Alrightie, so I went shopping in Yorkville today and Yorkdale yesterday and he's my experience to share:
The Yorkdale branch is more limited and less busy, but considering more "average" people come in the store the SA's seem much nicer. One of them infact was quite knowledgeable surprisingly. The Yorkville branch is still the same, they're not mean per se, but not that interested, though my girlfriend claimed a lady who works there dressed up in a flight attendants uniform was following us(?), made no sense to me, but when she pointed it out and I made eye contact with the lady she stopped where she was and smiled, and started greeting people. I have no idea what to read into that experience, note we were dressed up semi-casual; not dressed up for a job interview nor dressed up to go to mcdonlands at 2am. if someone can help me with what that meant or if my girlfriend is imagining stuff please let me know. We also go there quite often, and we usually buy things, though yet to buy a perfume from there. Too expensive and doubt I'll get free samples.
They carry Bond no9, Kilian, Tom Ford, Creed, Acqua di Parma, some designer brands private collections, not so bad, but the prices are a little too high, especially since none of these niche brands are hard to find.
The SA's are ok, nearly absolutely have no knowledge in what they're selling. No Niche brands (except for a single serge lutens) and only new/top sellers from designer brands. Though there are good deals or limited editions every now and then at better prices than Holt Renfrew
Nicer SA's, usually get samples and such, but again nothing interested, everything there you could smell at a hundred other place or find at ebay for half the price.
This was a pain to find, and what a horrible find. The store looked as if nobody had stepped in it in weeks, and the moment we entered the, ummm, SA who's dressed in, well, hard to describe but a little gay (though he wasn't as nice as most gay people I know) gave us a look from head to toe. And with very little interest came to assist us a 2 minutes later. I usually help myself if SA's don't bother, but he had his perfumes stacked on a little table and didn't look so nice. They have many Niche brands (L'Artisan, MPG, Frapin, Parfum d'Empire, among many others I didn't know) but very few bottles from each brands.
I was specifically looking for Ambre Precieux and Santal Noble, but no, he even didn't spray any of the MPGs when I asked them if I could smell the rest, but instead made me smell the cap. And of course he'd correct my incorrect french pronunciation in a somewhat insulting tone, I'm very aware I can't speak French, can you speak Arabic? thank you.
I quickly lost interest in the limited collection they carried, and was sick of his seemingly bad manners, but my girlfriend said don't worry it's how the French(or affected by the french culture) usually treat people. Surprisingly when I wanted to leave, he got a lot nicer and start spraying fragrances I'm not even interested in on paper, what? why? is it because I wanted to leave or because I showed knowledge in perfumes? or is he just a person I'm not supposed to understand?
Horrible guy works there, limited line, and their prices from what I've seen online are much more expensive than other places. Don't recommend at all.
My favorite place so far, the lady and gentleman who work there are very nice and knowledgeable. The lady even almost told me not to buy a perfume before I take a sample and go try it at home, but I knew I wanted it. My 3rd visit was just as good as the first, the only store which seems to offer free samples without you buying anything as long as you show interest and knowledge.
Biggest surprise of the day. After the experience at Holt Renfrew and PIR cosmetics, my shy girlfriends didn't want to enter another high end brand if we're not going to buy anything. But realizing it's not really a high end store, at least they sell brands at discounted prices it seems, we went in. And I was greeted by AMOUAGE!, they also carried Serge Lutens, bond no9 and few other niche brands and designer brands. Very few things, and most of the Serge Lutens were sold out. The lovely lady working there was very very nice, sadly not knowledgeable but to her defense she worked in the Chanel section, not the Niche section. But regardless, I ended up grabbing two serge lutens bottles (everything seems to be sold out but they have a few for $110 which is a great price). Introduced my girlfriend to Amouage, but they run for $370/100ml there, so I'm not going to purchase them from there. And as I said, the lady was lovely and gave me many serge lutens samples without me even asking, though that's probably because I made a purchase. Great place, sadly Amouage is too expensive there, Serge Lutens is limited and not getting restocked any time soon according to her. Seems to be another dying perfume store here.
Thanks for reading if you bothered to, and sorry for typos, I couldn't wait to write this. Honestly Toronto seems to be one of the least interesting cities when it comes to perfumes. The small stores seem to be dying, the major ones are cutting on all the Niche brands and sticking to best sellers. The only two places with any life are Noor's Boutique and Holt Renfrew when it comes to perfumes. This makes me really sad since I either have to dish out a lot of money to get samples online or wait every summer to go to the middle east
Oh, and is Mirella Parfums & Cosmetics closed? this seems like an interesting place that could give me some hope in the city, but I couldn't find it in Manulife.