Sunday, November 7, 2010

SOTW: Barney's.

Last Saturday was, well, Last Saturday. (You know, our private holiday, described here?) But there wasn't time to do any shopping, so I declared this Saturday to be Last Saturday

This Saturday, we went to Barney's.


I assured Himself that I just needed, oh, half an hour. Close to one scent-fogged hour later, my phone went off, with the blaring Warning! Warning! ring that I set after Himself complained that I never seemed to hear the phone when he calls. He was very courteous on the phone, and assured me that he was just calling to let me know that he was moving from the cafe where he usually waits out my perfume worship in reasonable comfort, to elsewhere on Union Square. It seemed appropriate for me to make decisions and get moving.

The decisions at that point involved:
  • A tuberose perfume from... um... oh, dear. It's on the shelves against the column right by the stairs - no, that's not going to help you any. A tuberose that contained, to my nose, a substantial melon note. That was right out. And, of course, I never buy a perfume on the day I smell it for the first time, so that would have eliminated it anyway.
  • Serge Lutens Chene. What ever made me think that I didn't like this? What ever made me think that I didn't love this? Gooey sweet stuff plus something sharp plus rum. Want. And I've smelled it at least once before, so technically buying it wouldn't violate the rules.
  • Nasomatto Hindu Grass. I couldn't decide if I liked this a good deal more than most fragrant-grass fragrances or just liked it. Anyway, it was the first day I smelled this one, too, and you know the rule. I never break the rule. Breaking the rule at The Perfume Shoppe doesn't count, because Nazrin is magic. Or psychic. Or something. The nice man gave me a sample, though.
  • Nasomatto Absinth. I liked this very much. Sweet and sharp and vaguely edible. I'd never smelled it before either.
  • Bois 1920 Sutra Ylang. I didn't even sniff this, but whenever I see it, it goes into the decisionmaking apparatus in my brain, which makes happy longing noises, gets a fresh look at the price, and spits out a rejection slip.
There is now a bottle of Nasomatto Absinth in the New Perfume Admiration Spot in the living room. I'm taking the Fifth. At least until I can manufacture an exception to the rule. Luckily, it's likely to be about six months before I get to Barney's again.

Edited to add: Aha! the "um..." tuberose was Heely - I went on a bottle-recognition hunt through Barney's website, plus now I remember also sniffing Cardinal. And therefore by process of elimination, it was probably Heeley Ophelia - the notes look just about like the notes list that the nice man showed me.

If it was Ophelia, then I'm guessing that the melon note might have really been an aquatic note (I tend to read aquatic as melon), though there's a little bit of a dark joke feel about that, isn't there?

In any case, it's not for me. The top notes felt like a very classic-fragrance take on tuberose, which was great. But the melon spoiled that within five minutes, and then the good black-and-white-movie classic fragrance vibe turned into an overperfumed-lady-at-church sneezy classic fragrance vibe, plus  melon, and that was that. I'm perfectly prepared to blame my skin and my nose rather than Heeley - I've mentioned more than once that my nose can't catch certain notes, and there might be a missing note that would have pulled it all together to perfection. But I'm still not buying it.


  1. Tuberose-melon? (You know me: mention tuberose, and my ears perk up.) Was it Nuit de Tubereuse? Technically mango, not melon, but, eh - weird whangy fruit.

    Or (I can't believe I actually know this) the original Juicy Couture? Say it ain't so, CF.

  2. They don't carry Juicy Couture at Barney's. :) I thought Carnal Flower -- melon is in the listed notes.

  3. I figured it out! (See post update.) It was Heeley Ophelia.

    Yo, Mal! No, I've never tried Juicy Couture. While I may try it someday, just for the sake of information, I wouldn't waste Barney's time on it. :)

    Howdy, Elisa! Nope, not Carnal Flower either. Melon?! And I think I liked Carnal Flower. Though it's never been in the Longing List, and maybe the melon is why.

  4. What a funny story! Himself's method of extricating you from your scent-fog reverie strikes me as remarkably restrained - Mr Bonkers and Mrs Bonkers Snr usually come in mob-handed to fetch me out of perfume stores.

    And I can really relate to "bottle-recognition hunts" - on behalf of my poor friend Clare in particular. Yes, she is a "poor Clare" - do you have that order over there? Anyway, she fell for a Creed once in Harrods and has NO idea which one, masculine, feminine, opaque, transparent...Can you imagine a worse line in which not to recognise the bottle with which you are smitten? (Perhaps you could smooth out the grammar there as part of your daily word count?)

  5. I've never even laid eyes on a Barney's, much less entered one, so of course I would have no idea what they carry. (No, don't bother smelling the Juicy Couture. Ugh. No matter what P:TG says about "transparent tuberose.")

    Ophelia seems to have been unilaterally despised in the 'fume community, but I don't know why. Too much hype spoils the juice, maybe...

    I did have a vague memory of your liking Carnal Flower - in which I never smell melon, though I think I read a review of it that mentioned Juicy Fruit gum - so I didn't think that was the Mystery Scent.

  6. I like Juicy Couture! I mean, it's really not in the same solar system as Carnal Flower, but I think the drydown, after the initial sweet blast, is really pretty, especially considering the source.

    Barney's pretty much only carries super-high-end stuff. They focus on Malles, Serge Lutens, L'Artisan and a few other niche lines, plus, you know, candles that cost $78.

  7. Yo, Vanessa! Yes, he's generally very polite about dragging me out of serious perfume places. :)

    I'm not sure about Poor Clare - I must Google, but apparently they're not well-known, if they are here. And, ack! Yes, Creed is likely the very worst line to get confused about.

  8. Mals! Oh, Barney's is lovely. At least ours is, at least in the fragrance department - I've heard rumors of snobbiness at some others, and I don't dare set foot in the other departments. It's the kind of place where you feel that you do really want to know what you're doing.

    Poor Ophelia, but, yeah, I can see flaws.

    Yes, I do remember liking Carnal Flower. They must have somehow reconciled the melon - or maybe just used a better version, because I don't officially dislike melon, I just dislike perfume melon.

  9. Hey, Elisa! Sephora would be amply supplied with Juicy Couture, right? I'll have a look next time I'm there.

    My main association for Juicy Couture is that Dollhouse episode in which they kidnap the salesgirl and the doll of the moment is complaining about leaving her Juicy Couture T-shirt behind. It's not a great association. :)

  10. Yes, you can definitely find it at Sephora. And yeah the brand as a whole I could do without, but the original JC perfume ain't too bad, methinks -- just don't expect a Carnal Flower like wonder. :) BTW I have a little roll-on bottle which probably has a different effect from the spray.

  11. All righty, I'll make a point of finding it in Sephora. And a roll-on sounds cool.