Monday, April 18, 2011

The Scent Bar - Los Angeles (Lucky Scent)


My dear friend Laura has been raving about The Scent Bar - Lucky Scent for years and this weekend we finally made a point to visit it together. This was my first visit and it was truly wonderful (aka perfume heaven). When it comes to fragrances I am overwhelmed, slightly intimidated and utterly lost. If you ask me what I like I will be at a loss for words - I just know it when I smell it. I have recently started to explore the world of scent a bit more with simple fragrances from Chloé, Tocca and Jo Malone, but perfume is something I know little about. If you are ever in LA, make The Scent Bar a top priority to visit for the ultimate perfume experience. I highly recommend reading Nathan Branch's Interview with Franco Wright (co-owner of Lucky Scent) and another interview from We Heart This: Behind the scenes with Lucky Scent/Scent Bar.


For my experience and thoughts: The retail space is small and quaint but they carry walls of perfumes organized by notes. Seeing all the bottles lined up was just beautiful. There is a bar to sample fragrances. We spent about two hours with Rachel and Steve - both walking encyclopedias on fragrances. Rachel's knowledge of all the scents and brands was astounding. Her ability to pick out the right fragrances for the two of us (Laura and me) was almost magical. It was almost like a two hour tutorial on fragrance. Those who have been to Lucky Scent know that no words can really describe the experience.


Walls of heaven:


After each whiff we would analyze what we smelled. Then Rachel and Steve would pull something else for us to compare with different undertones. They made both of us feel completely at home. I think we could have spent all day there.


I cannot remember all the brands we sampled but the two that stood out to me were Serge Lutens and Keiko Mecheri. Amy from Café Makeup, Josie and Laura have all gushed, swooned and raved non-stop about Serge Lutens. I felt drawn to the Bois de Violette, Fleurs d'Oranger, Louve and Un Bois Vanille - but I was looking for something a bit lighter and less complex. Something without too much spice.


I discovered Keiko Mecheri's fragrance line for the first time. I've read about some of her scents on The Non-Blonde and Nathan Branch before but since this is a hard to find brand, I had never paid much attention. Every fragrance we smelled from Keiko Mecheri was exquisite. Her website KeikoMecheri.com has an interesting sampling program which I am anxious to explore.

Hours later (yes hours), Laura and I had narrowed down our selection to several Keiko Mecheri fragrances. I personally loved:
  • Les Nuits d'Izu (part of the Les Hesperidés line) - with notes of Yuzu, Rose japonica, jasmine, littoral moss, hinoki, musk
  • Hanae (part of her Les Eaus Tendres) - notes include white petals, Japanese grapefruit (yuzu), wildberries, crystalline musk
  • Peau de Péche (part of her Les Eaus Tendres) - notes of white peach, orris powder, sandalwood, amber wood
I left with Les Nuits d'Izu and a few samples of other Keiko Mecheri and Serge Lutens. I am not the best at describing fragrances, the Les Nuits d'Izu is light and fresh with a subtle hint of rose. The musk, jasmine and citrus hint from yuzu blends well with the rose so it's not too floral. The musk and citrus stay the longest on the skin while the others fade, but overall I found the lasting power to be extremely good.


I already have my eye on Hanae which layered beautifully with Les Nuits d'Izu, but I must be good and use up what I have acquired. I cannot rave enough about our perfume experience at The Scent Bar. It was truly unique and the attention and service we received was phenomenal.

Have you been to The Scent Bar before? What are your favorite discoveries from Lucky Scent? I'm all ears to hear about your experiences there.

12 comments:

  1. I would absolutely LOVE this store! I love fragrance so much. So cool you got to go.

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  2. I wish I was in LA right now just to check this amazing place out. But, I'm not....boo. Great post though!

    xo

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  3. Actually, I have been there before! & my next stop will be to look at Keiko Mecheri and Serge Lutens perfumes! It's like u read my mind. I've been dying to go there again to smell the perfumes by the 2 perfumers.

    I had such a good time last time I went, I just need to find the time to make a trip down there! ( :

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  4. Great post!!! I had so much fun there- like you said I could have literally spent all day there! Rachel and Steve are so amazing-
    BTW you need to go back and get that sexy kleenex scent!
    xo
    L

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  5. Hey I just clicked through to your other fragrance posts and you said that you get migraines from perfume - so do I! Do you still have this problem? I love fragrance but I rarely buy cause most likely it won't agree with me.

    I can wear Chanel no 5 so I usually stick to that. Other than that blu mediterraneo (sic) capri which basically smells like oranges and is very light.

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  6. I've been ordering from Lucky Scent for a few years, but haven't been to the store. I love that they have affordable samples so you can try before you splurge for the full size. I have a small bag full of samples I need to test from the By Kilian line. I also like L'Artisan Parfumeur (La Chasse Aux Papillons, Vert Violette--simple but pleasant!). I'm always on the hunt for the perfect violet, orange blossom, or tea scent. :) Thanks for the post!

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  7. This is an extraordinary little shop packed with treasures. I'm so glad you got the chance to go there. I'm not very knowledgable about perfume but, like you, I know what I like when I smell it. The Scent Shop is a warm and welcoming place. There are no pretentious affectations, but rather a genuine interest in helping people discover the the world of scent. My first trip there was revelatory. I learned the names of the notes that resonated well with me and how they unfolded and interacted with each other to create the fragrance experience that would make me sigh with pleasure. It can't be said often enough: it's an extraordinary little shop.

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  8. Ah, I've heard so much about The Scent Bar! I wish I could go myself!

    Looks like you had an absolutely wonderful time though! :D I haven't tried any of the Keiko Mecheri but they're definitely on my list. The three you listed there sound amazing!

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  9. Thank you ladies for all your input! This store was truly amazing. LOVED it. Having true experts/specialists who know their product made all the difference.

    For perfume, the experience is everything and I am no longer intimidated!

    LauraJ - LOL, odd neither of us could really smell it until later in the evening!

    Baby in a corner - yes, if the scent isn't right, I get an instant migraine. It's trial and error for me though, I never really know what to expect. The fragrances I have reviewed don't induce migraines for me. I'm a firm believer in try before you buy (at the counter) for fragrance. I would never buy something I hadn't smelled or worn for 5 minutes.

    Makeup Magpie - Great to find another Lucky Scent fan! You're so right the samples are great. I've sampled Killian from Saks samples but the only one I liked was Love in Tears but it was a tad too floral. I'd love to read about your fragrance loves on your blog! (will email you about orange blossom scents)

    Eileen - couldn't have described it better myself!

    Catherine - I know what you mean! It was my first time and I would gladly go again this weekend if it weren't for the 2 hour drive there. If you're ever in LA it's a definite must see. Lucky Scent allows you to buy samples - you can try the Keiko Mecheri in smaller doses :)

    Andi & Christina & Ello, thanks for stopping by! I wish I lived closer to LA too.

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  10. I have ordered several samples from this boutique. It would be a dream to make an actual appearance when I come to SoCal in July.

    Your experience sounds so much fun!

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  11. Sabrina,

    I am beyond envious. I have wanted to go there for so long. LuckyScent, lucky gal!

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  12. Scentbar! What a wonderful way to spend the day. LOVE Keiko's perfumes, Peau de Peche is lovely and I can totally see you wearing this. Elegant, soft and understated beauty xo

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