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Krak des Chevaliers

Toronto

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A mostly refreshing three-day trip to Toronto. Much browsing of fragrances but little buying. Began with drop-ins at the discount perfume huts along Yonge Street; not a lot of surprises and not even what I would call a lot of discounts. My daughter, who made this run with me, was mildly interested, although she's abandoned her plan to save up for Alien and now has her sights set on Copper Sky, which is certainly not to be found in such venues.

Day 2 is mid-level department stores (Sears and The Bay). It always surprises me how Sears in Canada is rather upmarket--Lord & Taylor level at least--when back home it's barely a notch above the Bon Ton. Fragrance staff ranged from appallingly ditzy (Armani) to pleasantly knowledgable and reserved (Guerlain). What a joy to see things like Jicky and Mitsouko among the testers, since in our dismal little city we're lucky to see Shalimar. At The Bay we find a 50ml Guerlain Vetiver for $56.00 CDN--could do better on price on the www, no doubt, but this is reasonable and a nice souvenir. Vetiver also cuts my thirst for overpriced Tom Ford bludgeoners in this direction, and I think in the long run I may come to prefer the Guerlain's delicacy and wider vocabulary. My wife likes it for herself as well, so it's an all-around win.

After museums, Day 3 brings us to Holt Renfrew, a veritable playground of scent where I could have spent hours. Diorella is theirs exclusively in Canada, and I've never smelled it before--wow. Feral, almost obscene. So many fabulous counters and bottles that I would never, ever encounter at home; passionate, funny, and mostly articulate staff. The big winner here is Acqua di Parma Colonia Essenza, by which I am devastated, haunted.

On the train home I find that The Bay have included two vials of Maison Martin Margiela (untitled) l'eau with my purchase. I find mixed reviews of the stuff here, but I think I'll give it a run today.
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  1. anomie et ivoire's Avatar
    Couples sharing Vetiver: such sweet romance. Sounds like a great trip!

    Holt Renfrew is a nice surprise. Always such artistic selections in clothing and beauty in the bigger city HRs. So about the Diorella, does that mean the reformulated version is still worth a darn? If so, I'm going for it! Had been holding out for a vintage or decant of such.
  2. Hojji77's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by anomie et ivoire
    Couples sharing Vetiver: such sweet romance. Sounds like a great trip!

    Holt Renfrew is a nice surprise. Always such artistic selections in clothing and beauty in the bigger city HRs. So about the Diorella, does that mean the reformulated version is still worth a darn? If so, I'm going for it! Had been holding out for a vintage or decant of such.
    I can't vouch for the comparative quality of the current Diorella, never having smelled any of the old ones. It's been a few weeks since my encounter with it, but my mental notes on it were roughly:

    a) It's BIG. Hits like Norell or one of the other Rusty-Nails-and-Tareytons era powerfemmes, but with more finesse. I don't remember the notes. Flowers, in general. It must have been colossal in the nitro musk era.

    b) After thirty seconds: date-night panties, the morning after date night. Was not about to explain the reason for my visible surprise to my seven-year-old.

    c) It's fabulous. However, it didn't seem like it would line up that well with the other feminines that work on me.

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