer at least… Field Notes from Paris and Evening Edged in Gold…

    Also, while in New York, why not make the trek to Christopher Brosius’ perfume Gallery in Brooklyn? Definitely an experience. Plus, it is the only place you can sample Cradle of Light. He has AMAZING perfumes, and also sells index scent, allowing you to mix your own. (if you book far enough in advance, you can even hire him to make you your own personal fragrance).

    And from the DSH website, it claims that her perfumes are sold at Bu and the Duck (which makes no sense to me since it is a very lovely children’s store…, but hey…). She has some gorgeous scents, and a HUGE line…

    These are just suggestions for fragrances you definitely can’t find in Ireland!

    • abirae says:

      Oooh! I love the Inekes too! They are available at Takashimaya. Takashimaya also has some Neil Morris fragrances, and one of my favorrite citrus colognes Hierbas de Ibiza.

  15. Blimunda says:

    Youthful, day wear, sophisticated……..the L’Artisan range is a must try. I recommend:

    Passage D’enfer (bright, floral incense. Divine.)
    Mechant Loup (A bit darker and more woodsy, but very alluring)
    Bois Farine (Almost peanut-like, woodsy, very day wearable.)

    Also, Aedes sell Escentric Molecule Oil 01 and 02. I recommend testing both. They are very cool, modern scents and would be perfect for summer.

    Le Labo is on Elizabeth Street in the east village – well worth a visit, they have some great florals. (And have breakfast at the brazilian cafe on the corner!!!)

    I also recommend Ouarzazate, from the Incense Series from Comme des Garcons. It is a great summery incense scent, and very reasonably priced.

    • Calypso says:

      At L’Artisan, you should also try Safran Troublant, which combines rose and saffron. Unusual and beautiful. I think they come in two sizes with the smaller size being just within your price range.

    • It is well worth a trip to the Comme des Garcons boutique just to walk through their crazy front door! And in spite of the uber-hipness of the whole place, I’ve always found the SA’s to be very sweet. If you don’t make it, though, most of the perfumes are available at Barney’s.

  16. susanstar says:

    honestly – you are all amazing! these recommendations are fantastic, im so excited now. Literally have never been able to find almost all the fragrances u mention.
    Im making vast lists, I’m going for my 21st so might have a few extra dollars to line my pockets. I’ll let you all know what I decide on.
    Had heard of Le Labo, sounds like anice store as well. Think I might be in Brooklyn one day too…
    really appreciate everyones help. They all sound beautiful x

    • Christopher Brosius’ Brooklyn boutique is in Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn. It’s a super easy jump from Manhattan–just two stops from the 14th St. station–so don’t get worried about leaving the island!

  17. justaguy says:

    Incense Rosé by Tauer Perfumes seems like an apt choice.
    While it is strong, it is also rich and deep and dark, and as you wear it, it grows slightly more and more spicy.

    • Dixie says:

      Great recommendation! The bottle would last a lifetime! A great one to split!

    • susanstar says:

      anything with incense appeals to me, all that time spent in catholic school! sounds beautiful.. hope to be able to smell it at aedes or a dept store. thanks :)

  18. Santemon says:

    Susan, I would also check out the Francis Kurkdjian line which is now available in the US (Bergdorf I think?). APOM pour Femme (orange flower, cedar, ylang ylang) and Cologne pour le Matin could be great spring/summer everyday scents for you and if Lumiere Noire pour Femme (spiced rose, patchouli, narcissus) is anything like the pour Homme version (which I love) it could be THE special perfume. I absolutely loved the Cologne pour le Soir as well.

  19. lilydale aka Natalie says:

    I feel like a broken record since I’ve recommended this so many times, but Comme des Garcons 2 Woman is definitely worth at least a sniff. It’s available at Barneys, which tends to have really snooty salespeople, but they do have a lot of great stuff if you can stomach the attitude.

    Aedes is hands-down the nicest perfume shopping experience in NYC, although the salespeople in Bergdorfs can be surprisingly gracious too (Takashimaya, Bergdorfs, Bendels, and Saks are all within about 8 blocks of each other on Fifth Avenue, and Barneys is close by). Have a fabulous time!

  20. SmokeyToes says:

    I third the recs for Eau d’Italie’s Paestum Rose or Amouage’s Lyric…..

    NYC has tons of great perfume stores-you’re going to be very busy! I don’t know if LAFCO NY has a brick and mortar store-but they carry many lovely lines, and candles too! Info is below….
    285 Lafayette Street (212) 925-0001

    And, by the way, get a slice of NY pizza-it rocks! Have lots of fun :)

    • susanstar says:

      haha yum… i intend to (smell) and eat my way around the city!
      these perfumes seem to be getting good reviews from you all, im excited to try them!

  21. TallulahRose says:

    Susan — yes, Le Labo — was reading an article a couple of weeks ago on how only the chicest perfumistas in London are on to it, how exclusive it is, etc., so definitely check them out…

    • susanstar says:

      well, im obviously a very chic perfumista of er… Belfast! so i will definitley check them out! i love their concept, lets see if i love the smells!

  22. helenviolette says:

    Hi there! I would like you to try the gorgeous Tiempe Passat.

  23. marisol says:

    Have you think of “Juliette has a gun” roses…??Marrocan rose with musk and fruits…go for Miss Charmig! Do you prefer the Bulgarian one with vanilla and patchouli? go for Lady vengeance….Always enjoy THE ROSE!

  24. Susan,

    I am a rose and jasmine lover, so I’ll share what I wear as far as my favourites. I had the same reaction to Light Blue and Kenzo Flower, so I suspect we have a similar skin type. (And did I mention that in my youth I practiced in ballet until I was 15? Oh, how I wish I had continued.) Many of these I got originally from a large trip to Nordstrom when I didn’t know what notes really worked for me or what I liked so I wanted to try anything that didn’t make my eyes water. It’s probably worth the visit to a Nordstrom for some decants, samples and spraying-and-sniffing.

    – Vera Wang’s Vera – orange blossom opening, but the dry down on me is amazing, very rosy and sensual. Worth a try, for sure.
    – Salvatore Ferragamo’s F For Fascinating (be sure not to confuse with F by Ferragamo, because I made that mistake on a re-order and they are NOT the same! LOL) – “orange sherbet” opening (which is just *okay* in my taste, but I bear it because it doesn’t tend to last long on me) and a burst of jasmine that is fresh, sweet, and dewy — one of my Springtime favourites, for sure
    – Kenneth Cole by Kenneth Cole for Women – this falls squarely into the “oriental” category. I’m having a hard time finding a list of notes, but almost every website agrees it has some mix of “spice, floral, and a twist of citrus,” which is not what I smell when I wear it. On me it smells very floral, sophisticated, and sexy without being green.

    Sorry if these seem a like unusual picks, but I say the quest for the right perfume(s) is a labour of love, one sometimes requiring the heavy use of deodorant on your wrists whence you come across a “scrubber”. Best of luck in your search!

    • susanstar says:

      no, not at all strange – they’re being added to my list! and hey, don’t regret giving up ballet, post 15 its all blood and torture! in a beautiful tortured artistic way of course! very much looking forward to my perfume quest, yes! thanks for your suggestions

  25. eckerd says:

    How about some Prada Infusion De Vetiver? A wonderfully fragrant experience!

  26. SMN Eva. It’s spicy, a little woodsy, yet very stylish and chic. It’s also $84, so it would fit your budget.

    • susanstar says:

      i think i would love a little bit woodsy! Thank you

  27. susanstar says:

    thank you to everyone so much. I’ll let you know what I pick up, im so excited now – my nose will be in for a treat..thanks again x

    • Lollipop says:

      So Susan, what did you pick?! Do you have your signature scent and how was your trip? Longing to know…BTW I love ballet and roses. I started dancing again after a loooong break, my body is not the same but I absolutely love my lesson and slowly slowly I am getting better. Need to buy some pointe shoes now. I have a summer signature scent, Vetiva Tonka from Hermes… very interesting yet amazingly light and simple. Genius! Pricey though…

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