(Her-)Mèsmerized In New York City – Olfactoria Travelled

I am a lucky woman in so many respects. The most fabulous one of them all though is surely my husband. (I know Portia would agree! 😉 )

The good husband works like a madman during the week – and often the weekends too – to keep us well-fed and clothed but he also endeavours to make us happy. One way to do that is going on a trip to one of my favorite cities (along with London) in the world – New York.

A few days in NY are an infusion of vigour, youth, beauty, culture and sheer glee that holds over for a long time, even when routine and daily drudgery have us firmly back in their claws.

We started off on Thursday morning after saying Goodbye to our boys at their respective institutions of learning from which my dear parents in law would later pick them up and feed and put them to bed at their house for the next five days. Yes, I am lucky in that respect as well.

Our takeoff in Vienna was delayed by one and a half hours as our plane had to be exchanged for reasons of mechanical failure. Well, I say it is a good thing they clocked that problem before we were in the air! It was the only glitch on an otherwise perfect trip.

We arrived at JFK later than expected, but well rested as we were flying first class (Love those airmiles! Lucky again! 🙂 ). We picked up our rental car and were off upstate to Woodbury Commons, the biggest outlet center in the States. Black Friday sales are so unbelievable, we went home with a year’s worth of clothing for the boys and ourselves for under 500$.

The next day, after a stop at Target (which must sound rather ridiculous for American readers, but it is really lovely to go there if you don’t always get the chance, I love buying groceries and toiletries I can’t get here), we drove to the city, got rid of our car and checked in at The Algonquin.

algonquin outside

Yes, The Algonquin! A adore this hotel ever since I read my first New Yorker Magazine, or Anne Sexton’s biography… a house with such rich literary history fascinates me and I was very excited to be staying there. They have a cat named Matilda who lives in the lobby and she knows she is a queen the way she behaves. I have never met a more arrogant cat, but in a good way, you know cats… 😉


That first night in the city, Friday, we met with Daisy (Cool Cook Style) in the West Village to have dinner at a fantastic Asian Fusion restaurant called Red Farm. The food was amazing and we had plenty of it. Daisy is dangerous when it comes to food, she can’t be trusted not to order one of each off the menu and totally loses her cool when the artfully styled courses arrive. I love Daisy!

Photo collage by Daisy

Photo collage by Daisy

The next day we met with Portia (Australian Perfume Junkies), Gaia and her husband (The Non-Blonde), Daisy, Joshua (the Smelly Vagabond) and Ari (The Scents Of Self) and a bunch of lovely OT readers (Hi hajusuuri, Fleur de Lys, Poodle! Thanks so much for coming!) at Osswald Perfumery in SoHo. Josie was the lovely host there and it was great fun, although the oud concentration in the air was worth at least a few hundred bucks! Fresh air never felt so good! 😉

The evening saw a dinner with Portia and her crew, Daisy and Hajusuuri at The Empire Diner. Again, Daisy flipped her lid when food arrived at the table. Never seen a cuter (and more unsettling at the same time!) sight. The woman really is a foodie through and through. Have I mentioned that I love Daisy?

Speaking of food: we had the best, best, best ever burger of our lives (and there have been a few!) at Shake Shack in Grand Central Station. It was awe-inspiring indeed. (Slowly I start getting Daisy’s enthusiasm…)

alan cumming

On Sunday afternoon came the absolute highlight of our trip: the matinée show of Cabaret at Studio 54 starring Alan Cumming. I have always been a fan of his work (Eli Gold anyone?), but now I am ready to be a groupie. Alan was masterful in his performance as the EmCee, Emma Stone in the role of Sally Bowles also really impressed us and my previously musical-hating husband was so enticed he had to use the f-word repeatedly: Fantastic! Fabulous! Phenomenal!

Totally high from this wonderful experience we went for a repeat performance of the great Shake Shack Burger and then back to the hotel.

What I have totally left out of my tale so far was the great Hermès Hunt Of 2014.

True to form we went to all three Manhattan boutiques (Madison Ave, Wall Street and the Grand Central station pop-up store called The Silk Bar) as well as the airport duty-free in search of a specific scarf.

photo 2 (19)

This one. Tapis Persans twill plume 140×140 in cw09.

And all that although I had already cleverly engineered for meeting my upcoming scarf needs from back home by having Daisy order one online and send it to the Madison boutique and M having his friend Dan do the same from New Hampshire. So two gorgeous 90×90 scarves made their way into my collection.

This one: De la Mer au Ciel


And this one: Mythiques Phoenix

Photo by MaiTai

Photo by MaiTai

The funny thing is that M really enjoyed the hunt. I guess this is what Hermès is really good at, make you sweat for it (not only pay through the nose, no that would be too easy!). But it also makes it special, since every scarf holds a specific story of how it came to me.

And this also brings us around to where we started this long post today: I am lucky to have my husband. Thank you, M!

And many thanks to you, dear readers for sticking with me through a thousand words, none of which was perfume. 😉

B xx

P.S.: Look out for a post by The Husband on Friday! The guy is really funny… 😉



About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
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52 Responses to (Her-)Mèsmerized In New York City – Olfactoria Travelled

  1. Mahesh says:

    Enjoyed reading this piece, you are a very skillful writer.
    I felt as if I was with you when reading abiut your NY trip. Always wanted to go there.one day .. 🙂

  2. Mahesh says:

    And I love all the pictures especiallly the cat’s. May I ask which camera you used? I’m a bit into photography too.

  3. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Wow, First Class – that’s a treat ! Did you fly via Germany ?
    O.K., now I know who’s going to inherit my Hermes scarfs – I’m just not the type for them, but my husband thought he can convince me about the oposit (No, he couldn’t).

  4. Tara says:

    Loved this post!!! I feel like using all the f-words too 😉

    Those scarves are so beautiful I’d want to frame them rather than wear them (especially Tapis Persans). Gorgeous. I’m so glad Alan Cumming and Cabaret lived up to your expectations. He is fabulous.

    I love following Daisy on Twitter and her enthusiasm for food would be contagious. No better dining companion! Glad you got to meet Poodle and so many other marvellous perfume people at Osswald.

    Can’t wait for The Husband’s post on Friday. He is truly one in a million, if not, several million.

    Oh and Matilda the cat really does look haughty!

  5. Georgy says:

    We all love the husband!

  6. Sandra says:

    Brilliant trip! Love the scarves you picked up and the fact that you go to see Alan Cumming. Sounds like you can live on these memories for another year.

  7. poodle says:

    It was such a treat to meet you and your hubby that day. Pictures really don’t do you justice. You’re so elegantly beautiful…and those eyelashes! Amazing. I totally understand Portia’s crush on your husband too.
    If you’re into perfume or food in NY, Daisy is the lady to see. I tried those burgers too and will agree with you that they were delicious.
    I’m so happy you had a great time. I’m happy to see someone else is a Target fan too. I’m in there at least once a week because they do have good prices on some grocery items among other things.
    Those scarves are lovely. I agree with Tara about framing them or finding some other way to display them. They’re too pretty to just keep tucked in a drawer.

  8. Sabine says:

    Ach, New York. So lovely to read that you had a great time. Well deserved. I’m not usually a Hermes scarf kind of woman, I often find the prints too busy, but the De la Mer au Ciel is absolutely stunning.

    • Olfactoria says:

      The secret about Hermès scarfs is all in the colours. The best designs can be too loud or busy, which I don’t like at all. Which is why I am always hunting down the neutral colourways which are often stunning and always rare. So happy you love De la Mer au Ciel, it is fabulous indeed.

  9. hajusuuri says:

    I would describe meeting you, M, Portia and gang, Poodle, Smelly (Vagabond), Fleurdelys as Fantastic! Fabulous! and Phenomenal! I’m also lucky to have Daisy just a subway ride away. And would you believe, I have never been to Shake Shack and it is just a few blocks away from work????

    I’m so glad you got your Hermes scarves. What’s a trip without going home with one, two or three scarves?

    By the way, for those who have not seen Birgit in person, take a look at her About Me picture (beautiful!), then amp that up 10x — this is how Gorgeous she is!

  10. Asali says:

    Sounds like a great trip, but even after the 1000 words all I can think of is Mathilda the sacred Birman ❤ WANT so sorry, always wanted a sacred birman, and she looks amazing, I'm afraid your scarfs are not a match for this kind of beauty 😀

  11. anon says:

    What a wonderful trip and thank you for sharing! Next time I am in Grand Central I will have to seek out the Shake Shack….indeed, baconbiscuit212 is the quintessential food companion when one is visiting NYC….and those scarves are gorgeous!

  12. Suzanne says:

    I’ll have one of everything *she’s* having. (Meaning you, of course!) 😉

    Your trip to New York sounds like it was over-the-top fabulous, in every regard. Three hearty cheers go out to the husband, three more to Daisy for that incredible food, and at least a few more to everyone who met you and made your time so special.

    And ohhh, I love the Tapis Persans scarf! It’s exquisite, like you B.

  13. I’m glad you had a wonderful time, dear Birgt. I enjoyed reading about it and seeing your pictures, as always 🙂 Love. Jim

  14. anitathepianist says:

    What a lovely post. I’m so happy that you had such an awe-inspiring visit. Your fine husband is a very lucky fellow to be married to such an interesting and sensitive person..Best wishes for happy holidays to you and your family..

  15. Anka says:

    (Her-)mèsmerized, haha, brillant!
    I immensely enjoyed reading about your trip, glad you had such a wonderful time!

  16. How fun. It sounds like you had a blast…the perfect way to visit NY….and Daisy does know here food. How does she remain so thin?!

  17. empliau says:

    So glad you (and the Husband – gotta love a man who loves bacon) had a great trip. And yes, wonderful that your Hermès collection is compatible with your present situation. Weren’t you searching for that particular phoenix scarf some months ago? If so, congratulations on finding it – it’s always especially rewarding to locate something that’s no longer easily available! Sadly, I have trouble in Target because the fluorescents glaring of shiny white floors can trigger migraine in me, but I had a similar love for Auchan when I lived in France. Remembering the many varieties of pâté available makes me hungry …

  18. Vanessa says:

    Empliau pipped me to to it – the Phoenix scarf was the one that you didn’t track down in Paris, amongst all that gratuitous wicker. I always enjoy your travelogues, and this one didn’t disappoint. The trio of F-words was a particular highlight, given my love of alliteration. And like Asali, I was also very taken with the cat. Sounds like all the ingredients of a perfect city break came together, and then some!

  19. Kandice says:

    Thanks for sharing your perfect city getaway. It sounds like it was a wonderful trip and you found some lovely momentos to bring home. Those scarves are really beautiful! Can’t wait to read you husband’s recap as well.

  20. What a wonderful write-up! It is always a pleasure to see you and the husband in New York! Thank you both for joining me for “light snacks” 😉

    One day, I hope to eat my way through Vienna, and smell some nice things too! Again, wonderful to see you both!

  21. Undina says:

    What a great trip! I’m so glad you both had great time (and I’m sure kids were well taken care off and didn’t suffer too much either 😉 ).
    The cat, people you met, food, the scarf (I was admiring Mythiques Phoenix on MaiTai’s blog recently) – would love to experience all that (and probably in that order of importance).

    I love Alan Cumming in The Good Wife! He’s one of my favorite characters there.

  22. What a brilliant trip – it all sounds fabulous, everything about it. I have to say I love Eli Gold as well – and I imagine that Cabaret was amazing.

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