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  1. #1

    Default Chicago Sniff Trip

    So I went to visit "my home town," (really I was a suburbanite), and took a friend on a sniffing day. We visited Neiman Marcus, Chanel, and Cartier.

    Although it was mostly an initial sniff for me on a couple of the lines, I still had some takeaways.

    @Neiman Marcus, we tested Tom Ford and a bit of the rarer Diors, as well as some Jo Malone.

    -Tom Ford initial impressions:
    ---The florals are lovely and dark, and the Jasmin Rouge is not a headache fest for me as Jasmine can be. Would like to test the Champaca, the Jasmin, and maybe Shanghai Lily, more intimately at my leisure.
    ---The citruses are complex, but not long lasting. Either I went anosmic, or I lost Rive d'Ambre and Mandarino di Amalfi after about an hour. But they are gorgeous while they last. (Took home Rive d'Ambre as a sample)
    ---The Tuscan Leather is a manly beast, and I took home a sample for my husband.
    ---Tobacco Vanille was disappointing, at least on my friend's skin, where it smelled of burnt caramel popcorn.
    ---The White Suede is a nice, complex version of the old standby, white musk.
    ---Of the Ouds, the Oud Fleur was most interesting, and most wearable by a woman, and I think I'd like to try that one on skin eventually.
    ---Initial impression of the Patchouli is that perhaps it will need to be layered.
    ---The Venetian Bergamot and Azure Lime are lovely and very unisex. Can't wait to try them on.

    -Dior:
    ---Purchased Sauvage for my husband. He has already had a sample. I think of it as a reboot to the old fashioned barbershop smell, which he enjoys.
    ---Is Dune discontinued??? Be still my heart.
    ---My friend, who has a very modern sensibility (wears Si by Armani currently), did not like Chanel's Cristalle, but DID enjoy Diorella. (Surprise.)
    ---Dioressence has been reformulated AGAIN. Came ready to purchase based on a sample the ladies had made me last summer, but it is not the same! Perhaps it is a reformulation that is more close to the original? I would need to test this one out.

    -Creed:
    ---I do see the resemblance between GIT and Cool Water.
    ---Spring Flower no longer thrills, as it seems to have been endlessly copied.

    Jo Malone:
    ---Purchased Wood Sage Sea Salt for my husband, which he has been sampling for quite a while.
    ---The New Mimosa Cardamom is definitely not a Nagel, but it is very pleasant and unisex. On my skin, it turns funky alla Cumin. Not a fan.
    ---Amber Lavender reminds me a bit of Chanel Jersey.

    @Chanel, we focused mainly on Les Exclusifs, venturing out to test Cristalle EDT and Cristalle Eau Verte. (It should also be noted that they were very kind and patient with us, and when we left to return later after things on our skin had dried down, they greeted us with friendly recognition upon our return.)
    ---Sycomore wooed me. I already had a sample of this, but perhaps it was turning. I really like the smoky Vetiver. It is interesting, complex, and long-lasting. I took home a sample.
    ---Cuir de Russie seems different from my sample-- more birch tar (aka barbecue). It still dries down well. Possible reformulation?
    ---Beige is magical on my friend's skin, and has all the creaminess of tuberose and gardenia, but none of the screech. (Actually frangipani and freesia) I may need to purchase for Spring. My friend took this one home. I got a fresh sample.
    ---I had initially dismissed No. 18 as being too boozy, but it has a fascinating drydown, and may be worth a skin test. I would love to smell this on a man.
    ---Cristalle Eau Verte doesn't remind me much of Cristalle, but I really love it anyway. It seems to be an even blend of greens, citrus, and flowers. My skin brings out the flowers, while my friend grabs the bitter greens and holds. (I took home a sample.)

    @Cartier, we tried the Ouds and Les Heures. (Of note: they offered us water or coffee on entrance, and asked what we were shopping for today. When we said Fragrance, they went and got the Fragrance SA and walked us over to the fragrance area. The Heures were not all on display; the others were in the cabinet below and we had to ask about them.)
    ---Oud Rose was my favorite of the Ouds. There is something exotic about Oud and flowers together.
    ---of Les Heures, I have strong scent memories of Promise, Defendue, Folle, and Convoitee:
    ----------Promise: Crisp Iris and Sandalwood. More akin to 28 La Pausa than 31 Rue. Merits sampling, but they were out. On my skin, I lost it immediately. Temporary anosmia, I'm sure, and it was being overpowered by other test spots on my arm in other places.
    ----------Defendue: Cocoa and Patchouli, alla Angel perhaps. Much more cocoa, though. My friend's skin can't hold onto anything sweet, but this worked out. She took home a sample.
    ----------Folle: fresh and fruity; a currant berry smell that isn't jammy
    ----------Convoitee: violets and greenery--a modern take on an old theme

    If you are shopping in Chicago, or planning on direct ordering from one of the boutiques, and want names of SA's, PM me.
    In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry,
    a yam of a woman of butter and brass,
    compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple,
    like a handgrenade set to explode,
    like goldenrod ready to bloom.

    —from "The Woman in the Ordinary" by Marge Piercy

  2. #2
    Wearing Perfume Right Now
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    I will be sampling No. 18. Thank you for your post, Kotori!

    Dune is available in France - see Dior.fr.
    Last edited by Bavard; 3rd January 2016 at 04:11 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Kotori - sounds like you had a wonderful and fruitful time with your friend!
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Fun trip, Kotori. Did you try Italian Cypress by chance? One of my favorite Tom Fords. Sycamore is on my list to get for this year.
    You covered alot of ground. Happy new Year!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard View Post
    I will be sampling No. 18. Thank you for your post, Kotori!

    Dune is available in France - see Dior.fr.
    Definitely try No. 18 if you haven't. It somehow achieves a crystalline quality with a dark perhaps amberiness.
    Good to know about Dune. I've been wearing it since I was 15. Can't imagine my wardrobe without it.

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    Kotori - sounds like you had a wonderful and fruitful time with your friend!
    Definitely, Hednic! I think I'm a bad influence on her budget. But maybe a positive influence on her tastes?

    Quote Originally Posted by jaymo View Post
    Fun trip, Kotori. Did you try Italian Cypress by chance? One of my favorite Tom Fords. Sycamore is on my list to get for this year.
    You covered alot of ground. Happy new Year!
    I remember sniffing Italian Cypress, but I definitely need to try it again because my scent memory of it has already faded! Enjoy the Sycomore. I really found it challenging at first, but now I love it. Also, when you purchase, if you don't live near a boutique, you can call one to order, and save yourself the $18 shipping. Happy New Year everyone!
    Last edited by Kotori; 3rd January 2016 at 06:47 PM.
    In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry,
    a yam of a woman of butter and brass,
    compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple,
    like a handgrenade set to explode,
    like goldenrod ready to bloom.

    —from "The Woman in the Ordinary" by Marge Piercy

  6. #6
    Basenotes Institution sjg3839's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Sounds like one nice trip.

  7. #7
    Basenotes Institution N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Did Neiman's have a Guerlain line over there? I would recommend exploring their exclusive collection as well.
    Currently looking for some:

    - Neil Morris Samples

    Fragrance Reviews:http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/13373062

  8. #8
    Basenotes Member CHE21QNZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    I have fond memories of Chicago. There nothing like a sniff trip in the Windy City.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by sjg3839 View Post
    Sounds like one nice trip.
    It was a fantastic time!

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    Did Neiman's have a Guerlain line over there? I would recommend exploring their exclusive collection as well.
    I wish... Full disclosure: the Neiman's I went to was in the Burbs-- Northbrook-- but the array of Guerlain was limited to Shalimar, Samsara, L'Heure Bleu, Mitsouko, Jicky, L'Instant, and Chamade. Not even any Aqua Allegorias, although a Nordstrom nearby carries them. Maybe there was a men's area that I missed, but no exclusives. I'd like to try those out. What are your favorites?

    Quote Originally Posted by CHE21QNZ View Post
    I have fond memories of Chicago.
    Me, too. It's my kind of town.
    In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry,
    a yam of a woman of butter and brass,
    compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple,
    like a handgrenade set to explode,
    like goldenrod ready to bloom.

    —from "The Woman in the Ordinary" by Marge Piercy

  10. #10
    Basenotes Institution freewheelingvagabond's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Great thread, love your travel descriptions!

    I always thought the Private Blends florals are better than the other styles from the range, but I have only tried those at stores.

    I first sampled Diorella sometime in 2012. It was love at first sniff.

    Chanel No 18 sounds interesting - thanks!

    I've been to Chicago a couple of times, but I've never been to any of these shops - I was too busy visiting the museums. The train rides are lovely, as they take you through the city and you try to soak in all of the atmosphere - the buildings, the graffiti, the bends, the glimpses of streets below and traffic crawling, the stations, and the charming little flower pots gracing the apartment balconies.

  11. #11
    Basenotes Institution N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotori View Post



    I wish... Full disclosure: the Neiman's I went to was in the Burbs-- Northbrook-- but the array of Guerlain was limited to Shalimar, Samsara, L'Heure Bleu, Mitsouko, Jicky, L'Instant, and Chamade. Not even any Aqua Allegorias, although a Nordstrom nearby carries them. Maybe there was a men's area that I missed, but no exclusives. I'd like to try those out. What are your favorites?


    I highly recommend taking a look at the L'art et la Matière collection. Ones that I suggest trying would be Angelique Noire, Bois d'Armenie, Cuir Beluga, Spiritueuse Double Vanille, Tonka Imperial and Iris Ganache (discontinued but worth trying).

    Other lines that they have that are worth looking would be Les Élixirs Charnels and Les Parisiens. I recommend Gourmand Coquin from the Les Élixirs Charnels and I suggest your husband to try Derby from the Les Parisiens collection.

    I also would suggest looking into some of the flankers from the classic Guerlains. Have you tried Shalimar Parfum Initial or Ode a la vanilla sur la route du Mexique?
    Currently looking for some:

    - Neil Morris Samples

    Fragrance Reviews:http://www.basenotes.net/fragrancereviews/13373062

  12. #12

    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by freewheelingvagabond View Post
    Great thread, love your travel descriptions!

    I always thought the Private Blends florals are better than the other styles from the range, but I have only tried those at stores.

    I first sampled Diorella sometime in 2012. It was love at first sniff.

    Chanel No 18 sounds interesting - thanks!

    I've been to Chicago a couple of times, but I've never been to any of these shops - I was too busy visiting the museums. The train rides are lovely, as they take you through the city and you try to soak in all of the atmosphere - the buildings, the graffiti, the bends, the glimpses of streets below and traffic crawling, the stations, and the charming little flower pots gracing the apartment balconies.
    Diorella was an instant hit for me, too, earlier this past year.
    Nobody blames you for loving Chicago museums; they are awesome! I love your descriptions of my city. I rarely hear it referred to as charming, but I quite agree. Charming, and bustling and strong.

    Quote Originally Posted by N.CAL Fragrance Reviewer View Post
    I highly recommend taking a look at the L'art et la Matière collection. Ones that I suggest trying would be Angelique Noire, Bois d'Armenie, Cuir Beluga, Spiritueuse Double Vanille, Tonka Imperial and Iris Ganache (discontinued but worth trying).

    Other lines that they have that are worth looking would be Les Élixirs Charnels and Les Parisiens. I recommend Gourmand Coquin from the Les Élixirs Charnels and I suggest your husband to try Derby from the Les Parisiens collection.

    I also would suggest looking into some of the flankers from the classic Guerlains. Have you tried Shalimar Parfum Initial or Ode a la vanilla sur la route du Mexique?
    I see that some of these are sold at Perfumed Court and Surrender to Chance as .5 ml samples, which might be a good way to try them. I'm actually hoping to take my family to Disney World sometime in 2016, assuming they still have a Guerlain boutique there... I should at least do some research first. Guerlain was my first love around the time that I joined Basenotes. I fell for Shalimar, Shalimar Eau Legere, Mitsouko, With Love, multiple Aqua Allegorias, and L'Instant.

    I will have my husband try Derby at some point. Thanks for the recommendation. I wish I had a tab under a Wardrobe that was for his wardrobe!

    I've heard a lot about Spiriteuse Double Vanille and Tonka Imperiale. And of course I love Iris... I also thought Gourmand Coquin sounded excellent. And I did try Shalimar Initial on a tester (enjoyed it), but there was no more product left to be sold. I know without testing it that Sur la Route du Mexique would be a hit for me because I love cooking with Mexican and Dominican vanilla. And Shalimar is lovely anyway. I see that you got yourself a bottle. Congrats.
    Last edited by Kotori; 4th January 2016 at 03:12 AM.
    In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry,
    a yam of a woman of butter and brass,
    compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple,
    like a handgrenade set to explode,
    like goldenrod ready to bloom.

    —from "The Woman in the Ordinary" by Marge Piercy

  13. #13

    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    I'm also a suburbanite growing up so now when I go back I stay on Mich as do the tourist
    Thing.

    I also recommend Saks and Barneys as two other spots not far fro
    Where you were. Hermes is right across the street from Barneys too. Check out the barber shop type English gentleman store on 8th floor of Bloomingdales mall they sell Xerjoffs.

  14. #14
    Basenotes Member CHE21QNZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotori View Post
    It was a fantastic time!


    Me, too. It's my kind of town.
    We can always hook up and go "sniffing" together.

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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Kotori, thank you for these olfactory impressions as you've delineated them so well, it sounds as though you guys had a great time in the Windy City. Brings back so many memories. Off topic: I miss Gino's East, Uno Pizzeria and Giardano's. Lou Malnati's is one I still have yet to try(go figure). And thank you for posting that picture of your wonderful vacation to Ireland. Big thumbs up! P.S.- No one makes a pizza like Chicago. Italian beef sandwiches are also good btw. I think I'm in the wrong forum btw. This isn't the culinary one? Lol. My apologies for the digression. :-)

  16. #16

    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Skip and go to Pequod's or Coalfire next time you're in town. You'll be glad you did!!! Pizano's is better too, if you're staying in the touristy areas.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Kotori, thank you for these olfactory impressions as you've delineated them so well, it sounds as though you guys had a great time in the Windy City. Brings back so many memories. Off topic: I miss Gino's East, Uno Pizzeria and Giardano's. Lou Malnati's is one I still have yet to try(go figure). And thank you for posting that picture of your wonderful vacation to Ireland. Big thumbs up! P.S.- No one makes a pizza like Chicago. Italian beef sandwiches are also good btw. I think I'm in the wrong forum btw. This isn't the culinary one? Lol. My apologies for the digression. :-)
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  17. #17

    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Pequods is great I used to go to the one in Moton Grove. Never made it to Burts Place unfortunately.

    Back on topic there is also a Merz apothecary that had some wet shaver favorites- I think it's in the Palmer Hilton in the Loop.

  18. #18
    Basenotes Member CHE21QNZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Skip and go to Pequod's or Coalfire next time you're in town. You'll be glad you did!!! Pizano's is better too, if you're staying in the touristy areas.
    Chicago has great meat. When I'm in town I always endeavour to nibble at Publican Quality Meats deli cafe . Their salami breakfast with the sesame semolina toast is to die for.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by cameron View Post
    I'm also a suburbanite growing up so now when I go back I stay on Mich as do the tourist
    Thing.

    I also recommend Saks and Barneys as two other spots not far fro
    Where you were. Hermes is right across the street from Barneys too. Check out the barber shop type English gentleman store on 8th floor of Bloomingdales mall they sell Xerjoffs.
    I really need to hit them next time. Can't believe I've never been to Hermes, and I'm such a big fan of Ellena's work!

    Quote Originally Posted by CHE21QNZ View Post
    We can always hook up and go "sniffing" together.
    Don't you think we should get to know each other first?

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    Kotori, thank you for these olfactory impressions as you've delineated them so well, it sounds as though you guys had a great time in the Windy City. Brings back so many memories. Off topic: I miss Gino's East, Uno Pizzeria and Giardano's. Lou Malnati's is one I still have yet to try(go figure). And thank you for posting that picture of your wonderful vacation to Ireland. Big thumbs up! P.S.- No one makes a pizza like Chicago. Italian beef sandwiches are also good btw. I think I'm in the wrong forum btw. This isn't the culinary one? Lol. My apologies for the digression. :-)
    Paul-- I totally get it. I miss Lou's, Portillo's, Home Run Inn, Al's, Luke's... Mmmmm Chicago food....Good pizza or Italian beef is like a unicorn here in Memphis. Ditto good Chinese food. Ditto Greek food. I need some Omega or Parthenon... Need some good Indian food... Some decent fondue. Memphis knows barbecue for sure. But that's about all. That and steak.

    Quote Originally Posted by rynegne View Post
    Skip and go to Pequod's or Coalfire next time you're in town. You'll be glad you did!!! Pizano's is better too, if you're staying in the touristy areas.
    What do they carry? I haven't been to those stores. I will be sure to check them out this spring/summer when I come through again.

    Quote Originally Posted by cameron View Post
    Pequods is great I used to go to the one in Moton Grove. Never made it to Burts Place unfortunately.

    Back on topic there is also a Merz apothecary that had some wet shaver favorites- I think it's in the Palmer Hilton in the Loop.
    Merz was actually on my agenda until my other friend canceled on me: it's near her place. Next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by CHE21QNZ View Post
    Chicago has great meat. When I'm in town I always endeavour to nibble at Publican Quality Meats deli cafe . Their salami breakfast with the sesame semolina toast is to die for.
    The delis are great, aren't they? I feel like Chicago specializes in pizza, hot dogs, pasta, bagels, hot beef, and curry. But most ethnic foods are well represented.
    In her bottled up is a woman peppery as curry,
    a yam of a woman of butter and brass,
    compounded of acid and sweet like a pineapple,
    like a handgrenade set to explode,
    like goldenrod ready to bloom.

    —from "The Woman in the Ordinary" by Marge Piercy

  20. #20
    Basenotes Member CHE21QNZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Quote Originally Posted by Kotori View Post



    Don't you think we should get to know each other first?


    The delis are great, aren't they? I feel like Chicago specializes in pizza, hot dogs, pasta, bagels, hot beef, and curry. But most ethnic foods are well represented.
    I guess we can get to know each other over a hotdog or bagel . Just know I'm not looking for a booty sniff, I'm a serious sort of a chap.

  21. #21
    The Keeper of the Plains
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Sounds like a great time, Kotori! I would love to go to Chicago sometime for it all: the food, the museums, the shopping ...
    I've trademarked the color bleu

  22. #22
    Basenotes Member CHE21QNZ's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chicago Sniff Trip

    Why don't the 3 of us go all together ? Hotdogs, Bagels and Fragrances . How much fun would that be.

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