Avery Fine Shop

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After several attempts, we finally made it to Avery Fine Perfumery yesterday. It’s a lovely little boutique on St Joseph in the CBD/Warehouse District of New Orleans and, conveniently enough, is a mere blocks from our hotel.

The space is quite small, but that’s fitting because Avery specializes in niche perfumes. The salesman there was very chatty and talked with me about my professed preferences (spicy, woodsy). He then spritzed three samples from the Nasamatto line. Nasomatto means “crazy nose” and are made of high-end extracts. I felt a bit guilty going in knowing that I wasn’t going to buy anything because I need time with a scent before I commit. And perhaps the extraction was what the problem was: each scent (Duro, Black Afgano, and Absinthe) seemed too loud, too strident for me. I certainly like bold scents, but I needed time to sit with these. Perhaps tellingly, Black Afgano was the one I could see myself buying eventually and, according to Avery’s website, it “aims to evoke the best quality of hashish.” Well then. My youth does come back to haunt me yet again.

I didn’t end up buying anything but then, I knew that going in. The sample cards became an intermixed mess because I jammed them all together in a bag. By the time I got back to my hotel, they were indecipherable, but the resulting smell was even louder.

The takeaway from this experience, for me, is that I always, always need samples first. As much as I enjoyed the shop,  I can’t see myself wearing any of the Nasomattos that I smelled because they were just too much. So as much as I fantasize about buying various perfumes, I simply can’t risk blowing $200 on a bottle that will cause a headache like the one I have. (Yes, I do realize the headache could be from cocktails involving the word ‘julep’ but I prefer denial on that.)

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