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  1. #1

    Default My nose is visiting Birmingham :)

    Well, Birmingham's allways been a city that's been there. People go past it, people go through it, but how many people actually come to Birmingham? Unfortunately, few. I live in Birmingham, and although it's not got the glamorous image, its fantastic!

    I'm going to write up a virtual tour for all you basenoters, so when you come to Birmingham (which you betterr!) you know exactly where to go

    We begin at the heart of Birmingham. The Bull Ring. Birmingham's biggest shopping centre, home to Selfridges, Debenhams and various other stores. We begin at Debenhams, third floor, beauty. Debenhams is the designer (and more exclusive designer) fragrance connoisseurs dream. Here you'll find many specialised counters, with a couple of SA's that know what they're talking about. Guerlain and Chanel counters are impressive (Guerlain stocking gold cannisters, extraits and refills of most more popular scents and Chanel stocking all concentrations of most stuff), along with Dior carrying a large range of their fragrances and an impressive Gaultier section that has everything (even the men's makeup - whopee?)

    We now leave, with our designer purchases, and walk straight down to the other side, along the way, you'll encounter many average shops (Next, H&M, Republic) and you'll pass The Perfume Shop (Chain in the UK) and Fragrance Shop (random The Perfume Shop rip-off 2 minutes away from the actual shop !) We carry on down, and enter heaven on third floor. Selfridges Fragrance and Beauty floor! Here, you'll find a Jo Malone counter (that stocks practically everything) a Dior counter (nothing special, is what you're thinking? NO) they stock the exclusive Hedi Slimane Dior colognes, but you have to ask as they're not on display. Across the Dior counter, you'll see the Giorgio Armani counter, that stocks the Black Prive and White Prive lines, along with their generic fragrances.

    That's most of the uber exclusive stuff done, but turn left, and you'll encounter lots of fragrance area, Lolita Lempicka, Creed, Aqua di Parma, Prada, Tom Ford, Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen, Marc Jacobs and several other exclusive orientated womens and unisex fragrances. Around the corner you'll come into the mens section, Jill Sander, Vera Wang, Comme des Garcons, Tom Ford and other more generic brands in abundance. That concludes Selfridges, overall a nice experience.

    Next we walk out of the Bull Ring, down New Street and take a right onto Corporation Street! Here you'll find House of Fraser. I like House of Fraser for a couple of reasons. One, it's very empty compared to other shops. Two, the staff are nicer. Three, they know a lot more about fragrances. Four, they're not pushy. Here you'll find all the generic stuff in masses. But, there are some gems here. Annick Goutal, Serge Lutens export line and a large Hermes collection. Along with these, you'll also encounter the more quirky designer scents (Roberto Cavalli comes to mind)

    After House of Fraser, there is only one more attraction for the Fragrance connisseur in Birmingham, and that's all the way in the mailbox (15minute walk, 2minute cab journey!) Here you'll find Harvey Nichols. Home to Bond no 9, Anvers by Ulrich Lang, He Wood (Dsquared2), an ultimately large Versace collection and Stoned by (Solagna Azagury - I think?) along with a very large Creed collection, and a lot more of the upper end run of the mill stuff.

    That's about it really, not a lot of this niche business, but it's my Birmingham, and I like it

  2. #2

    Default Re: My nose is visiting Birmingham :)

    UPDATE: Harvey Nichols in Birmingham now has testers for the Tom Ford Private Blend, you can ask to smell them and then they'll order any of them in for you Ask to speak to Simon in the personal shopping department.

    UPDATE II: Selfridges should be getting the Private Blends in in 3 weeks, ask to speak to Naima on the Fragrance Floor (the Tom Ford SA) to get on the lists for any of them.

  3. #3

    Default Re: My nose is visiting Birmingham :)

    That's a really useful review, thank you for doing it, I shall bookmark this page for the next time I go (the last time I went to Birmingham I was pregnant, and so not in the mood to smell anything).

    I'm quite envious, your HOF sounds much nicer than the one in Nottingham.

  4. #4

    Default Re: My nose is visiting Birmingham :)

    I've been to the HoF in Nottingham, and I prefer the one in Birmingham. Due to Birmingham never being really busy (it's like London on a completely normal weekday at the busiest of times like boxing day sales) service is usually friendly, although sometimes lacking in information, but it's always present
    Another update though, Birmingham Harvey Nichol's is now stocking CdG, CdG2, CdGMan2 and CdG888
    Last edited by Vivek; 29th March 2008 at 08:22 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  5. #5

    Default Re: My nose is visiting Birmingham :)

    yeah i live in birmingham and i have to agree with viveks description. Creeds are stocked in selfridges also and yeah, the house of fraser has many knowledgable staff who know there stuff.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My nose is visiting Birmingham :)

    I used to live in Birmingham and I loved perfume shopping there. Debenhams was the only place I could find Bvlgari Black, but all the stores listed are fab. I loved all the MAC counters too.

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