Know-How: Perfume Shopping in Las Vegas

Las Vegas isn’t the most obvious destination for the perfume shopping but if you happen to be there for any more suitable activity (let’s say, a trade show or a tech conference ;-)), here’s several destinations you might want to check out.

Las Vegas

Sephora (1 on the map below – click to enlarge) next to The Venitian carries the range of usual mainstream brands.

Barneys (2) at The Venetian has a nice selection of niche brands: Acqua Di Pharma, Antonia’s Flowers, Arquiste, Bois 1920, Byredo, Carthusia, Cereus, Comme de Garcons, Costume National, Escentric Molecules, Frederic Malle, Heeley, L’Artisan Perfumer, Le Labo, Les Parfums de Rosine, Nasomatto, Odin NY, Parfums Del Rae, Serge Lutens, The Different Company and Yosh.

Las Vegas Strip Map

The Palazzo Hotel (3) hosts several boutiques: Guerlain carries the range of perfumes available in the US (I wrote more about it in one of my previous posts); Dior with all perfumes from this line including La Collection Privée (a sales associate Michael was very helpful and friendly, absolutely no pushing – I can highly recommend him); Van Cleef & Arpels has just a couple of perfumes from their Collection Extraordinaire (and very beautiful jewelry). There is also Fresh store in The Palazzo.

Las Vegas Dior Boutique

Wynn Hotel (4) has Chanel, Dior and Hermès boutiques but I haven’t checked if they carry cosmetics/perfumes. (UPD: Chanel boutique offers the Exclusifs collection)

Right across the street from Wynn there is an enormous shopping center – Fashion Show Mall (5). I won’t list all the brands since between Dillard’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus there are not that many mainstream, high-end mainstream or niche brands missing (those that are available in the US, I mean). In Saks I came across an item unique for that location – Saks Fifth Ave. Las Vegas by Bond No. 9. It’s a super-limited edition in a bottle decorated with Swarowski crystals. There are still a couple of bottles of this perfume, launched in 2010, left in the store but once they’re gone – it’s gone (just in case there are hardcore Bond No.9 fans reading this).

Las Vegas Bond No 9 NY

Caesars Palace Forum Shops (6) while being not the best place for a perfume shopping (it’s too big for the number of perfume-related shopping destinations) but if you go there anyway, there is a handful of shops that carry perfumes: Sephora, Anthropologie (with a very limited choice of perfumes), Fresh, Agent Provocateur boutique (with their complete perfume line), Emporio Armani (with a couple (literally!) of perfumes from Armani Prive line and several mainstream perfumes) and Chanel boutique (I think I saw the Exclusifs line there). That’s it. So unless you’re really into Agent Provocateur perfumes I’d recommend skipping this part.

Las Vegas Strip Map

With a big disappointment I should advise omitting Paris Hotel (7) from your perfume shopping trip. There is a perfume shop on premises but let me put it this way: it makes any of the nearby Sephora stores look like Les Salons du Palais Royale.

Planet Hollywood (8) has a shopping mall inside – you can ignore it, there isn’t much going there perfume-wise.

Skins 6|2 at The Cosmopolitan (9) has an assortment of niche brands: Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Serge Lutens (limited selection), Diptyque, By Killian, Juliette Has A Gun, Tokyo Milk, Creed (limited selection).

Crystals at City Center (10) – a new and, in my opinion, strange shopping center with sparse boutiques dispersed over an enormous building. For perfumes check out Hermès (Hermessence), Tom Ford, Van Cleef & Arpels (Collection Extraordinaire) and Prada (Exclusive collection).

It doesn’t matter in how great physical shape you are you will walk yourself to half-death if you do not plan your route carefully. Hotels and shopping malls in Las Vegas are huge, each hotel tries hard to take you from point A to point B through the point C (casino) which is understandable, that’s how they’re making money. So do not just wander around hoping to come across a store eventually, check maps/directories and choose the shortest path.

Las Vegas

Images: my own.

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38 thoughts on “Know-How: Perfume Shopping in Las Vegas

    • :)

      My first stay was at Harras and back then I thought it was great…

      I think in the recent 8 years Las Vegas has changed a lot. I like it more now but also I have some nostalgic feelings (not about Motel 6 though! ;) ).

  1. Like Birgit, now I have your shopping guide I want to go to Vegas this minute! It seems like you can access most brands there.

    I’ve never been to a Barneys, but pressume they a department store? I was surprised how many niche lines they do. Excuse my ignorance!

    • Barneys New York (full name) is a chain of luxury department stores. The only department there I go is a cosmetics/perfumes department since everything else is high above my price range. There is Barneys in San Francisco (it opened several years ago) but parking prices make casual sniffing there far from free and since it’s a store where on each floor SAs constitute more than 50% of the “population” it’s only so many times you’d go there without buying.

  2. I never had a hankering to go to Vegas until I read your last post about your birthday trip ~ you made it sound like so much fun. If ever I do decide to go, I’ll definitely consult your shopping guide, as I can’t see myself spending much time gambling. But walking and shopping in between shows, yes. :)

    • You (I?) forgot one more important part of any Vegas trip – food. If you ever decide to go, plan carefully where (and when) you’ll be eating.

      My all time favorite place for casual lunch or dinner is buffet at Bellagio. For more formal meals you’ll need to read reviews before you go: they come and go.

    • I think that Vegas is worth visiting at least once if you have a chance. In addition to all the things that the city itself offers, there is an impressive Hoover Dam a short drive from the city (there are bus tours if you do not rent a car while there) and, as Dionne suggested in her comment to my earlier post, a beautiful place for hiking – Red Rock Canyon.
      (one can think I’ve been paid by Las Vegas Tourism Bureau – I haven’t! :) )

    • You’re welcome!
      You never know what will happen in your life in the next 3-5 years. Maybe there will be some important HR experience exchange seminar held in Las Vegas one day… :)

  3. Both the Guerlain and Dior boutiques have exceptional SAs who are beyond amazing. (Is that enough superlative?)

    The Neiman Marcus at Fashion Show Mall has a great fragrance section and that is where my favorite Tom Ford rep (Marie Cody) used to be. Unfortunately for us – she is no longer there.. I hope they have found a suitable replacement. Philonese is also pretty amazing there as well.

    • I agree about SAs in both boutiques. Not only those I dealt with but everybody I came in contact with during my repeated visits to both places were extremely nice. Well, I ended up buying perfumes in both.

      With Neiman Marcus in LV a had less success: when I asked for a sample of the newest Valentina they gave me instead a couple of samples of Angel and Alien… They didn’t offer, didn’t ask – just put them into my hands: “Here you go”. Since I’m not a samples hunter, I buy (or swap) perfumes I like, it was a little offensive. Also I tried to get a sample of the latest Jo Malone’s Lilac (I had a plane in a couple of hours so I didn’t want to put on skin something I wasn’t sure about) – no samples available (which is normal for limited editions), no vials to make a sample and then some BS about possible health-regulation issues as an explanation why they couldn’t make it in my vial.

  4. When I went to Vegas last year about this time, The Engineer and I spent a day sniffing, and didn’t manage to get past a block and a half! We started out at the Fashion Mall and spent several hours there, went across the street to the Wynn (yes, the Chanel store there does carry the Exclusifs line) and down the block to hit the Guerlain boutique and Barneys. I think it’s the “sweet spot” for perfume smelling.

    One of the great things about Vegas is that there are people there walking around with oodles and oodles of cash but dressed very casually. In practical terms, this means SA’s are never snotty. They simply can’t risk it. (I read “Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster” last year, and really enjoyed it. There’s a chapter in there on Vegas and how it’s become a high-end shopping destination without high-end attitude.)

    • Thank you for the information on Chanel boutique at Wynn, I updated the post.

      I wouldn’t be able to do it all in one day. But my vSO was very patient (it was my birthday, after all :) ).

      I’ll take a look at the book you mentioned: I thought a lot about the topic so now I’m curious to read somebody else’s thoughts.

      • Definitely. (That was such a charming post, Vanessa.)

        After I was invited to write for BoTO, our family had several very funny discussions about what their online monikers would be. It took almost two weeks to finalize what everyone would be called, as I wanted all 5 of my children – yes you read that right – to be happy with their nicknames. I never had a nickname growing up and always envied those who did. (Actually, ALMOST everyone’s happy: 4yo Spud still insists that he is “Robot.” Fortunately, he doesn’t read yet.)

        Picking “The Engineer” for my husband was the easiest of the bunch to choose. There’s a chapter on engineers in Scott Adam’s book “The Dilbert Principle,” and it’s uncanny how well he nailed my husband’s personality.

  5. Thanks for doing the leg work for us (literally), so next time I’m in Vegas I will have something to do other than halfheartedly wander around and watch the fountains. :)

    • First night I thought I would die – my feet were killing me. But the next morning I bought more comfortable shoes and kept my mission going. BTW, your Perfume shopping in SF was my inspiration. Which reminds me: I wanted to give links in the end to other shopping guides.

      Speaking of fountains, they’ve removed the one next to Paris Hotel.

  6. Fun! Now I wish I were going to Vegas instead of DC on work trips this year. But if/when I get to go (I’ve never been!) I’ll know where to go and to reserve some time for perfume shopping.

    I really must go into a Barney’s here in NY. I went in once, years and years ago, in Boston I think, and was so intimidated I’ve never been in again. Now that I can actually buy something there I should at least try it. I know they have some lovely things.

    • Maybe you should do “Perfume Shopping in DC” post?!

      You should definitely go! It should be much less scary now. Especially when you go with some plan: “To try the newest Arquiste’s perfume”, “To sniff that Serge Lutens that isn’t exclusive any more”, etc. – it doesn’t live an SA a room to try to sell you something. But still… maybe you shouldn’t go there in March – just in case ;)

      • Well, I can SHOP in March; I’m just not going to BUY in March. :) I should visit the Barney’s in NY, you’re right. Maybe in April.

        I AM going to DC in March but won’t have time to do the kind of thorough survey you’ve done here! Fortunately for me. :-)

        Are you going to post about what you bought? *color me interested*

        I’m also going to Providence – if I can’t visit Providence Perfume Co., I probably won’t bother to do any sniffing there either!

        • I thought about coming clean about my perfume purchases in my monthly stats post (tomorrow, probably) but I’m still hesitant… We’ll see :)

  7. I don’t suppose I shall get to go to LV any time soon – or maybe ever – but you have compiled the definitive perfume shopping guide for sure. Also the locations you tell people to steer away from – that is all helpful too, because as you say, there is potentially a huge area to cover.

    This practice of hotels having perfume boutiques I have not come across in Europe – hairdressing salons, spas and maybe a gift shop – but not a perfumery. I don’t frequent high end hotels though, so maybe it does go on more than I realise!

    • I think, most hotels in the rest of the US (other than Atlantic City, Hawaii and maybe a couple more tourists destinations) are similar to those in Europe. Las Vegas’ hotels are different creatures.

      Strip (an official unofficial name for the part of the Las Vegas Boulevard) consists of a chain of hotels, the next starts right where the previous (or its territory) ends, sometimes they’re even connected so you do not have to go outside to move from one hotel to another. There are also some shopping malls – some stand-alone, some are parts of hotels.

      Unlike hotels in regular cities where you stay to have a place to rest in between your planned activities, hotels in Las Vegas are your destinations. They want you to stay there, play in the casino in the same hotel, go to restaurants in the same hotel (each has at least several), shop in the same hotel, go to a spa, etc. I focused in my guide only on perfume shopping but all those hotels that I’ve mentioned have many other boutiques and shops – that’s why I suggested locating the ones you want to visit on the map, not trying just to bump into it while walking around.

      • How interesting – I knew there were big fancy hotels designed around fun themes like Egypt, Venice etc – but didn’t realise about the luring you to stay inside. : – )

  8. Six years ago I spent a week in Vegas… As a nanny! While there, I noticed a Guerlain boutique, among others, but didn’t manage to enter a single one. Too bad, because they looked so beautiful! It’s not every day you get to shop like that!

    I need to go again, and take your map with me :)

    • In the last six years Las Vegas has changed a lot. It seems like they are trying to be … less trashy and more respectable – I’m not sure I found the best definitions but it’s how I feel it. New generation of hotels are very nice and tastefully decorated. In most casinos you can breathe (non-smoking areas, better ventilation). There are a lot of places where you can buy/eat just a snack without paying arm and leg. Guerlain boutique… ;)

      You should go there!

    • Just in case you plan to buy anything at Guerlain or Dior boutiques, keep in mind that if you ask them to ship it to you you won’t have to pay tax in store. US shipping if free, not sure about other places.

  9. I’m headed to Vegas this August for perfume sniffing & shows. I was there June 2011 (same mission) thanks to your list, I can add new shops. I noticed with the desert climate, things smelled a lot more intense. I got Cartier VIII (peony & rose) from Wynn Cartier boutique and Dior Ambre Nuit. SAs I dealt with were lovely as well. Although, I wish I had known I could buy smaller Dior exclusive online. Same with Chanel exclusives. Palazzo was a great sniffing base since the majority of what I wanted to test was an elevator ride away.

    • August… Wow. You’ll have to do a lot of shopping to avoid the extreme heat.

      When I was in Dior’s boutique in February they had small bottles as well (I bought New Look 1947).

      Good luck on your trip!

  10. Pingback: Pick Your Perfume, Part Four: Perfume Shopping in Las Vegas | Little Vegas Wedding

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