It's time to prepare Persolaise.com for its winter slumber. Friday will see the publication of the second instalment of my 'catch-up' reviews, and on the 28th I'll reveal my list of the best scents of 2012. But apart from those two posts, things are going to be fairly quiet here as I'll be turning my attention to family, turkeys and marzipan... not necessarily in that order. Having said that, I probably won't be able to resist popping back on the 24th to wish you all the very best for the festive season, so let's not say goodbye to each other just yet.
For the last few weeks, as the world of retail has grown increasingly frenetic in its attempts to persuade people to part with their cash, I must say I've thoroughly enjoyed wandering around London's perfumeries. There have been wonderful displays to admire, interesting conversations to share with sales assistants, and several one-offs and special editions at which to gawp.
As you'd expect, Selfridges and Harrods tend to be the best places to go to if you're after something that's as pricey as it is unusual. This year, the former has exclusive stock of a Swarovski-encrusted edition of Piguet's Visa extrait (£700). I'm not partial to such tawdry excesses (unless they're seriously vulgar!) but I expect a few grateful people will find this glittery baby beneath their Christmas trees next week.
Infinitely classier is Harrods' exclusive 180 ml bottle of Acqua Di Parma's Colonia. Only 40 have been made for the whole world, so if you have £300 lying around and you know someone who'd like to bathe in citrus heaven, then this may well be the ideal present.
As you're mooching around the Black Hall, chuckling at the thought of the big brands squabbling over who gets to occupy the central promo space (last week: bearded Brad with No 5; previous week: Dior's Collection Privée) make sure you pause at the Cartier counter. The last time I was there, they had a stunning limited edition presentation of L'Heure Mystérieuse which contained a refillable, 75 ml bottle of the scent as well as a 500 ml version and even... get this... an elegant glass funnel. Decanters' bliss! Its price? £600! A hefty sum, no doubt, but undeniably good value when you consider that the normal 75 ml flacon now retails at over £200.
And finally, fans of Guerlain's current edp of La Petite Robe Noire need to make their way to Selfridges without delay. Why? Because the shop sells a staggeringly decadent 1.5 litre edition of the scent, that's why! See below for a picture... but don't ask how much it costs... unless £2,650 is peanuts in your world...
PS As we're on the subject of ideal Christmas gifts... ahem... please check out this write-up of my book on Beauty Bible.
PPS In an entirely different vein, please click here for Bois De Jamin's level-headed post about proposed regulations which could have a massive impact on the perfume industry next year.