This Monday I had the pleasure of meeting Portia of Australian Perfume Junkies and her charming boyfriend Jin for breakfast at Vienna’s Café Central, a traditional Kaffeehaus that not only sports a fantastic ambience, but also serves bacon and eggs. A feature most appreciated by the bacon-starved Jin, who finds Europe a bit low on the greasy stuff.
My friend and OT contributor Sandra joined us and a great time was had by all.
As you can imagine, there is never a dull moment with Portia, but I especially loved the dry humor (and good looks!!!) of Jin, whose patience and grace in dealing with his exuberant partner is wonderful. Those two are made to last and it is great watching them together.
After breakfast we made our way through the city. Perfume was on the agenda of course, but a little detour into my favorite leather goods store was a success. The Aussies loved the handmade Viennese handbags, wallets and luggage. If you want to take a look – here is the website of Robert Horn’s Ledermanufaktur.
Then we went on to Le Dix-Neuf, the newest perfume store in the city (a feature is coming up shortly including many pictures). The tiny store is jam-packed with the newest niche lines. We concentrated on the Viennese line Wiener Blut and on the German brand J.F. Schwarzlose. Portia picked up a bottle of the newly discontinued Nasomatto Nuda and one of the Wiener Blut perfumes, Volkamaria.
The next stop was Le Parfum, Vienna’s biggest and most prestigious niche store. They had a Guerlain wall installed recently, so now the exclusive lines are finally available in Vienna, including the new L’Heure de Nuit, which left us a bit unimpressed though (this is only a preliminary finding!).
After our noses grew a little weak, we went out in the falling snow again (it was the first time Portia ever experienced that) and strolled to Pure Day Spa, where they carry Frédéric Malle Editions de Parfums. This is the only store I am aware of worldwide (and believe me, I am quite aware when it comes to this topic ) that allows you to combine three different perfumes into one travel pack. This is a chance no Malle-loving Perfumista should pass up of course.
This is the face Portia made after finding out about this particular deal:
The long-suffering Jin used the opportunity to take a little break, while Sandra, Portia and I were all over the Malles.
But there is no rest for the wicked, the next store already beckoned: Duft&Kultur is a mix of perfume store and lifestyle temple. You can find an eclectic mix of items from all over the world in there, handbags, scarves, fabrics, clothes, decorative items and, of course, perfume.
Here, the lovely Jin woke up! It turns out he is a scarf lover and this was a treasure trove for him. So while Portia, Sandra and I sniffed away at L’Artisan, Coudray and Parfum d’Empire, he was happily trying on scarves and finding quite a few to take home. Jin also found a perfume he and Portia loved though, and I’m very happy I pointed it out to them – Miller & Bertaux A Quiet Morning.
The final destination, now that we knew that Jin was into scarves, was Hermès. The esteemed house of Hermès is something like my personal idea of heaven, combining as it does, exquisite things for all areas of life. That I am unable to afford most of it, does not detract from my enjoyment of looking at everything.
We explored the cashmere scarves, looked at throws and rugs and finally took our time to delight in the pleasures of Hermès perfumes exclusive to the boutiques. We loved the new Kelly lock flacons in either silver of gold that are refillable with your choice of 7.5ml extraits of 24 Faubourg, Parfum des Merveilles, Caléche and Kelly Caléche. I definitely see a silver lock filled with Parfum des Merveilles in my future…
After this delightful adventure, I had to run to pick up my boys. My older son said, when I told him about my morning: “It is quite impressive to fly for twenty hours only to smell perfume and meet you, Mommy.”
Well, that was not the only reason they came of course, but I’m very grateful Portia and Jin did look me up and spend time with me.
It was – and these are the words of my husband – a hoot and a half.