How often do I visit the fragrance counter? OK, I will admit it: two to three times a week, and when I do visit a fragrance counter, I often visit more than one.
My favorite haunts: In San Francisco, we have a great Neiman's. with a Guerlain boutique in it that sells most of what you can usually only find in the flagship store. I didn't have a Neiman's card a year ago, but I got tired of paying cash. (They take only cash or their own card and AmEx, a very tiresome policy of theirs.)
Nordstrom is also a good bet, although they don't have as many exclusives as Neiman's. Saks Fifth Avenue also has a Union Square store here, and they carry some things as exclusives, such as Bond No. 9 (fortunately, not one of my favorites).
Chanel and Diptyque both have San Francisco shops, so I go there from time to time. Hermès, Montblanc, and Emporio Armani have them too, though Hermès is the only one of those I go to much. Still, I got two of the newish Exclusifs de Chanel recently, for example, and renewed my bottle of Diptyque's Opôné not long ago.
Finally, there are three small boutiques in San Francisco that often have stuff that's hard to find elsewhere. One is Jacqueline, run by an old French couple, also just off Union Square. They have lots of French, Italian, Spanish, and German stuff that isn't sold in department stores. The other two are run by a small company that is based mostly in California. The older one is in the Stonestown shopping center, called Perfume Gallery; the newer one is in the Westfield Center near Market and Fifth, next door to the Nordstrom downtown store, called Fragranza. They have a lot of interesting stuff, and can sometimes lay hold of pretty unusual things. I got the original version of Cartier Must EdT (the women's version) there, for instance. This outfit also has stores in LA and San José, and is soon to open one in Sacramento. I hope this will help our state legislators and Arnold the Governator stink a little less than they do right now!
So, you see, I have plenty to keep me busy, and a credit card balance to keep me going to work as often as I must.
Also, you have an itinerary for your next fragrance shopping tour of San Francisco.
I wish I didn't spend so much money on juice, but I very rarely regret a purchase. Alas, they are all too frequent!