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  1. #1

    Default Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    So, I finally got my Georgia hillbilly self up to The Big City to check out some things in person and boy howdy, was it an adventure. I was with my friend Joel who is not a big fragrance person, but this weekend went a long way toward getting him started down that road. I went into this thinking that I wanted either a neroli scent for summer or an incense, preferably a frankincense, maybe like CdG's "Avignon".

    Saturday morning, we started at Bergdorf's. We were on kind of a time limit, so I didn't get to go full on as much as I wanted. I started with Acqua di Parma. I love Colonia Intensa, which I got a sample of from Dimitri. I tried Colonia Assoluta Villa, special to Bergdorf's I think, and it was a great, gorgeous neroli, but like everything I've tried by AdP, it faded very fast.

    On the other wrist, I tried Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino, another gorgeous, juicy neroli that somehow became kind of a fractal neroli as it went on. It was sort of neroli gone prismatic.

    Joel tried Tom Ford Extreme for Men and Chergui by Serge Lutens, both of which he liked a LOT at first and then not so much as time wore on.

    We had to boot then because it was time to meet Chandler for coffee. I had exchanged emails with him a few times in the past, so when I got to NYC, I sent an email not really even expecting him to reply, but he said, "Sure, let's meet." On the way to grab a taxi, I dragged Joel up all three flights of stairs at Bulgari to check out all their masculines and unisexes, which he found underwhelming. I kinda did too after all the great stuff we had just smelled at Bergdorf's.

    We met Chandler at a deli on his street and had a long, rambling wonderful conversation, most of which was, like, sooooo off the record, so don’t even ask. Chandler was trying out six Neil Morris fragrances, which he had up and down both arms and invited me and Joel to sniff them, writing down our impressions on a chart he’d drawn showing both arms and marked where he put the fragrances. He suggested some things and I showed him the latest download newsletter from Luca and Tania's web site, which he hadn't seen. He was kind of surprised that they’d given Chanel’s Sycomore five stars, but said that he’d give it another sniff with an open mind.

    And then we were off to Aedes de Venustas in the village, which was a whole adventure unto itself. It’s pretty overwhelming when you first walk in and there’s all these great houses represented with bottles right there for you to test and try.

    Saturday was really busy in the shop. I told Robin, who was working that day, that I was a Basenoter and she was pleased and extended her greetings to you all. Joel and I smelled our way around the store while she dealt with other customers who needed more help than we did.

    I must have smelled a hundred things while I was there. I ventured deep into Diptyque, finding that I like Tam Dao an awful lot, l’Ombre dans l”eau was much more interesting at first than it wore on skin. Oyedo still smells hilariously of orange Life Savers candy to me.

    Remember I was looking for a neroli and a frankincense, so I tried “Cardinal” by Heely, which went on terribly exciting then suddenly became cinnamon red hots. Meh. I tried Serge Lutens “Daim Blonde” which was great until the drydown, which went a little too orchid-y floral for me, a note that popped out on my skin, but that no one at Aedes had noticed before.

    We both tried Amouage’s “Lyric Man”, which went on fascinatingly, but then proceeded to sing the exact same notes at the top of its lungs for HOURS. It smells expensive, downright gold plated, but kind of soulless for that.

    I also tried MPG’s “Eau pour le Jeune Homme”, which goes on a lot like Oyedo with its bitter white orange pith opening notes, but then just settles for being the freshest, juiciest, least overbearing neroli ever.
    After that we went to Takashimaya, a Japanese department store in the old Doubleday building. There, I checked out everything by The Different Company, then a whole bunch of other things that I can’t remember right now because in the midst of everything a tester slipped out of my hand and shattered on the concrete floor, which was excruciatingly embarrassing. I fled, red faced.

    On Sunday, we went back to Aedes to make our final decisions. For me it had come down to Eau pour le Jeune Homme (neroli) or the Aedes de Venustas special blend by l’Artisan (frankincense). The whole staff at Aedes kind of wrinkled their nose at Eau pour le jeune homme, seeing it as a safe option, I guess, which it was. I could hear Mike Perez in my head saying, “Break away from ‘fresh’, TRex! Spice it up!”
    So, I went with the Aedes de Venustas by l’Artisan. Also at Aedes, I smelled the Encre Noire Eau de Parfum and got a sample of it(!!!!). Amazing. And I came away with a giant bag of samples that I’ve barely even had a chance to sniff.

    I’m sure I’ve missed a bunch of things, so if you have any questions, ask away.

    Thanks for letting me share.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Rex, Esq. View Post
    ...I could hear Mike Perez in my head saying, “Break away from ‘fresh’, TRex! Spice it up!”
    So, I went with the Aedes de Venustas by l’Artisan....
    Free at last! Doesn't it smell better on this side?

    I'm insanely jealous of the Burr meet-and-greet and the whole NY 'experience' you got to have. Hope you took pictures.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 10th March 2009 at 06:57 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by mikeperez23 View Post
    Free at last! Doesn't it smell better on this side?
    I wish I knew. Frankly my nose is still stuffy and runny from what it is either chronic olfactory overload or the beginnings of a cold.

    I'm insanely jealous of the Burr meet-and-greet and the whole NY 'experience' you got to have. Hope you took pictures.
    I did. I just haven't moved them from my camera to my laptop. I'll try and get that done tonight.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Wow...Country came to town in a big way, and meeting with Chandler Burr? Impressive stuff.
    I can't wait to see pics.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    I'm giong to mimic your trip, minus the Burr meeting, the next time I get to go to NYC.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by mcjra View Post
    I'm giong to mimic your trip, minus the Burr meeting, the next time I get to go to NYC.
    Go for it. But bear in mind that my nose has been giving me grief since Sunday night.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Rex, Esq. View Post
    ...wonderful conversation, most of which was, like, sooooo off the record, so don’t even ask....
    LOL, after reading his books, I can imagine what that must have been like. He seems like a super interesting guy. Love his writing style. Nice to hear that he's approachable and fun.

    Hey, T, I missed the backstory here--how on earth did you wrangle a meetup with Burr in the first place?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by andylama View Post
    Hey, T, I missed the backstory here--how on earth did you wrangle a meetup with Burr in the first place?
    Honestly, I just asked. I was surprised how easygoing and approachable he was about it. Of course, I've been writing to him about his books and buying copies for my friends and family since The Perfect Scent came out, so I wasn't completely appearing out of the blue.

    He was delightful. And surprisingly sexy in person. Rowr.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Right on! He is a pretty impressive dude.

    Loved to hear your positive anecdote!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    T-Rex, I'm jealous man ! I thoroughly enjoyed Burr's book The Perfect Scent, he does seems like an interesting guy. Seems like a great trip for you.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Oh and the tester I dropped was Yuzu Fou.

  12. #12
    Dependent RHM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Oh boy, I can picture this so perfectly!

    Especially, Robert, Karl & Miguel weighing in on the final decision at Aedes. Robert has a way of arching one brow perfectly. I don't know how he does it so effortlessly.

    And TAK! OMG! I can understand exactly how you must have felt. That place is so quiet. I've had the unfortunate experience of having two of the makeup/fragrance SA's make fun of a friend of mine behind her back. I saw them but my friend didn't, thank goodness. It's too bad because Neil has his fragrances there & so do some other people I really like, Yosh, Monty Taylor, Ulrich Lang, Sarah Barton-King & Jeanne Weber. I won't set foot into TAK's again due to that experience.

    Did Chandler have shoes on? He's quite a character but as was mentioned very approachable & a sweetheart....really!

    Thanks for the account.
    Last edited by RHM; 10th March 2009 at 09:35 PM.
    We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. ~Herman Melville

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Rex, Esq. View Post
    Oh and the tester I dropped was Yuzu Fou.
    Are you sure Parfums d'Empire didn't pay you to drop the Yuzu Fou bottle? Free publicity, righht? Hmmm....I remember Estee Lauder using that tactic.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by RHM View Post

    Especially, Robert, Karl & Miguel weighing in on the final decision at Aedes. Robert has a way of arching one brow perfectly. I don't know how he does it so effortlessly.
    This last weekend, there were two women working and a Frenchman(?) who mostly stood behind the counter looking elegant and frozen, perhaps put off by the fact that I was from Georgia. He didn't even crack a smile until I recognized the Encre Noire Eau de Parfum bottle, and only then warmed up to above-zero temps.

    And TAK! OMG! I can understand exactly how you must have felt. That place is so quiet. I've had the unfortunatel experience of having two of the makeup/fragrance SA's make fun of a friend of mine behind her back. I saw them but my friend didn't, thank goodness. It's too bad because Neil has his fragrances there & so do some other people I really like, Yosh, Monty Taylor, Ulrich Lang, Sarah Barton-King & Jeanne Weber. I won't set foot into TAK's again due to that experience.
    Takashimaya was a weird place. Everyone working there seemed INCREDIBLY tense and on edge, like they didn't exactly know what to do with themselves. There was noisy R&B music coming from crappy, tinny-sounding speakers in the ceiling, which was hurting my ears.

    The woman who helped me in fragrances was very French, very stiff, very formal. We got to talking about the Different Company's Sel de Vetiver, and I commented how it was interesting that Celine Ellena's touch is so like her father's.

    "I am zorry," said the saleslady, "Non. I am zorry. Sel de Vetiver was composed by Jean-Claude Ellena, not Celine."

    "I'm fairly certain that it was composed by Celine Ellena," I replied.

    "Non," she said, "Do you work in zee eendustry?"

    "No, ma'am," I said, "I'm a radio DJ."

    She nodded as if this proved her point.

    It was moments later that the Yuzu Fou jumped out of my hand. Joel, my date, thought I did it on purpose. "That'll show her," he joked later in the cab, "Bitch, don't piss me off! I'll break your testers!"

    "It really was an accident," I said, "But I *know* that Sel de Vetiver is a Celine Ellena."

    I looked it up. I was right.

    Did Chandler have shoes on? He's quite a character but as was mentioned very approachable & a sweetheart....really!

    Thanks for the account.
    I did not look at his feet, but I'm pretty sure that Chandler was, in fact, shod.

  15. #15
    Dependent RHM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    They have GOT to do something about the sales people at TAK. That's just horrible.
    The music is...err...new.

    I asked about CB's shoes because the first time I met him he was wearing flip flops & no, that was neither appropriate nor seasonal footwear. Just one of his quirks.

    When I moved here more than 20 years ago from Savannah, my southern accent was pretty heavy. (It comes right back when I'm with my family in Florida.) I would ask to speak to someone over the phone & people would automatically assume I was one of two things: 1) stupid or 2) a secretary making a call for someone else. It was awful...made me mad too.
    We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. ~Herman Melville

  16. #16

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by RHM View Post

    When I moved here more than 20 years ago from Savannah, my southern accent was pretty heavy. (It comes right back when I'm with my family in Florida.) I would ask to speak to someone over the phone & people would automatically assume I was one of two things: 1) stupid or 2) a secretary making a call for someone else. It was awful...made me mad too.
    I don't even *HAVE* a southern accent! It's gone. Been gone since I was a kid. (Air Force family. I have a military brat's neutral accent.)

    Maybe it was the overalls and coonskin cap. Nah. Couldn't be.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Hi, guys. Chandler here. A friend sent me David's thread, and I figured I'd just add that it was great meeting David and Joel-- the only thing being that when David wrote, I did my usual, "Gosh, what do I do, this guy seems really nice, and it would be fun to hang out, but I've got so much work and I'm totally behind on THREE pieces, should I say yes? or will I feel totally guilty about not doing my work and stressed out while we're hanging out?" etc etc. thing. I so appreciate that people read my stuff, but I guess I just want to say to all of you who send me emails, please do forgive me for not answering sometimes. I'm just drowning. It's 8:30am, I've been at my computer since 7:30 and just emailed my next NYT blog Thursday review (on Neil Morris) to my Times editor, and now I'm facing all sorts of other stuff I'm late on, including two other Times pieces. Also I have my first novel "You Or Someone Like You" coming out on June 9 from Ecco, and it's insanely time-intensive.

    <<Nice to hear that Chandler's approachable and fun>> I promise, I really am approachable, a normal person, honestly-- I'm just completely and insanely overloaded with work. (Also to be frank with you I sometimes get interminable emails asking me to do research work for the writer on what perfume they should wear, their mother should wear, etc. Jeez!...And I just don't respond to those, I have to admit.) I almost never go on the boards simply because often people say the most brutal, personal things, and frankly I just don't want to read that. My criticism is only my opinion. I recognize that. I wish the brutal posters would realize that I realize that. I just happen, partly through luck (meeting Luca by chance, learning about this world via writing about him, then being asked by The New Yorker, then The Times to write about scent) and, to defend myself, partly through an immense amount of work, to have this position. It's mostly great, and sometimes it's not. But I fully realize that at the end of the day, it's just my opinion. I just try to make it thoughtful and seriously considered as possible. And, I hope, fun to read.

    So that's it. I'm going to be speaking for a few minutes at the next Sniffa event in April here in NY and going to the Dusseldorf fest (seeing the Karens there). And even my friends think I have stupid choice in footwear. So it goes.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    TRex, thank you for your wonderful exposition on your exciting trip to NYC! Sounds like you had a blast.

    And to Chandler - lovely to have you pop in! You sound like you've many strings to your bow, so all the best with your pursuits, both personal and professional.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Stop back by and chat with us Chandler when you have time to do so. It would be great to have you post some here at basenotes.

  20. #20
    Dependent RHM's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    I told you he was nice.

    And we love his quirks.
    We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men. ~Herman Melville

  21. #21

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Do you hear that, guys? LEAVE CHANDLER'S INBOX ALONE. Poor guy. Now prolly everybody's going to be trying to get an audience with the Pope of Parfum.

    It's like this:

    When I graduated from high school everybody in the senior class took a marble on stage with them in their pocket under their cap and gown. As we walked across the stage and received our diplomas, we handed the principal the marble as we shook hands with him. By the end of the night, he had bulging suit pockets full of marbles, marbles falling on the floor and rolling away, marbles spilling out of his hands.

    Emails are like that. Someone like Chandler Burr who is, arguably, "famous" gets piles and piles of incoming mail, and everybody wants their attention. One little email from you becomes another marble in its recipient's pocket. If the recipient is like you and mostly only getting emails from people they actually know, it's a simple matter of tossing it back. But for Chandler it's dozens and hundreds every day, and that's a lot of marbles to shift.

    I get that I'm lucky and I happened to catch CB when he had a few minutes, but I hope that now he isn't going to get bombarded by fanboys (and girls) who think he's a NYC landmark like Times Square ("But mom, we can't go back to Ohio yet! I haven't had my picture taken with Chandler Burr!"). You know?

  22. #22

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Rex, Esq. View Post
    Do you hear that, guys? LEAVE CHANDLER'S INBOX ALONE. Poor guy. Now prolly everybody's going to be trying to get an audience with the Pope of Parfum.
    yeh, look what you have done.

    btw, Mr. Burr, it's an honor to have you with us! pls do, linger around

  23. #23

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    One should be discreet with what they share on public forums. That said, Chandler Burr sounds like a great guy.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by T. Rex, Esq. View Post

    The woman who helped me in fragrances was very French, very stiff, very formal. We got to talking about the Different Company's Sel de Vetiver, and I commented how it was interesting that Celine Ellena's touch is so like her father's.

    "I am zorry," said the saleslady, "Non. I am zorry. Sel de Vetiver was composed by Jean-Claude Ellena, not Celine."

    "I'm fairly certain that it was composed by Celine Ellena," I replied.

    "Non," she said, "Do you work in zee eendustry?"

    "No, ma'am," I said, "I'm a radio DJ."

    She nodded as if this proved her point.
    This woman is one of the most horrible people I have ever had the experience to deal with. I had an argument with her (in French) about Murmure by Fragonard. She insisted it was discontinued and I knew it wasn't, I had just ordered a bottle the day before from Fragonard. She would not accept that, she kept insisting I was wrong. Well I finally looked a her disdainfully and said "You are much too sure of yourself, it is most unbecoming. You cannot play this game with me, I am also French and have worked for the best 'Houses' ." Then of course I turned my back on her and refused to acknowledge her presence any longer. I then proceeded to peruse the selections for another 30 minutes. She kept trying to interact with me, but I ignored her and told my husband to to ignore the "sales clerk". If she could have kissed my bare bottom she would have tried.

    I am so pleased the bottle slipped from your hand and broke, it was the hand of Poetic justice (aided of course by Retribution) at work.

    Otherwise your trip sounds wonderful, Aedes is my favorite repose in the city; I would love my bedroom to be decorated just like that.
    Quand on boit l'eau, il faut penser à sa source

  25. #25

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    ^ what fun! I'll be there next week...perhaps I'll give her a hard time just for funsies.

  26. #26
    Lian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    How do go to New York and not end up buying more than 1 bottle?

    Is it a meditation ritual? Did you take something before hand? Threats by a loved one?
    Last edited by Lian; 11th March 2009 at 05:00 PM.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    Currently wearing: Chypré Fruité by Montale

  27. #27

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Liaaaaan that was your 1000th post!!!
    Wanted: a cap of Bvlgari Thé Vert

    Wanted: L' Artisan Timbuktu or Fragonard Concerto

    Feel free to visit Polderposh - a young up & coming Dutch fragrance blog!

  28. #28

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Lian View Post
    How do go to New York and not end up buying more than 1 bottle?

    Is it a meditation ritual? Did you take something before hand? Threats by a loved one?
    Haha, well, it ended up being two bottles, the Aedes de Venusta EDP from Aedes and Terre d'Hermes from Sephora, which is totally lame, I know. I should have gotten something else niche-y, but TdH seemed perfect for summer. It was an impulse decision.

    In my defense, they don't sell any Hermes in my home town of Athens, Georgia.

    Of course the real reason I only got a couple of things is because I'm kind of poor. If I could have spent a thousand dollars and still have food, utilities, and a place to live, I would have.

  29. #29
    Lian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    TdH is loved here so I don't think you should feel badespecially if you like it and think it will be good, and after all us basenoters have excellent taste

    I'm still impressed you didn't make emergency plans or decided you needed to diet anyway just to buy more. That's how I justify many purchases
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
    Currently wearing: Chypré Fruité by Montale

  30. #30

    Default Re: Coffee with Chandler Burr and Other Excitements from my NYC Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Brielle87 View Post
    Well I finally looked a her disdainfully and said "You are much too sure of yourself, it is most unbecoming. You cannot play this game with me..."
    Just for future reference, *exactly* how do you say this en français?

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