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.

What Happens in Vegas… Part I: Guerlain – Mission Accomplished

While helping Birgit with charts for her Monday Question: Guerlain or Chanel? I was fascinated by the list of perfumes from Guerlain that respondents named as their favorites without which they couldn’t imagine their Perfume World. That was when I realized that I’d tried merely one third of all perfumes that others loved.

There is a Guerlain boutique at San Francisco Saks. It’s not too far from where I live but even a 30 minutes drive combined with the cost of downtown parking makes it an unlikely place I’d go casually to try one perfume after another.

That’s why when I realized that during my birthday trip to Las Vegas I would be staying at the hotel that hosted the only stand-alone Guerlain boutique in the city… wait… or was it that I booked my stay at the hotel because of that?.. Anyway, I thought it would be a chance to try all those perfumed wonders and asked for an advice.

As you might have noticed already, I like numbers. So here are some relevant to the topic:

  –  28 perfumes were suggested for testing and 14 of them were mentioned more than once;

  –  The most popular suggestion (7 voices) was Chamade;

  –  On this trip I smelled 14 perfumes from the list and tried some on the skin;

  –  3 days are not enough to do justice to what a great perfume house has to offer (duh!).

Las Vegas Guerlain Boutique in Palazzo

Once checked in, I immediately embarked on my mission. I went to the Guerlain boutique and explained my intentions to the SA who greeted me. He was professional and helpful but somehow we didn’t “click”. I might be wrong but I guess he didn’t think I would end up buying anything. Nevertheless we went through a number of bottles, I chose two to try on my skin and went on with my vacation. I came back the same day and then the next one, and the next – and everything repeated.

I didn’t try Chamade this time because I tried it before and liked, so it was my back-up plan (together with Vol de Nuit) – I decided I would try these two and choose one of them if I wouldn’t find any other perfume that I’d like more. I still plan to seek samples of Chamade and Vol de Nuit to figure out if I can go with the EdT, EdP or need an extrait. But all those who suggested this perfume were right: I like Chamade.

Suzanne, your bet on Samsara extrait would be safe: you were right more than you could imagine (but it’ll be a separate post next month – “How’s that for mysterious?” ©Natalie).

Out of those perfumes that I tried on the skin two were a definite No: Nahema (“old lady perfume” on my skin – sorry to everybody who loves it) and Sous le Vent (I might try it again one day but this time it wasn’t close to what I was looking for). I need to test more Angelique Noire, Cuir Beluga and Bois d’Armenie: I liked them all but it wasn’t love. At least not yet.

Las Vegas Guerlains

And then I took a blotter, inhaled and thought: This is the one! Probably you know that feeling when you smell a perfume and immediately like it. You do not need to work on it, learn to appreciate or let it grow on you. You just like it. That was what happened to me with Cruel Gardénia. It is extremely beautiful and the moment I smelled it I wanted to have it in my collection.

I wore it twice and even though I had one more day to decide (or try more perfumes) I felt it would be right to get my birthday bottle of perfume on the actual day of my birthday. When my vSO and I went to the boutique the guy who was helping me previously (you see, I don’t even know his name since he’d never introduced himself!) wasn’t there. I felt a little bad since I usually try to be fair and buy from those SAs who helped me. But in this case it was for the best: Jorganne, who was there and helped me with my order, was just a right person for me. It was a very pleasant shopping experience including a hand-written card from Jorganne that came in my package (I had to have it delivered since we had only carry-on bags). Guess where I’ll be buying my next bottle of Guerlain. And I have no doubts there will be more.

Guerlain Cruel Gardenia

And finally, please meet Elena from Perfume Shrine – a Godmother of the first Guerlain perfume bottle in my collection. She was the first to suggest Cruel Gardenia and she wrote a beautiful review for this perfume. An honorable mentioning: Asali who seconded that advice.

Images: my own