Today I am happy to have Steven Verstraete of Haute Parfumerie Place Vendome in Weevelgem, Belgium, as a guest in the People In Perfumeland series.
Steven’s workplaces is a piece of heaven on earth for sure and a dream destination for every self-respecting Perfumista. Fortunately Place Vendome has an excellent mail order service if you are unable to visit this small Belgian city (just email them with your wishes) and aside from your exquisitely packaged fragrant treasure, Steven, his boss David Depuydt and their colleagues always add plenty of samples and gifts to make sure your shopping experience is a fantastic one.
I am a very happy customer of Place Vendome and so have been many of my friends and readers. So today we get a glimpse of the person behind the self-confessed Guerlain addict Steven Verstraete. Enjoy!
A good day starts with… a long shower… preferably with Eau Ressourcante shower cream by Clarins.
I’d never leave the house without… my iPhone or iPad… just imagine I would miss out on something. 😉
I always feel good when… the sun is shining in the morning and the birds sing their prettiest tune.
My favorite thing in the world is… my shower and iPad – but not together…
The next thing I want to buy is… a plane ticket to Brazil.
The place I always come back to is… Home, cause there is where my bathroom is… 😉
My personal style is… casual.
My favorite perfume… oooohh do you have a few hours.? Lol… lately I seem to have fallen for Shalimar… but my first love was the late Voyageur from Jean Patou, I hope they will make it soon again… and the classic Yohji Yamamoto… and of course….
When I travel I always… make sure to have a travel size spray of Guerlain with me.
To relax I need… a hot bath or shower.
When I have a bad day… I am complaining like a small child that didn’t get what it wanted.
I like to gift people with… bath products.
I find my inspiration… in classic music… Philippe Jaroussky… heavenly!
Something I would never want to miss… is the child-like sense of wonder, when you are presented a scent for the first time.
My last mistake was… something quickly forgotten.
In my fridge there is always… bubbles (Ruinart is good enough).
On my nightstand I keep… hand cream by Clarins… the best!
The perfect weekend starts with… an early breakfast and a huge cup of coffee.
My role model is… not yet born… but I like the myth created around Gabrielle Chanel.
Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is… What was your childhood dream?
A bath, Ruinart champagne, a ticket to Brazil with a Guerlain travel spray in the bag? Sounds perfect to me!
I would have loved an answer to the last question Steven asks himself though. Maybe we’ll get it today in the comments?!
Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume was lucky enough to meet Steven and visit the store in person, for further reading and photos, be sure to visit her “heavenly” post here. Victoria of Bois de Jasmin was just as lucky and took some stunning photos, see her post here.
Are you familiar with Place Vendome?
LOL at not using shower and iPad together! Sage advice for sure – my hot tea splattered iPhone has been mute ever since…And I can totally understand Steven’s attachment to his bathroom – Eau Ressourcante is like a ‘spa in a jar’ / squeezy tube etc.
Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Steven, on a hot August day (what’s one of those?) in 2012. He was patient to a fault as I explored some of the more unusual offerings in the store, and made me a goodly number of samples to take away. This particular piece of Birgit heaven also comes with a cute little dog!
PS Thanks very much for the link to my post. :-). Bois de Jasmin also wrote a feature on the Haute Parfumerie in Aug ’12, with some sumptuous photos!
You are very welcome! I should add Victoria’s post too!
You rpoor phone! 😦 I would have thought that British phones would enjoy their tea more…
You lucky woman, having been there yourself!
I’m familiar with the Place Vendome through your blog and the enabling you did with LPRN. 😉
It was a pleasure doing business with them though so it’s nice to see Steven featured at your blog. 🙂
Always a pleasure to be an enabler! 😉
I have been to Place Vendome several times and Steven is such a lovely person. He takes times, and he loves to tell you about the background of a fragrance, you can really experience a fragrance by his stories and everytime I leave the shop I feel like a princess..overloaded with beautiful gifts! Every perfumista should visit Place Vendome it is heaven on earth!
You lucky woman!!! It is such a pleasure to find a SA who is acutally interested and knowledgeable in his field.
It is thanks to you that I know about Steven and Place Vendome. If I could only be so lucky to travel there and meet the man in person!
I seem to be responsible for a few Place Vendome fans. 😉
Let’s organise a trip there. Summer? I’ll drive.
Great idea!!! But I’ll drive, you’ll supply the cookies! 😉
Ha! The bathroom is where the heart is. Great stuff.
I would love to order something from there. I keep wondering if they have any Sous le Vent left.
I wholly subscribe to that philosophy as well! 🙂
I’m quite sure they do have Sous le Vent! Mine came from there… 🙂
Hi all. After reading this blog I took a trip to Place Vendôme and in spite of several mistakes, one of which took me over the border into nearby France, I finally entered Heaven. David, the owner, spent a good 2 hours with me. It was not just an incredible education but a wonderful experience. Everyone interested in perfume should visit this Shangri La. David is the perfect teacher and a wonderfully humble and authentic man. 11/10.
That is so lovely to hear! I’m glad you had a great time (and jealous you live in driving distance! 😉 ).
Did you buy anything interesting?
I was there on a mission to get an expert opinion of some testers from an artisanal perfumer, a mission which I will continue here in Brussels before returning to London. I have quite a list of perfumes I would like to check out so I held back on purchasing anything, but it has now become my No 1 shop. I did, however, come away with a little bag of goodies which I am dying to try. Thank you for this great suggestion! And for other readers: take your car navigation system with you so you don’t suddenly arrive in France…
I have been lucky enough to visit the Place Vendome in Weevelgem twice as my wife’s parents live in Belgium.
I remember a lovely conversation with Steven about all things Guerlain, so good to meet another real fanatic of the house. He was generous to let me smell the vintage Mitsouko from the huge bottle they have there and a custom vanilla extract in a 1L bee bootle he was working on.
Looking forward to visiting again soon in the near future.
Lucky indeed, Joe! It sounds like you had a great time!
I’m one of those unfortunate people who manage to always look as if I’ve just rolled out of bed (on the wrong side — think Animal in the Muppets and you get the idea). Now, the world of niche perfumes can be just a tad elitist and I often get the distinct feeling when I walk up to the counter of some exclusive little shop, that the impeccably groomed and coiffed and manicured creature that greets me, does so with just a little too much disdain and suspicion. “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, I want to shout, but I don’t and instead I often leave sooner than I would have liked.
Enter Place Vendôme, the most wonderful little boutique I have ever visited. I have only been once, but on that occasion I was on a roadtrip from hell (having been to a funeral in London I was on my way back to Cologne), and I looked as one might expect… But Steven greeted me with enthusiasm and curtesy and spent the next two hours with me, taking me on the most amazing journey of olfactory discovery (letting me sniff so many things I had to go for a walk to clear my head in the middle of it all). He is so kind and funny, has so much knowledge and is so incredibly generous in every sense. I know I will always be a loyal customer. The online service is fantastic too. And the extras he gifts you! Wow!
I hope to make an annual pilgrimage to Wevelgem. It is my Mecca.
Oh Åsa, that is a great story. I hope you get to make your annual pilgrimage and maybe one day I get to accompany you! 🙂
Wouldn’t that be fun? Perhaps you ought to arrange a meet-up of your loyal blog-readers in Wevelgem? By the way Steven did mention to me that your blog had played an important role in putting Place Vendôme on the map 🙂
That is lovely to hear!
A reader meet-up there would be fabulous, if only Weevelgem wouldn’t be so remote… 😦
Off to discover the music of Philippe Jaroussky. I like shops that play classical music. Maybe in Europe that is the norm? Down Under it is constant ‘beat’ music which puts me off shopping as I cannot make decisions in such musical mayhem.
Great retail fitout. The gold walls remind me of my own drawing room (that only exists in my mind).
It is not the norm, unfortunately. 😦
I can just imagine your fantasy drawing room, Jordan! 🙂