Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Perfume Scene In Britain

I realise I'm running the risk of turning this blog into a daily whine, but I'm afraid I still feel like letting off a bit of steam about the scarcity of time. Yesterday, a great deal of this most precious of commodities was spent waiting to speak to a representative of Domestic & General, but the less said about that unpleasant encounter, the better.

I should be able to upload at least one review before the end of the week, and hopefully it'll be on Tauer's Carillon Pour Un Ange. Whilst you're waiting for my take on Andy's fourth release of 2010 (!), perhaps those of you who have some knowledge of the UK would care to take a moment to answer a question, either by leaving a comment or sending an email to persolaise at gmail dot com:

Do you think the perfume scene in Britain has improved over the course of the last few years? In terms of the availability of fragrances and the general public's understanding of scent-related matters, do you think things are better now than they were, say, five or six years ago?

In case you're wondering, the reason why I'm asking is because I'd like your help with crystallising my own views on the subject, in the hope of turning them into a future blog post.

Thanks very much,



  1. Hello hello,

    I've always lived in London and have been to the many shops and stores such as Selfridges and Harrods. But its only recently that I've been going into the perfume halls.

    Before this, perfume has always been boots. Something necessary but quite commonplace, like hair spray.

    If you know where to find it, theres lots to find. I have over 600 perfume samples, all for free. But I wouldent have known what to look for if it wasnt for the internet and blogs.

    So in London and the UK, its really important that there are stores like Roja Dove where you can pick up, sniff and squeeze these bottles, but for me its really the internet combined with the perfume stores that makes it now accessible.

    Even though I'm familiar with Victoria, I would 'never' have gone into Les Scenteurs if it wasnt for sites like basenotes or even have noticed the Harrods perfume exhibition, or even known the difference between D&G's anthology and Chanel's Les Exclusifs range, the bottles are so similar.

    For me I think everything of quality is readily available except for many American niche and artisanal lines, european perfumes that fall between niche and commercial (like high class department store perfumes).

    I don't have the perspective of the past, but it would be nice if they had a store exclusively recreating perfumes re-formulated. E.g. The original Guerlains etc. That would really be exotic. Most 'exclusives' you can just buy on ebay at reduced prices. Even when I buy 'vintage' perfumes online I always am unsure about their authenticity.

  2. Jason, thanks very much indeed for leaving such a detailed comment; I appreciate it.

    I think there's a lot in what you say about the effects of the Net. I've been thinking along similar lines myself.

    The idea of a shop full of recreations of old scents sounds brilliant, but I can't see it happening any time soon. And as for vintage scents, yes, I know what you mean, but that's the perennial problem of sites like eBay, isn't it? After a while, I guess you develop a sort of feel for which sellers are authentic, but even though, you don't always feel 100% convinced that you've purchased the genuine article.

  3. Sadly I envy the U.s still. I don't drive and find it very expensive to get a train to London. I do wish all that was available in Roja Dove ,Selfridges etc was also online ( it isn't). Les Senteurs are great and stocking new houses this year . I wanted Chanel 22 after ordering a rather expensive decant from the U.S it's onlyyou're help on 1000 Fragrances that helped me.I had to choose one and after buying the 250ml I find the staying power rather bad so had I been able to try it in my home town I'd have bought the pure perfume. So I think we have a long way to go but the internet does help. angie,with thanks.

  4. Angela, it's interesting that you've also singled out the Internet as an important factor (see Jason's comment). All of this is giving me a great deal of food for thought.


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