There is also a Neiman Marcus and many other shops and boutiques at The Domain, located off of Mo-Pac.
Thread: Austin, TX
I'm new to the fragrance world, so I'm probably missing several important shops, but I thought I should at least get an Austin thread started.
Enchante downtown at 6th and Congress carries L'Artisan, La Maison de la Vanille, Fragonard, Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier, Roger & Gallet, and others. I haven't visited the shop yet, so I can't comment on the full shopping experience.
In the Arboretum Market, there is a Sephora a few doors down from a Saks. Sephora carries the usual Sephora stuff. Saks carries several niche brands such as Jo Malone, Bond No. 9, and Creed.
Blue Elephant, a boutique in the Central Market shopping center on North Lamar, carries Bond No. 9 and a few other fragrances.
Last edited by JenDF; 21st July 2008 at 02:54 PM.
There is also a Neiman Marcus and many other shops and boutiques at The Domain, located off of Mo-Pac.
Does the Neiman Marcus in Austin also sell Serge Lutens?
I was in Austin and loved Enchante downtown. The owner was fantastically helpful and took the time to make me over a dozen samples. They carry L'Artisan, MPG, Fragonard, Geo F. Trumper, Roger & Gallet, as well as a large selection of men's grooming/shaving products.
If you're in Austin check this store out.
I spent about a half an hour in Enchante, and had a bad experience. The owner lectured me the whole time, and insulted pretty much everything I commented positively on. I did buy a nice Lampe Berger lamp, and then ended up with some horrific oil that he recommended. I haven't been back because he was so condescending... and I'm a 34 year old man who works in the cosmetics industry (I work for LVMH, I had to learn a little something about fragrance).
I haven't noticed Serge Lutens at Nieman Marcus, but I that doesn't mean it's not there... there's a lot to see in that store despite it's small size.
I just wanted to say, thanks for starting this thread. I've only gotten interested in scents since my last visit. But I go back to Austin every year at Christmas. I'll have to see how I'm treated at Enchante.
I have to agree with Kewal. Since my original post, I've been to Enchante a few times. It is owned by a husband and wife team. The wife is very nice and helpful and made some good recommendations. The husband, on the other hand, is loud, pushy, and rather creepy. He tried to dissuade me from buying what I had come to buy and insisted that I try several louder, more expensive (in his words, "sexier") perfumes. He lectured me for about 15 minutes about how perfume is all about attracting men, being sexy for men, making men remember you, etc. I found this somewhat offensive.
Enchante has some great perfumes, and I recommend going there, but avoid the male owner at all costs.
Hola sister & fellow Austinites! Any recommendations for good places to find vintage fragrances locally would be greatly appreciated...
Hola. Have to say that to my knowledge there are no places dealing in vintage fragrances. There are some little places scattered about that carry niche stuff, but unfortunately I know of no vintage places. I am glad to see more austin people on here.
Mapping the memory one scent at a time
I wish there was a good place for vintage fragrance. If you find one minervaK, please let us know!
I finally went to the NM up in the Domain the other day - there was a very nice SA there (Ashely), who made me 5 VERY generous samples. Jicky parfum among them (probably $30-$40 worth)!
Ashley at Neiman Marcus is awesome, so sweet! When I shop there I usually buy from her. If she's not there I go to Adrienne or Mistelle. They're all so nice.
Here are the places where I typically shop for fragrance in ATX:
Nordstrom at Barton Creek Mall - supposedly there will be a second Nordstrom location in the Domain someday, but it could be years off. Helpful sales associates, but never been offered samples.
Saks Fifth Avenue - Good selection, associates in my experience very aloof.
Neiman Marcus - Helpful associates, will make samples.
Sephora - both Barton Creek and Arboretum locations, more frequently arboretum. Extremely nice associates there, almost to a fault.
Ulta - Gateway location. Many bad experiences there - including refusal to make a tester of a brand new perfume that came out in the last week. "If we don't get a tester from the company, we're not allowed to make one." Bwa?
Macy's - Domain location
Luxe Apothetique in the Domain carries the full Bond No. 9 line and a few other lines (can't remember right now, can double-check)
Anthropologie in the Domain - doesn't carry all the lines the Anthro website does, but still fun to browse
I hate to admit that I didn't realize Enchante existed until reading this forum today. I would really like to check it out sometime soon despite the somewhat negative reviews.
Do any of the Austin boutiques carry niche or more luxe perfume? Places like By George and Julian Gold? I never set food in those types of places because I can't afford the clothes, but I would go if I knew for sure there would be perfume finds. If I'm in a funky Austin shop, I usually do look for perfume, but I don't always find it.
Re: Serge Lutens at Austin's Neiman Marcus, I haven't seen it. But I usually don't wander back very far into the store - I get distracted by other things and truthfully I feel 'outclassed' by Neiman's generally. I live very near there, I'll try to go this weekend and investigate a bit.
Just found a place in downtown Austin that carries Serge Lutens!
Talked to the owner and she is trying to figure out which scents that will be good sellers for this area so lets help her out. She was very nice and helpful. She has about 12 of them, most are more floral/fem leaning. Also has Chergui, Ambre Sultan, Gris Clair. She said she will probably be stocking Borneo 1834 soon.
Very exciting about the Serge Lutens! A few updates to my post.
First off, re: Anthropologie, I have since discovered that the downtown store has a much wider perfume selection.
There is a new store in the Domain called Atelier 1105 that is carrying Santa Maria Novella, TokyoMilk, and CARON. They have two of the urn fragrances. The woman I spoke to, I think it was the owner, was very excited about the Caron. They had to get approval from Paris and some of the Paris Caron people flew out for the launch in November. The store has been open since the fall, at least, but they only got the Carons in November.
I mentioned Luxe Apothetique in my earlier post, but they have actually expanded their perfume offerings, I think. They have Juliette has a Gun (that seems to be a popular one to get in), TokyoMilk, the Bonds, maybe some other stuff. And it's only a few doors down from Atelier 1105!
I found out there's a Lush store in Austin, at least according to the Lush website, which somehow I did not know - is it new??? I mean to go there soon.
Also, according to the YOSH website, there is a store on S. Lamar that is carrying that line now... http://www.spartan-shop.com/ I've never tried Yosh so I want to go. Looks like they might carry other bath and body stuff as well.
I feel like there were a few more Austin indie boutiques I read about in the last few months that carry perfumey stuff but I forget. I really need to start keeping better notes.
Also, I finally went to Enchante and had my crazy experience with Charles Roberts this summer... what a hoot! I need to go back soon and see if they got in Cuir Fetiche.
An update to my update: we went to the Domain tonight for dinner, maybe partially because this thread got me thinking about it again - seems that Atelier 1105 has cleared out their TokyoMilk (there was a tiny bit left on a 60% off shelf), but they do have many different soaps, candles, home fragrance, etc... the candle selection is particularly interesting. I enjoyed exploring the Mathias Paris, Cote Bastide, and Parfums d'Orsay candles and perfumes.
I should be blunt about a few things regarding the Austin niche market.
Firstly, Austin is not a great town to shop fragrances, not that I have not bought lots from Luxe and Blue Elephant, (and Saks and Niemans [Our Nordstoms blows]), but one has to go to Houston Saks and Niemans for the quality, niche line-up.
Secondly, I have to wanr folks to stay away from Charles at Enchante. It is my clear impression he is unstable and in my experience borderline stalker. I remember when he and his wife ran the shop together, it was a different scenario. She was bothe helpful and knowlegeable, and one had the impression of good taste. But she is apparently out of the picture now. The store is slovenly and a disorganized mess of various niche, un-stocked tester scents, and he pushes his, mysterious homemade shaving line with the zeal of a manic psychotic. The last time I went into his shop with my son, he told me he was a lingerie connoseiur and he knew just how to make the most of a womans body, and that he could tell what I'd look sexy in by evaluating my leg shape. He went on to ask me what type of underwear I liked to buy!
WAIT! It gets worse, he also took a sudden interest in my skin (I had a rash) and tried to sell me (a woman) his aftershave as a cure, and then told me, "Oh, man, I wish I could get in the shower with you and rub this on you myself."
I had made the mistake of giving him my e-mail another time, as he wanted to ask me about niche lines, and he sent several inappropriate messages to me that included comments about my 'appearance'. He also left me phone messages, which I never listened to. I cut him off, and fortunately have not heard from him again.
After we left, my son asked me why he had talked about underwear to me (he was very confused), and I had NO idea what to say. He's obviously a loose cannon. A total weirdo. I am on the verge of complaining on Yelps.
@Hillaire Wow..... I dont even know what to say.... that is one of the most inappropriate things ive ever heard of. i would definitely get on yelp and write a terrible review if i were you. I had the impression he might me a crazy person and this proves it.
I guess because im a young guy he thought it was "cool" to constantly say "Man that is some good sh*t" "that is some good fcking sh*t".
I made the mistake of buying something i didnt really like there. Luckily he gave me a sample of it also so i never opened it. I tried to take it back but he would not give me my money back. he would only exchange it or keep it on a tab. I finally mailed it back and my cc company removed the charge.
He has a lot of good stuff there but not worth it.
Have you been to Prize yet? It seems like the owner needs/wants a little direction with niche scents as she was asking ME questions about Serge Lutens. I wonder how much of a customer base there actually is here for niche?
I think Austin is RIPE for a perfume shop, and I have thought myself about getting one started. I don't think the urban loft-living sector is necessarily a bad place for that kind of shop, but I'd veer a little farther West myself (Clarksville), and I'd go for a more classic atmosphere, in order to get business from women and men who tend already to travel to do their specialty shopping.
Thanks for your support re: Charles. It was nothing short of shocking. He also refused a return from me once, and gave me 'credit', which I don't want to use (stupid me; I should have kept it). I have the feeling he's barely in business.
That 'good s##t' story is totally creepy and cringe-worthy (he's sixty-ish, wouldn't you say?). Is it too much to ask for a little class and customer-service sense from a place that specializes in high-end fragrances?
Last edited by Hillaire; 7th January 2012 at 07:58 AM.
I think you have a great idea with the fragrance boutique.
Prize is sort of a West Elm slash high end Urban Outfitters looking place(I dont think im very good at describing womens boutiques)
Diptyque looks like it may fit in there. She may only want to carry what she has though. I didn't really talk to her very long and didn't want to tell her how to run her business, but she did say that the person she orders from steered her away from the Serge Lutens she wanted to try. She likes the more woody, musk scents but they told her the florals would be better to sellers. I may take her a few samples because she said they charge her quite a bit for every sample she orders.
Re: Enchante, I'm very sorry to hear of your experience, Hilaire. I have only been there the one time as yet, and I was with my boyfriend, so I think that sheltered me from the more extreme weirdness. That's horrible that he said/did those things. Honestly, I join with you all in wondering how well the store does these days. It was very difficult to convince him to let me try the things I wanted to try when I went there this summer!
I'll have to check out Prize soon. It's not surprising she got pushed toward the more marketable Serges.
I have wondered myself about whether or not Austin could support a niche perfume store. I tend to believe it could, but I do have doubts. I have worked in fragrance retail before and would be really interested in owning such a shop, but right now at the stage of life I'm in it doesn't really make sense - I have a daughter, student loans to pay off, and am getting married this year... etc. etc. etc. Maybe someday.
Re: location, Clarksville kind of does make sense in some respects, but I just don't care for that vibe very much. I don't whatsoever fit in around Tarrytown/Westlake/Clarksville housewife types. I know if I started a store, I would want a welcoming vibe that encourages people to test fragrances.
For example - I hate to say this, because I think Atelier 1105 has started up with a GREAT selection and the service seems pretty friendly and helpful - but the first time I went there to see the Carons, I was already wearing perfume, so I sprayed each of the Caron fragrances on a card to test it. I was telling the woman, who I believe to have been the owner, how great it was she had these, because I'd heard so much about them and had wanted to try them. She very quickly said to me "Why don't you buy one?" rather pointedly. I'm sorry, but as a person who collects perfume, it is going to take me a while to decide and I'm certainly going to test it on skin at least once before purchasing... you know? Like I plan to send my boyfriend there for a Valentine's Day gift possibly, because I want to support their shop, but give me some time!! Looking at the store's website, I think they may be catering to people with more spare change and less knowledge of perfume. That's what I'd like to change about the perfume-shopping culture of Austin. Maybe I have an inferiority complex, I don't know.
Just one thing. Clarksville/Tarrytown/Westlake???!!! As a former 'Clarksville housewife' and Pemberton native, I take offense to that last part of the cluster! I mean, Clarksville's a little bit cool, right?
Okay, I can totally see Hyde Park/ UT area. Like Central Market or 26 Doors area happening.
And 'Why don't you buy one?' OMG! That's horrid!
Aww! Clarksville is definitely much preferable to Tarrytown or Westlake, it's true. I just feel a lot more comfortable with the urban loft vibe, I guess - and I'm more likely to go shopping in a place where I'm not worried about being judged.
I enjoy South Congress, but truthfully am not "scene" enough to really fit in there entirely... but it's certainly a great retail location. My favorite hoods to live are probably Cherrywood and the North Burnet (Crestview/Brentwood) area. I lived on Manor Road for the first few years I lived in Austin. I do love Hyde Park too. If we move again we'll probably look in Cherrywood and downtown proper.
Honestly, perhaps the key is more the vibe than the location. Sometimes I feel like if I'm not in fancy clothes and ready to plunk down money immediately (without proper testing) for the fragrance the associate tells me to buy, I'm persona non grata.
The "Why don't you buy one?" was pretty bad. She said it nicely, but... Basically I felt like it was a signal to buy or to leave (which we did). But I often buy after visiting a scent a few times! I hate to repeat this story, because I am very supportive of Atelier 1105 and it's nowhere near the Charles Roberts level of awkward. But... yeah. Looking at their website, they are going with clients on a weeklong trip to Paris at the end of this month... Definitely in a different income bracket than me, I think!
Does anyone know a place to get Comme des Garcons here?
I'm excited Austin is getting more niche brands!
Fairly new to Austin so I'm glad I found this thread! Went to Enchante the other day to try some L'artisan stuff. The owner totally blocked me from trying them though, like standing in front of them, then directing me to his other products. I don't know if that's some sort of aggressive salesman technique or what, but I found it bizarre. I almost felt as if he were trying to hypnotize me into buying something! ha ha. Maybe people buy stuff just to escape the sales pitch and that's how he stays in business? I think he means well, but he probably scares people a lot of the time. Seems like an intelligent guy, just way too intense and hard to escape from. I can see how a woman might be uncomfortable.
Glad to hear you can purchase Lutens here. I tried to visit Prize but there was a note on the door saying they'd closed temporarily. Gonna try again tomorrow.