It was the late Estée Lauder who, in the midst of rough economic times, said: “When things are bad, if a woman has a little perfume and a new lipstick, she feels like a queen.” And it was by knowing a thing or two about how women felt that Estée Lauder became very rich. Grim though things are, it's encouraging to know that somewhere is buzzing and, you've guessed it, it's the perfume counters that are reporting booming business. At Harvey Nichols they tell me that sales - and remember we're talking fine fragrances here - are up some 40 per cent on the same period last year.
— Columnist Lucia van der Post writes about niche perfumes in Could perfume be the recession antidote? at the UK Times Online.
I knew about the lipstick — it's my instinctive retail therapy for the glums. When it comes to perfume, though, I thought it was just Us.
Well, one of those Kilian bottles in Harvey Nicks went to me; I reasoned that a £60 refill is a BARGAIN, and environmentally friendly to boot. See how you can talk yourself into crazy purchases? But I couldn't see any sign of a slow-down in any of the central London perfume palaces – in fact, I had to elbow my way through the crowds at the le Labo counter in Liberty's to sniff the Poivre 23. Friends who run flower-selling businesses and hairdressing salons all tell me that they're doing a roaring trade, which suggests the article is right. Mind you, I'm not sure how I like being referred to as a perfume snob. I don't look down on Miracle. Much. And Serge would be furious at having his surname spelled 'Lutyens', I'll bet. And I'm not sure he's really older than Frederic Malle – anyone know?
So you can buy the refill w/o buying the bottle? We were grousing about hearing the opposite, so that is good news!
I am not loving the “snob” comment either- oh well, I am sure I have and will be called worse.
funny to think of folks reading the article and googling “Lutyens”
You see, this is what I've been telling my boyfriend for months.
When I showed him his article, his comment was: “Yes, but you do not have a LITTLE perfume…”
Yes, I was going to say the same thing above about the hair salons. I will do without a lot of things, but a good cut and color is not one of them! We women just need to pamper ourselves now and then.
Eyeshadows work that way for me too…
I'd love to hear that answer too. I think in the US they aren't selling the refills. Or if they are, I don't know where.
Wow, I didn't even notice the Lutyens — ouch!
LOL — yeah, then there's that.
See, and for me, that's like shoes & purses — just not what I care about. Give me perfume & books & tea and I'm happy.
Yeah, I have hair issues ever since my son was born, so I need a good color to oomph it up!
Books and tea, I'm right there with you! The used book store is one of my fav places! I get stuck in the Thomas Hardy section!
One thing I won't do without, is a drop of perfume. My day just seems off without it.
The other is reading time. I have to have a bit of me time alone with my books and a glass of tea every day. Fortunately, hubby is the same, so we're very understanding of each other!
kelly i hear you on the cut & colour…..but the other necessities (perfume, bags & a great book) are just as essential..my 3 boys (partner & sons) all roll their eyes but i know they secretly enjoy my fancies.
I was there a couple of weeks ago and just managed to resist a purchase of Liaisons Dangereuses. But then I was sated by purchases of Rose Kashmirie in the previous hour and Roja Dove Scandal the previous day!!
I adore used book stores. Too bad there aren't used perfume stores!
SFLizbeth, we're the same!
Doesn't surprise me a bit. During tough times, fragrance is a relatively inexpensive way to make yourself feel better. And it doesn't take a $200 bottle to do the trick, as long as you love it.
Great, I'm in good company!
Hey, used perfume stores are an interesting idea.
I've been fortunate to live in two cities that have great used book stores. I love to browse among the stacks for goodies.
I used to live in cities w/ great used book stores too, but sadly, most of them have closed now, and the few that seem to make it these days are those that specialize in first editions & rare things that are expensive instead of the oddball bargains I'm always after
Replace 'tea' with 'coffee' and I'm with you 100%. Oh, and perhaps some really really good chocolate too…
Ah yes, chocolate. I spend on that too.
RIgh there with you on the books and tea front.! Though I tend to alternate my tea with a glass of red and maybe a nibble (or two) of dark chocolate.