Thank you for sharing!
I was in New York last Sunday for a meeting with a potential manager. It didn't work out, but I got to enjoy a nice 5 hour shopping spree and was able to hit all the stores I wanted.
I started at Bigelow because they open early on Sunday. I picked up some cool toothpaste and Mentha products (like the handwash that Bath and Bodyworks discontinued.) They have quite a fragrance section - including ALL the Nasomatto on diplay so you can spray freely. I was kind of rushed so I didn't go through the whole wall but I noticed a lone bottle of Egoiste Cologne Concentree. I didn't buy it then but I called the next day to order as it it is something that I have wanted for a long time.
Then I went to upper west side to go to Malin & Goetz - a new skin care company that has received a lot of buzz for their amazing deodorant. I bought one and they also have scents (tonics) and candles. The tonics smelled clean but distinct. My favorite candle was Cannabis (go figure - since even though I don't do 420, Black Afgano is one of my faves.) I came close to buying but didnt. He gave me a mess of skin care samples to try.
I started at the high end of Madison where Frederic Malle, Bond, Creed and Etro are on the same block. I was planning to purchase at FM so I started there. I've noticed that when you have a bag of something high end you've already bought, it makes the other stores take you a little more seriously.
The sales associate at Frederic Malle was AMAZING. I told her what I wanted and asked for other things that are similar. I like things dark, evil, intense and heavy - that make a statement. I bought a full bottle of Musc Ravageur which I have been sampling for a while but was on the fence. I mentioned that Katie Puckrick helped pushed me over the edge and the SA laughed, saying that she knows Katie. She fired up the scent columns and I liked Noir Epices and Dans Tes Bras of the ones she showed me. She gave me samples of those and a sample of Iris Poudre to try. I also really liked one of the candles - Coffee Society. It doesn't smell like coffee but the atmosphere of what a coffee society should smell like. I might end up mail ordering that for holiday parties.
I walked across the street to Bond. It was supposed to open at 12noon. At 12:30 they were closed. I had wanted to smell the forthcoming Cooper Square. I left a voice mail and never heard back.
Then was Creed. I love Bois du Portugal, and Virgin Island Water was the first expensive frag that I had ever tried. There were several people in the store so I patiently waited with a smile on my face (which denizens of NY just don't do.) I had heard that the Creed Boutique was a little snooty and stingy with samples and since I wasn't about to buy a Creed today - I wasn't sure what kind of reception I would get. I am guessing either the the debonair (and attractive sales associate) was either in a good mood - or my smile and the FM bag/Tumi luggage swayed him to be generous with his time. I smelled the new Aventus and liked it a lot - it was fruity to me but not as much as VIW. (My nose isnt as attuned to notes as the rest of y'all are - but I am working on it.) I liked it but wanted a sample to try at my leisure - he suggested a few others. He told me the full story on Windsor and sprayed my arm with it (a bit surprising that he did that but he was passionate about it so I let him go for it.) The story is rebellious and interesting but on me the fragrance didn't work so well. After a few hours, it didn't move me like a $600 bottle should. Those who like that kind of thing will love it - it's not for me. Then he suggested Tabarome Millesime and Original Santal - both of which I liked. I asked him for his card for mail order. He gave me a carded sample of Aventus and made me small vials of Tabarome Millesime and Original Santal -- both of which I look forward to testing furher.
Then I went to Etro - which has drained me of much of my dj income with their amazingly vibrant sprint/summer line. I was in NY every Sunday DJing for six weeks and ended up buying 4 long sleeve shirts, 4 polo shirts and a tshirt. Foolishly, I asked the sexy SA J.R. to check out what they had left from last season on sale, and I bought another polo shirt. I asked for samples of two of their frags that I liked - and I got 2 each (samples) of Anice and Messe de Minuit.
Next I walked up Madison to Saks Fifth Avenue. At the Guerlain counter, I asked about the Arsene Lupin frags and the SA said that they come out in Septmeber. I went up to Mens on Sixth and I was going to buy the full sized kit on Art of Shaving for $100 - since I had a $25 gift card. I ended up buying just the shaving cream and Preshave - since that is what I really use (I don't use after shave balm because I do a moisturizer with an SPF and I already have a shaving brush). I noticed that they had a lot of Bond so I asked the sixth floor guy about Cooper Square. He said he didn't have up there but called downstairs. They had a tester bottle. I went down and they gave me a sprayed card. I dont own any Bond - but if I were to buy one - it might be Cooper Square.. kinda fruity for me - but I liked there it was going. I will have to get a sample for testing.
I took a break from frag shopping and hit Diesel (didn't have the belt in the size I wanted but I got a cool striped vest for half off.) Then I walked all the way up to 34th (past this obnoxiously loud Spanish language parade for a 2012 campaign) and found Mecca - the BIG Desigual store. They just got in their Fall/Winter and I went to town. I was asking about stuff from the website and they pulled things for me out of the back - I got an amazing vest, shirt and and sweater from fall winter. A shirt that I Really wanted, they didnt have in my size - so they called over to the Soho shop and put it on hold for me. I also got a pair of shorts which were marked at 69 Euros. It was on sale and it rang up as $53 - nice. If you like vibrant patterns and clothing which helps you make a statement go to desigual.com and look at their stuff. They fall/winter is a little more subdued than Spring/summer .. but its still amazing stuff. It's funny I used to be so into Custo Barcelona and then I realized what they send down the runway never ends up in the stores so I gave up. Desigual sells in their stores (at a reasonable price point) just about EVERYTHING that is on their runways.
Then I caught the subway into Soho -- $2.25 and much quicker than cab. I had a whole list and had gridded the streets so that I would be organized.
I hit Paul Smith (tried on this gorgeous toweling robe that I have been drooling over.. must wait for sale - though if I was rich, skinny and wore suits - they would all be Paul Smith), Adidas Original (nothing exciting), Custo Barcelona (yawn, lame - see above), Nespresso (tried to stop in to the cafe but the people inside wouldn't let me in - boo), Swatch (my other obsession - bought two of the new full blooded and three of the another model to give as gift to the site writers on dancemusic.about.com), Puma (saw the kicks I liked when I was in Philly but they didnt have my size -argh.)
I ended at Bloomingdales. Time to experience Bang. After the Marc Jacobs ads - hot sexy man done up a la Tom Ford with the bottle covering his jewels - I was expecting that it would fit me - loud, brash, statement. Unfortunately, what I got was a whiff of vetiver (or so I thought - its supposed to be pepper - again my untrained nose). I let it settle and it quickly went generic sweet musk on me. A year ago, I would have probably bought it anyway - since its exclusive to Bloomies and MJ outlets - none of the other gay boys in Nashville would have it .. and the GWP bag was cool. I thought about it and realized, why should I waste $75 on something that I will only like for a few months when I can hold off and get something really special that I will love. I asked for a sample to take with me and they didn't have any. I figured that was a good sign to just walk away.
It was 6pm and my flight was at 8:30pm so with the traffic, I figured I should just jump in the cab and go directly to the airport. I had hit all 15 stores I had planned ( and a few more) in 5 hours.. not bad, eh?
Thank you for sharing!
Jealous. Do you DJ at Tribe? I get there occasionally.
Yes, I spin at Tribe and Play in Nashville.
Great account of a New York City shopping binge! I always have a blast tooling around there. Love the way you planned it all out in advance. Only suggestion I might make: the fragrance counters at Barney's. The SAs have been really cool with me there, and I always walk out with something fun. Your brilliant tip - carry a bag from a high-end store - is spot on. That's the magic key to getting great service in any store. I'm surprised more shopper haven't caught on. Works like a charm. Right on! Thanks for the fun story. Can't wait to go back.
Nice account - I'm amazed you crammed that all in a few hours!
Isn't that Etro store amazing?
If I were rich and skinny, that's what I'd wear (along with Tom Ford for my suits). As such, I'm addicted to their ties...
That Creed boutique is great. Sure, they have to figure out that you're not just lost or looking for something free, but they're quite nice and generous.
Next time, you have to hit Bergdorf's (skip the men's store and just hit the basement in the big store, unless you're looking for clothes) and Henri Bendel next door.
Is Tabarome Millesime "strong and loud" enough for you?
I love to read non-New Yorker's city trip stories. You did more in your day than I do in a year, Bless you!
Completely off-topic, but has anyone else noticed the new BN bug that makes it occasionally repeat the last word on a line again on the next line? Like above where it says "Bless you! you!" ^^^
Odd. I keep having to edit my posts to fix those...
^^^ Nope haven't noticed it it.
I am bummed. I got the package from Bigelow today and they sent me the Eau de Toilette of Egoiste and not the Cologne Concentree. Argh. I called the store and they said the Cologne Concentree was gone. BOO! The lady who answered the phone said that she had it in her hand and was shipping it to me. I am so bummed.
Interesting experience at the boutique they have always been nice to me and willing to help and give samples in my times dealing with them.