This weekend brought a wholly unexpected and very welcome surprise. I was trying to find some information on a company about which all I could remember was that its name is a play on the word 'scent'. I consulted the Oracle of Goog, typed 'scentsations', and immediately discovered that my memory had failed me: the company was called something else. However, as luck would have it, the top item in the search list turned out to be a niche perfumery store that's a mere 20 miles from where I live. What's more, it's been around since 1989! Needless to say, I made my way to it as soon as I could.
London-based readers of this blog may not understand my excitement at making this find, but the fact of the matter is that until now, I was under the impression that there was not one shop near me which stocks brands such as Serge Lutens, Amouage or Annick Goutal. The local John Lewis has a small (and dwindling) selection of L'Artisan Parfumeur, but that's about it, as far as non-mainstream perfume houses go. Thank goodness that I've been proved wrong.
Scentsations is one of a small cluster of independent shops on Southampton's Bedford Place, a road with which, I confess, I was entirely unfamiliar. Its wares are divided Sephora-style - feminines on the left, masculines on the right - and although it's a shame that you can't reach behind the counters and pick up the testers yourself, the member of staff who served me couldn't have been more accommodating. What's most important is that the shelves hold bottles which you'll never find at your local Boots or Debenhams. In addition to the aforementioned three, there's also a selection from Jean-Charles Brosseau, Acqua Di Parma and Lalique, as well as a few other worthy names; have a look at their website for the full list.
So the moral of the story is: you never know what treasures are hidden right under your nose.
Please keep checking Persolaise.com over the course of the next few weeks for news about an exciting draw with a very special prize!