Perfume in Paris

Old Oct 5th, 2006, 02:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 41
I found a great place to buy perfume. It's a whole perfume experience! We stumbled across it while exploring the western end of the 4th. The shop is called Nez a Nez and is located at 40 rue Quincampoix. (They have a web site at I'm afraid it's in French only, but the woman at the shop spoke very good English.)

They don't sell name brands, but have all their own perfumes. You go in and they give you a pad and pen. Then you start at one end and start smelling the perfumes. (Each has been sprayed on a feather which you hold to your nose.) You write down which ones appeal to you.

When you have your list, the lovely lady who runs the store takes down your choices and you sit at the table to narrow down your choices. You close your eyes and pick between two scents, eliminating them until you are left with your top three favourites.

Then she explains the 'personality' of the perfume you picked. Because you are not picking a name brand, a recommendation from a friend or even a pretty bottle, you are reduced to scent alone. Truthfully, when she described the 'personality' of the perfume, she described my personality to a 'T'. My friend picked a totally different scent and it too was her completely when described. The woman was great and the whole experience was one of the greatest memories from our trip.

I highly recommend the experience. You are under no obligation to buy the perfume if you go through the process. My friend bought a bottle but I didn't. Regardless, she gave me a paper describing my perfume and a feather with some of the scent sprayed on it.

A definite must if you want to buy some perfume in Paris!
c2Paris is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 02:47 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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re: Nez a Nez...if you actually go into the on the have a page with perfumes and there are the flag for English and also youi can convert to $
crefloors is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 03:05 PM
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I just love Annick Goutal's Hadrian. It is so light and refreshing.

Also, I love Jo Malone's Lime/Basil/Mandarin. WOW WOW WOW!

Aqua d'Parma fragrances are also fabulous, as is anything by Creed.
marginal_margiela is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 03:11 PM
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Amim Kader sells SML.

Anyone in th Boston Area? Filene's basement has Annick Goutal at 60 to 75% off.
cigalechanta is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 04:52 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 33
I have you all beat-have you ever been to
Freddy Parfums, 3 rue Scribe? It's the only place where
I perfume because of the prices! I've been there a number of times and they are very friendly.

Up to 40% off on perfumes, handbags, cosmetics, silk scarves, and neckties. Freddy of Paris is near American Express and the Opéra. Open Monday to Saturday 9:30am to 7pm.
MAC1 is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 05:23 PM
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Freddy, Michel Swiss and Catherine are the same type of store in the same general neighborhood. Not only do they offer discounted prices but you get the detaxe if you spend enough.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 06:12 PM
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 2,238 has all the Annick Goutal perfumes/EDT at somewhat of a discount-I know, as I just ordered "Quel Amour" from them for about US 50.00.(EDT) But I would check back at that site for Gherlain, EksC, because I think they're a really responsive internet site-I've ordered and asked questions before from them when ordering and they've been very helpful.

Marginal-I have a sample of "Hadrian" -isn't it funny how different and individual women are about scents? For me, I didn't care for either Hadrian or Gardenia, which Christina said she liked, but Deslys, Chevrefeuille and the others I mentioned I loved, (and also the Rose Absolue, for soaps).

Cigale, I bet Filene's has only some of the AG scents, not all of them. But you can get AG at Nordstrom's and BG too, for that matter, but just a limited selection. Myself, I love the AG boutiques-half the fun of shopping in Paris is going into the individual designer boutiques for the ambience and personal service that you receive, rather than find the same product in the department store (although I LOVE Le Bon Marche department store!)

Girlspytravel is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 06:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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absolutely agree with you but only mention Filene's basement for those who can't affored it nor get to Paris but want to have those things. Filene's has always been my Mecca sinc I first bought a Galanos in the 60s for $50.
cigalechanta is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:21 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 331
I know the OP has already returned from Paris... but I had to add:

For a perfume you can only find in Paris - and I do mean, it is literally sold only in one store, only in Paris, go to Serge Lutens at the Palais Royale shops. He's widely regarded as one of the most interesting, wonderful, *niche* perfumers in the world. He has an export line (these fragrances are sold in select stores throughout the world, but they're still fairly rare) and an exclusive line (these perfumes are ONLY sold at his store in the Palais Royale).

A "bell jar" (so called because it is a gorgeous glass bottle shaped a bit like a bell) is 100 Euros and holds 2.5 oz. Some people sell SL decants (like 1/5 oz in a small glass rollerball bottle) on ebay. People make quite a handy profit on these decants because the perfumes are rare enough that buyers jump at the opportunity to try his exclusive fragrances.

My favorites are Rahat Loukoum (smells like delicious, warm almond pastries but not in an overly-sweet way; very soft and womanly), Un Lys (the most true Lily fragrance I've ever smelled), A La Nuit, Un Bois Vanille, and Fumerie Turque. Reviews on his fragrances can be found on, or just click here: (I'm not affiliated)

And as someone mentioned above, Guerlain has some exclusives that are only sold in Paris... Nahema, Attrape-Coeur, and others.
tara3056 is offline  
Old Oct 5th, 2006, 11:27 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 331
Oh, and Chanel has some FABULOUS perfumes that are pretty difficult to find, but you'd absolutely find them in Paris. (And it's a relatively affordable excuse to go in one of their amazing boutiques!)

Chanel no. 22 - the parfum version (the best!) is very rare - easily obtained in Paris.

Bois Des Iles
Cuir de Russie

The latter 3 perfumes are all part of Chanel's "Rue Cambon" collection. They were created in the 1920s by famous Chanel perfumer Ernest Beaux, then discontinued and lost for decades. They were recently brought back, true to their original formulations, but can be difficult to find. Your average Chanel counter in the mall absolutely won't have them. I've tried them all, and found them all DIVINE, but to each their own.

The parfum versions are by far the best, and though they are expensive, a tiny bottle will last forever because you need so little each time you wear it.

(I'm a bit of a fragrance-hound, can you tell? LOL)
tara3056 is offline  
Old Oct 6th, 2006, 06:23 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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Frederic Malle is another possibility although I am sure they are expensive.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Oct 7th, 2006, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
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To experience the best French perfume you should make Guerlain, at 68 Champs Elysee, your first stop. They carry some perfumes that are not available at any other location and will be glad to show you which ones. Of course, you should buy what you love, and there is an overwhelming inventory of classic fragrance there.
Another classic perfumer is Caron. These perfumes are swoonworthy. Their best shop is the newer one on the rue de Faubourg Saint-Honore. It's much larger than the tiny one on Avenue Montaigne and sales people are nicer.
After that, I would go to the Salons du Palais Royale to Serge Lutens. He has created some spectacular perfumes and some are only available at that location. Right nearby is Parfums de Rosine - it's easy to miss. If you like roses you will love their perfumes.
For lighter florals that are easy to wear I wouldn't miss Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. They are at 5 rue des Capucines and 84, bis rue de Grenelle.
If you happen to walk by Frederic Malle, you must try them.
Of course the lovely Annick Goutal stores are as charmiing as her fragrances and can be found in quite a few locations.
Another thought is to go the Galeries Layfayette, go to the Welcome Desk and get your 10% off coupon, buy enough there to qualify for the detaxe and save some money. (You won't find many of the unique niche brands there, though.)
You can easily go into olefactory overload in Paris - Have fun!
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Old Oct 7th, 2006, 11:00 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Ooh, I am so excited. I just returned a few weeks ago and I loved it so much I am going back in the spring. This past trip was more about the big sites, but next time will be more intimate, spending time wandering and shopping - and a full week to boot. I had heard there were stores that make perfume for you so thanks c2Paris. I really want to try that. Like Gipsy I am a light perfume floral scent kind of gal. I am still using my lavender perfume I got in Provence two years ago, which I love. Lavender seems strong when you spray it, but its really very soft on. I can't wait to go back. I don't know if it's a curse or a blessing that I live for my next trip.
job816 is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2006, 06:57 AM
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WOW, I go away for a week and come back to a plethora of wonderful responses! I'm not going until thanksgiving week so I have a lot of options to consider - thank you so much!
radiofanatic is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2006, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 331
Diptyque (34 Blvd. St. Germain) makes some outrageously good - and expensive - scented candles (34 Euros, if I recall correctly) and soaps, as well as perfumes. Their perfumes are often more unisex, though, and are very fresh/natural smelling. Philosykos is their most popular fragrance - it's the very essence of a fig tree under the hot Greek sun.

The Feu de Bois (firewood) candle sounds bizarre, but is one of the Best. Smells. Ever.

Their shop is oh-so-very Parisian, and even if you're more interested in perfumes, you should at least stop by if you're in the neighborhood and smell their amazing products. Printemps (and probably the other dept stores too) also carries Diptyque.

Rivoli mentioned several other great French perfumers, and I would second all of those suggestions. Guerlain is definitely considered the Best of the Best in French perfumery. (Be sure to sniff the classics: Shalimar, Mitsouko, L'Heure Bleue, Vol de Nuit, Apres l'Ondee, and others!), so a visit to them is, well, de rigueur.
tara3056 is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2006, 06:03 AM
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I second the Diptyque shop on Blvd. St. Germain - yes, you can buy these products in many places overseas but there's nothing going to the source! My favourite is called L'Eau, which is actually based on a 16th century clove and cinnamon pomander - very Christmasy!

Annick Goutal unfortunately passed away from breast cancer and the company is now run by her daughter Camille who is fortunately carrying on her mother's tradition of making absolutely stunning fragrances. She has just come out with a new candle called 'Le Sac de Ma Mere' (my mother's handbag), evoking the smell of her mother's leather bag. My absolute favourites are Gardenia Passion, Vanille Exquise and Songes but I just about love them all.

I am also a fan of Serge Lutens. Like Jo Malone and Annick Goutal, he bases many of his scents on specific memories, in particular Morocco where he has a home. I love his Clair de Musc and Fleurs D'Oranger.

My favourite though will always be Opium. Can you believe my mother bought me a bottle when I was only 16?

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