Seattle Sniff Spree Part 1: Barneys (Frederic Malle, Byredo, Arquiste, L’Artisan)

Dear Scent Diary,

A semi-planned, semi-spur-of-the-moment trip to Seattle materialized this past weekend and not only provided the opportunity for some perfume scouting and recreational sniffing, but also to meet a fellow perfumista. Live. In the flesh. With the ability to speak to one another, not through comments on a blog, but in real time over a table, and eventually over a Frederic Malle counter. (Those lucky enough to have friends who aren’t bewildered by your perfume hobby might not understand how exciting this was.)

DSC03408Dasi and I met at the entrance to Barneys (natch). After an enjoyable exchange of non-perfume related info (she’s as interesting and intelligent as I’d imagined) we descended upon the fragrance department where Dasi is a regular visitor (natch again).

Seattle’s Barneys is a small, intimate store with a very well-curated selection of, well, everything they sell. If you’re interested in drooling over shoes or handbags, they have the ones to do it over (read Celine ‘it’ bags and Isabel Marant shoes). Their fragrance section is the equivalent. I don’t know if there’s such a thing as an ‘it’ fragrance, but the ones they do carry are very much coveted.

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Frederic Malle

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Arquiste

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Byredo

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L’Artisan Parfumeur, Serge Lutens

I’ve been itching to try some of the fragrances in the Arquiste line and finally got a chance to take a sniff. I tried Anima Dulcis on skin (but was not as impressed as I wanted to be). None of them particularly grabbed me to be honest – more testing is required.

Dasi has ruined Seville a L’Aube for me. If you have it, go take a whiff. Now smell it again and see if you smell tortillas. Yep. Same thing happened to me. Sorry. You can blame Dasi.

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A Frederic Malle scent chamber.

I came dangerously close to buying Frederic Malle’s En Passant on first sniff. Gorgeous ethereal, watery lilac that is very soft up close and has a beautiful billowy, feminine sillage. Managed to stay coy for now. It’s only a matter of time, however.

On this day, it was the Byredo line that seemed to get the better of both of us. We tested each of them and spent all too much time trying to figure out the vegetal note that seems to dominate Pulp (it’s green pepper). But it was Gypsy Water that stole Dasi’s heart and Bal D’Afrique is the one that followed me home (biased review to come).

Kudos to the Barneys staff who knew just when to help and when to leave us to our happy huffing.

All in all, it was a perfumista’s dream date.

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6 responses to “Seattle Sniff Spree Part 1: Barneys (Frederic Malle, Byredo, Arquiste, L’Artisan)

  1. First of all, congratulations on your new bottle! I liked it when I tried it once but haven’t revisited it. I should.

    Barney’s perfume department in Seattle seemed much smaller than the one in San Francisco or Las Vegas… and then I went to Barney’s New York. The one. Wow. But even the one in Seattle is better than most other perfume shopping places. And especially when you go there with a perfumsta friend.

    • Thank you Undina! I am in the honeymoon period but I am loving it. No regrets.
      I was surprised at how small the store was when I first walked in, but what they have is what you want if you know what I mean 🙂

  2. Wonderful pictures! 🙂 Congrats on your new purchase

  3. Das

    Lorraine, I had so much fun!!! We sound like a couple of addicts, huh? Just a little bit? That’s ok with me. 😀

    Thank you for the compliment. I feel the same way. 🙂 So glad we could get together in person.

    As for the tortilla note, um, don’t be mad at me, world! It’s just what I smell! Tortillas are delicious!

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