Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Bonkers "On Tour" In Germany: The Perfume Bit Proper - Part 1: Mußler Beauty, Stuttgart
"Frankfurt, Cologne(!), Stuttgart, Leipzig, Kassel, Dortmund and Bonn are uncharted territory for me as far as perfume goes..."
Fast forward three months and where should I find myself but in Stuttgart, with a free day and no clue what high end sniffing options the city might harbour! The thought flitted through my mind to contact the blogger and inquire whether they had visited the city in the interim and could advise me on where to go. : - )
That is something to watch out for in Europe in fact - shops that from the outside may just look like a beauty salon or a cosmetics store often carry a fine selection of perfume brands as well. And so it proved with Mußler Beauty, one of a franchise comprising five outlets: three Perfumery & Beauty Lounges (of which the branch I visited was one), and two stand-alone perfumeries, all within the greater Stuttgart area. Two more branches are scheduled to open later this year.
Here's the list of niche brands I jotted down, which may not be comprehensive: Farmacia SS Annunziata, Carner Barcelona, Tann Rokka, Tocca, Atelier Cologne, Korres, Memo, Bond No 9, Organic Glam (Citron & Oud), Bois 1920, Heely, Vero Profumo (extrait and EDP!), Serge Lutens, Etro, Ineke, Creed, Les Parfums de Rosine, Linari, Il Profumo and a better than average selection of Mugler.
So given this cornucopia of scents, what did I actually sniff? Well, I reacquainted myself with Il Profumo Nuda, which Birgit and I sniffed in Vienna, for the first time in my case. The 50ml bottle was going for half price at 47 euros, and I nearly texted Birgit to see if she fancied going halves, before realising that I didn't have her mobile number in my new phone. Are you by any chance getting the impression that this was a day of "nearly" doing things? : - )
Here is Birgit's review of Nuda, with which I agree completely - it is not the fruity musky number it might appear from the note list, but a delicate, silky, cosseting wisp of a thing.
Candy Perfume Boy kindly sent me recently - 7 Billion Hearts - yes, that's the one.
And then I sampled Atelier's Vanille Insensée, which was exactly as I imagined from the reviews, and not really my thing. Too rich and too butch basically. Stylistically, I would describe it as the vanilla equivalent of PG Cozé.
The only other scents I tested on skin were Vero Profumo's Rubj and Onda, in extrait this time. The Rubj wasn't vastly different from the EDP I will have tried with Tara in January in Harrod's - a bit more heady and intense maybe - but the Onda was an altogether different proposition. As in beast, even. Seriously animalic and oily and generally terrifying is about the size of it. It was only dabbed on one knuckle, but like Green Lantern's Power Ring it packed a radiant punch that left me feeling a bit sick for the rest of the day, and worried that I might repel potential punters at the merch table that night. So between the Casimir, whose sickly hum was gathering momentum at this point, and the "tidal wave" of civet in Onda, I wasn't feeling particularly inclined to test any more scents, and instead got chatting to an older sales lady in the store (or possibly the proprietor - I didn't find out her name).
And somehow we also got onto the subject of perfumes going off, and the SA said how to her mind scents on the turn smelt of the herb "Liebstöckel", which I now know to be lovage, though I am not sure if I have ever sniffed it.
So I scurried out and headed back towards the main shopping area, though not without first taking a photo of the exterior, over which they had no jurisdiction. In the next hour I ambled in and out of a couple of branches of Douglas, the department store Müller and I think also Globus, but the Onda in particular had well and truly done my nose in for the day, and I just wanted to get back to my hotel and scrub it off. Yes, sadly I could not summon up any more lovage for my favourite hobby, or not for the rest of that afternoon, anyway...
Instead I stopped by Zara, where I bought a fine pair of black jeans, which I am happy to say smelt of nothing at all.
Photo of Zara jeans from myfashioninspiration.com (because mine are in the wash), other photos my own