static1-squarespaceWhen I hug a friend and they say “I love that scent,” I enjoy a secret inward smile. For years I’ve been wearing Daisy by Marc Jacobs and haven’t really thought about changing it up, even for me the always-on-to-something-new queen, until on a fateful day in August when I had a few minutes before picking up my little.

I stopped at an industrial antique shop on the Division Street corridor and was disappointed to find it closed. But, I spotted a store I had never seen. For a second I had to double-check my surroundings — yes, I was still in Portland and hadn’t just suddenly time-walked the streets of Paris. (Now wouldn’t that be an awesome super power?) What was this magical shop that gave me that deja vu moment? It’s an old style parfumerie — yes, you read that right — a genuine parfumerie here in Portland. (Picture me jumping up and down with excitement.) For me the Fumerie storefront seemed like it was sending out sumptuousness rays of a bygone era gleefully tinged with self-indulgence. (Wait, no, cross out “self-indulgence” and replace it with “self care!!!”)

This small but welcoming space has an entire wall of scents to explore, some local, some national and some international. The brochure says they have “fragrance experts whose passion and knowledge will lead the customer through top notes, bottom notes, even molecular science.”  But the key here is that you have an expert with a clearly magical NOSE to help you identify all the stuff in there, and you get to sniff till your nose stops working. (It took about 10 or so scents for mine to shut down). fullsizerenderMy particular expert was an adorable history major/hipster Andre Gooren (I can call him adorable because I could be his mother.) But I’m sure whoever you work with will be just as delightful.

What is my new scent? Here is a picture.

Created in France by Berdoues, it’s called Cologne Grand Cru by Somei Yoshino. For me it brings back memories of Japan and Paris, two of my favorite places to visit. Will this be my Signature Scent? I don’t know. Ask me when the bottles empty.