I love the beauty halls in the major London department stores such as Selfridges, John Lewis Oxford Street, Liberty and Harvey Nicks…the convenience of being able to purchase all of my favourite brands all under one roof is a boon and the in store theatre, promotions, window displays and the opportunity to discover new, exclusive brands all add to the joy of beauty shopping….
…sometimes, however it is nice to leave the hustle and bustle behind and visit the stand alone boutique of individual brands.
That is exactly what I did over the last weekend – and how lovely it was indeed.
Diptyque – Brook Street, W1
Miller Harris – Bruton Street W1
Although department stores are convenient, they can often feel impersonal, but this was not the case at all with the stores that I visited – I was not just another faceless customer, the staff went above and beyond to make me feel welcomed and valued. Also, I very much prefer niche fragrances that are unusual and eclectic, so thought it would be a nice change to take the time to rediscover the beautiful stores that house these creations.
I was actually on my way to Space NK on Brook Street, when I happened upon the Diptyque store. I had had no idea that this store was located here (which is very unusual for me!!), and was shocked to learn that it had been open for 3 years! The store is quaint and petite, but is perfectly formed. I adore the Diptyque range!
The candles are divine and extremely long lasting (my favorite scent is Tubéreuse) and the although the cult fragrance that has amassed a dedicated following is the fig based Philosykos, I prefer the fruity scent of Oyedo.
The Diptyque consultant was extremely knowledgeable and took her time to introduce us to the latest fragrance, Eau Rose (£60.00) and also demonstrated how could be combined with Philosykos to create a whole new fragrance….which I actually found to be quite appealing . This was a surprise – as not only am I not Philosylos’ biggest fan, neither do I take to well to rose scented fragrances! So it goes to show that the staff can play a critical role in assisting you to discover a new experience that you might have otherwise discounted.
At no time, did she try to ‘sell’ me any thing (unlike many department store ‘spritzers’ ), but was happy to answer all of my my questions and allow me to peruse the beautiful surroundings at my leisure…pure heaven! I left with a cute sample of the fragrance Do Son, which contains – you guessed it – tuberose! The other ingredients of berries and flowers create a concoction that is sweet, but not saccharine and is perfect for every day wear.
Ever since I was given a bottle of L’air De Rien over 5 years ago, I have been besotted with the fragrance and the brand behind its creation. I will have to do a separate post on this fragrance because it is SO gorgeous…
The brand’s creator and the nose behind the fragrant offering is Lyn Harris.
Lyn Harris has been working in the fragrance industry for more than twenty years and founded Miller Harris in 2000. She spent five years training in France at one of the highly prestigious schools of the perfume elite in Paris and then Robertet in Grasse.
The Mayfair flagship store offers a peaceful retreat from the bustle of Bond street with a Fragrant Tea Room at the rear of the store. I arrived at the store at about 6.15pm…not realising that the store closed at 6pm! The door was locked but the lights were still on.
As I was peering through the window a member of staff appeared and came to the door. I expected her to say we are closed and advise me of the opening times for future visits….but no, she opened the door and invited me in! ‘You have made your way here to see us’ she said and welcomed me as if it was 12 o’clock midday!
NOW THAT IS WHAT I CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE!!!
We chatted about the fragrances and candles and as you can see I didn’t leave empty handed!
It was just so refreshing to receive genuine customer focused service – to see someone go above and beyond the what was reasonable to expect.
In the word’s of the Mastercard adverts – this is priceless.