Twisted Plans

I was in New York this past weekend, and, as usual, I stayed in Brooklyn Heights. I worked on Montague Street about ten years ago and became good friends with a guy in the neighborhood. He’s now one of my besties and I camp out on his couch when I’m on in town.

It was good to be back in Brooklyn. I’m always amazed at how much changes, particularly along Atlantic Ave and Fourth Ave, neither of which were the most desirable when I lived on Baltic St. I don’t know if it’s because of the Atlantic Terminal, the Barclay Center, or the inevitable gentrification of everywhere, but Atlantic now has scores of adorable shops and restaurants.

Since I had Sunday afternoon open, I designated it as a shopping day. Specifically, I read about Twisted Lily, a perfumery/apothecary, and I was dying to check it out. I roamed in and out of several places before I came to it, but was thwarted by a simple little thing that makes me crazy: a doorbell. It seems that one must be buzzed into Twisted Lily. This, I do not like because, well… UGH. I don’t know, I guess it just seems contrived to have to be buzzed into a perfume shop. Unless you’re safeguarding the Hope diamond, buzzing people in is trying too hard to build exclusivity.

As luck would have it, there was another perfume shop directly across the street that had a table with samples set up outside. (Let’s stop to appreciate this: TWO perfume shops on Atlantic. TWO. What the hell is this world coming to?) Atelier Cologne is based in Paris but now is open for business in Brooklyn as well. I sauntered on over to see what it was all about and delightedly entered the shop sans buzzing.

The salesman, Robert, introduced himself and began chatting with me about scents and scent preferences. We worked through five different perfumes, talking about notes and linking them to other perfumes. He was remarkably helpful and seemed genuinely friendly. I explained to him that I usually have to sit with a perfume for a while to make sure it won’t give me a headache or make me nauseous and he nodded in sympathy. He then went over to a dresser and pulled out sample vials of the three I liked most. Score! We ended up talking for close to a half hour about everything from Fresh’s candles to Tina Fey. In other words, I believe he’s my soulmate.

I’ll be working my way through Ambre Nue, Bois Blonds, and Gold Leather this week. Atelier Cologne was a wonderful surprise and I look forward to visiting again.

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