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.
It was a wonderful morning that I got to spend with Portia, Jin and you! Agree with your husband – “a hoot and a half”.
Thank you for coming with us! It was such fun!
Lovely, funny and terribly sweet description of a day that oozes friendship, laughter, fun and perfumes! I almost felt as though I were there with you all and loved every bit of my “day in Vienna.” Thank you for letting me/us live vicariously.
p.s.- the comment about Jin & the bacon was hilarious.
Thank you, Kafka! I’m glad you enjoyed reading about our tour.
Olfactoria, you are a tourist attraction! Any trouble understanding the Aussie vowels?
I did a bit at first, I’m not used to hearing an Aussie accent, but I love it!
Lovely! Glad you guys had such fun together! Portia is amazing of course and Jin is such a lovely sweet guy. Hoping Miss P shares some of her finds when she gets back!
I’m sure you’ll get to try everything Portia brings home.
I’m envious you get to spend time with the guys regularly. 🙂
Looks like a wonderful time was had by all! I definitely want to visit the leather goods store, if I ever get to visit Vienna.
It is worth the trip! 🙂
He, he, he, Birgit, you are definitely becoming the perfumista tourist attraction in Vienna. 🙂
I know it was what made me decide to apply for that particular race. 😉
Although, now that I mentioned that, if I don’t start running regularly soon, I won’t be able to run even half of it…
Glad you shared the day with us – what a lovely time you all had!
I’m so happy you are coming and incredibly flattered that I played a role in your travel plans.
Goodness what a laugh I am having at 5am reading this post! Wonderful! and how delightful for you to hook up with two lovely individuals who are as obsessed with perfume (and scarves 🙂 !!) as you are!
btw, does Robert Horn sell “lederhosen” (not sure if I spelled it right but I did have a pair as a child!)
And I adore the pictures of Jin and Portia…they are having way too much fun!
If and when you come to NY you will have to bring them along as well, for Jin MUST meet the “bacon queen”, the lovely Daisy!
No Lederhosen at Robert Horn’s, sorry! 🙂
I believe Portia and Jin will be in NY for Sniffapalooza this spring.
I’m glad you enjoyed reading, brie!
Yep. I had bacon today. And it rocked! 🙂
Bacon always rocks!!! 😉
It seems like you have put Vienna on the perfumista vacation map. Your son’s comment is too funny. I’m happy you found a place with bacon for Jin. Hubby likes his bacon too so I understand.
Never underestimate the power of bacon! 😉
Somehow I have the feeling that you are giving us the “tamed down” version of the day! 🙂 It sounds like you all had a wonderful time and thank god for our spouses who very patiently put up with our obsession!
Haha, no really, (almost) no need to tone down anything. 😉
You are right, it can’t be easy being with someone obsessed.
Looks like you had an amazing time! So many perfume shops. I wish there was such a city in Poland that has more than one boutique with niche perfumes.
I’m lucky in Vienna, that’s true.
You definitely are. Here in Poland we have only 3 niche boutique chains and they’re located in such way that only of them is in the city (two in biggest cities)
Fun! Fun! Fun! I got the warm fuzzies just reading about this shopping trip. What a lovely morning you all had. No perfumista should tour Vienna without you. Portia and Jin obviously make a great couple.
The mix and match Malle travel set is a real bonus and I’m so glad you now have a Guerlain wall!
I wish I could do a perfume tour with you!!!
Oh my word you are a one woman travel advert for Vienna, it is taking every ounce of my will power not to immediately start googling flights! It sounds like you are having a wonderful time, I am quite sure we all wish we were there with you! And I didn’t know ANYWHERE mixed the FM travel bottles – that is wonderful (hee can you imagine trying to explain to a non-perfume person why that is quite so exciting?!?).
Oh, start googling, Alex!!! 🙂
The Malle travel mix as they call it, is a blessing!
OMG–they mix? I’ve begged, I’ve pleaded, in cities all over the world (well–OK–in a few cities–every one of the boutiques in Paris, and most recently Boston). Love the report, love the photos!
It’s really great that they do that.
Thanks, Cheryl, glad you enjoyed the post.
We would would fly 20 hours more and consider it worthwhile to hang with you, Sandra and The Husband again. Can’t get the A Quiet Morning out of my head. Do they sell it all over Europe or do I need order from a website.
I wish there was a never ending font of money so we could purchase everything we loved that day but Jin is really getting loads of wear out of his red scarf, big smiles and swirls every time it goes on.
Thank you for being such a wonderful host, please come to Sydney so we can return the Cavour,
I think you should be able to find Miller & Bertaux in Paris (at Sens Unique or Jovoy most likely).
It was such fun, thank you, P! xo
Oh, that is a wonderful day and such fun to read, thank you! Vicarious travel is better than no travel 🙂
So true. And hosting visitors is almost like travel. You see your home through new eyes.
Thanks for sharing this wonderful day with us. ❤
You are very welcome, Sharon!
Destination Birgit! That’s how I view Vienna now! 🙂
This was so, so much fun. I’m glad you all had such a great day – that smile on Portia’s face says it all. And the very good-looking Jin must be very kind and patience to put up with you fume heads, so it’s nice to know that his patience was rewarded with some beautiful scarf shopping.
Speaking of bacon, there is actually a very good Austrian restaurant in our little town. My husband and I only go there when we feel it’s safe to strap on a lot of calories, because their motto (on their T-shirts, which my husband proudly wears) is “Herwig’s Austrian Bistro … Where Bacon is An Herb!” Jin would love it there!
My husband would love it there as well, he and Jin immediately bonded over their shared love for bacon. 😉
It’s funny to learn that there is an Austrian restaurant near you, I’d be very curious to taste the food there, as it is almost impossible to make many Austrian dishes in the US, since so many crucial ingredients are very hard to get or very different.
Another good reason to go to Pennsylvania besides Destination Suzanne. 😉
A hoot and a half of a post as well! Loved it all, right from the lack of greasy stuff to the desirable silver Hermes flacons. And I now have a reason to come back to Vienna (as if I needed to concoct one!), namely that Le Dix-Neuf is a new outlet since I was last there. But otherwise I can picture you guys in three of the places on your itinerary. Though not the snow! Love Pauli’s comment – the lengths we perfumistas are prepared to travel for our hobby must indeed be a mystery to most people, not just the young…
Chuckling too over Suzanne’s comment above about bacon being an herb. Too funny!
Oh yes, that is indeed a good reason to come – in the name of research for your blog if for nothing else. It is incomplete without your report about Le Dix-Neuf!
Aside: I have such a hard time commenting on your blog again, I don’t know why, when using my iPhone or iPad I lose the comment all the time. And I’m not always close to my laptop. Sorry. 😦
Oh boy I cannot tell you how jealous I am that you all got to shop together. This sounds like the ideal shopping trip!
Sounds like you had an amazing time 😀
Come to Vienna! 🙂
Or maybe I can make it over to a PLL meeting this spring.
The others got it right! Now whenever I think/hear about Vienna I think of you!
Thank you for sharing your day with us: it’s the next best thing after experiencing it myself (which I still plan to do at some point ;))
When (not if) you come to visit it will be an absolutely wonderful day for sure. Can’t wait!
Looks like you all had so much fun! The look on Portia’s face would be the look one mine at the prospect of mix-and-match FM travel sprays! Oh God. Why doesn’t everyone do that?!
It’s a shame really, the mix and match Malles are perfection!
Very much a shame. I once wondered aloud in Barney’s as to why they didn’t mix and match them. The SA gave me a funny look. Like I had asked why can’t you put a spoon in the blender or something.