Hey Slim, I noticed you purchased this bottle at the Perfume House in Portland. Oregon.
I took a road trip to this "best perfume store in the world" a few weekends ago and had a private audience with Chris, one of the world's recognized "noses" who has studied under the world's finest perfumers in Europe, particularly in Germany and Fance. I had seen this place mentioned in other threads, but they had no hint as to what a magnificent fragrance house this is. The website is ww.theperfumehouse.com which has fabulous pictures that only HINT at the wealth of products inside, as well as a bio of Chris.
He pulled out some extremely rare frags and actually gave me some samps of them. He also pulled out of the vault some pure perfume blends he had personally made for the Saudi royal family, as well as some aristocractic French families. They were incredible, like nothing I have ever smelled before.
I have been meaning to start a thread about this INCREDIBLE store, with its complete Chanel and Caron boutiques, as well as CDC, Lutens, Clive Christian, L'Artisan, Patou, extremely rare fragrances, etc., but I was so blown away by the store's lines and my two-hour conversation with Chris that writing it up seems like an exhaustive project, and one that I'm not even sure I could do justice. I have been in many a perfume store in my day, but this one transcends the words "perfume store."
Walking into the store takes your breath away with its wealth of products. I knew it was different from the start when he sprayed scents on cotton balls instead of the ubiquitus paper strips. He also suggests you refresh your nose by smelling 4711 instead of coffee beans, which we all know has nothing to do with "cleansing your pallet." He will also offer a clean towel to breath deeply in to, which truly DOES clear your olfactory senses.
Did you catch the Fabrage egg, draped in diamonds, presented to him by the French government in appreciation of his promotion of the French perfume industry? It was presented by the French ambassador, complete with limosines, bodyguards, etc...apparently I was sitting in the same chair as the ambassador three years earlier! It is enconsed in a locked glass case, insured for over a million dollars.
I purchased a rare bottle of French Line by Revillon (you can find minis on many ebay stores, but NEVER a whole bottle). I could easily have purchased more rarities, but money was a factor. I have on back order a velvet black box of 1/3 oz each of the Clive Christian fragrances for men--pure perfume for $250.00, an incredible deal, considering they're one whole oz of pure perfume for $250.00, where an ounce of #1 costs well over $600...or was it $800? He talked Clive Christian personally in to offering this product. He has the same deal for CC's women's fragrances.
Like I said, he knew and had worked with all of the great masters (he's in his 70s and a very erudite, wordly gentleman in a tweed jacket and tie who could not have been more gracious to me.) I learned more about perfumery from him than I have in 15 years of acquiring scents. He is truly the "last of the breed" and my visit to him and his store was unquestionably THE highlight of my fragrance hobby. His enthusiam for fragrance bought him alive...he grew animated, excited and exhibited the joy of a 20 yr old when discussing his beloved fragrances. He actually took the time to get to know me and my tastes and offered some scents I had never heard of...and I have 300 bottles of perfume and decants. He introduced me to the house of Rance, who has duplicated the men's and women's scents ordered for Napoleon and Josephine...( Rance is the oldest, continuously producing house in the world, per Chris...) The men's scent, which is called Le Vainqueuer, is in the directory but mistakenly listed as a women's scent), was beyond beautiful, and sold for only a little over $90.00 for a large bottle. It was accompanied by a sheet that detailed the painstaking effort to revive, note for note, the original recipe. When the CC package arrives, (it was on back order as apparently he sells a ton) I'm going back to sample his recommendations as we simply ran out of time...his store closed at 5:00pm and despite a previous commitment, he talked with me long after the store had officially closed.
So, I had to ask...what's the finest women's perfume in the world? He looked a little puzzled, saying something to the effect that "oh, it's well documented," as somewhere an official "list" had been published, no doubt by the French. His immediate answer was Joy. When I asked about the men's, he smiled, walked back to the vault and handed me TWO sample vials of a fragrance called "Prometeus" which he said all types of business tycoons, European royalty, movie and sports sars with taste the world over would give their left nut for a bottle. It's Russian...something about one of the czars...and the vial reads "Kailschewsky GmbH" and other word that appears is "Augsburg." My computer skills leave a little to be desired, but for me, a Google search revealed nothing. I have been too indimidated to even open the vial, much less smell it or wear it. One day. He also touched upon the extremely strict rules of French perfumery in order for a scent to be called a "classic," including that at least on botle had to be released in gold, it had to have so many years of what he called a "perfect" run of bottles, even down to the smallest details of when the raw materials had to be harvested (early in the morning.) He only gave a hint of the incredibly stringent standards and practices of the French perfume industry.
If you are in or near Portland, you are incredibly lucky to have this monument to the world's best scents, and one of the most knowledgable men in the perfume industry, nearby.
Can you share your thoughts with me about this store? I was truly like a kid in a candy shop...and to make the experience even better, his prices were not only fair, but in some cases, cheap! Not once during our conversation did he try to "sell" me anything...I felt like I was talking to a mentor who truly took an interest in me and my tastes and perfume knowledge rather than an owner of a business whose livelihood depended on people purchasing his products. His wife, his son and her wife both work there also.
Again, I am very curious about your experience with this store, and to perhaps recommend it to ANYONE who wants to step foot in the most amazing perfume store in America, if not the world.