Belgian Perfume Treasure : Place Vendome Perfumery

I just discovered another reason to like Belgium, and it’s a modest looking place called Place Vendôme Haute Parfumerie. Modest applies only to the exterior of this perfumery located on a quiet street in the town of Wevelgem, one hour south-west of Brussels. Inside, it’s an Ali Baba’s cave of the most exclusive niche lines and fragrance classics. The store is owned by David Depuydt, who along with his team has been in business for the past 21 years.

I found out about Place Vendôme by chance via a friend who raved about the customer service and the jewelbox ambiance of the store.  Similar praises were lavished upon the boutique by both the perfume historian Elisabeth de Feydeau and Guerlain’s creative director Sylvaine Delacourte. Although Brussels lags behind New York and Paris in terms of perfume shopping, fragrance isn’t hard to find in Belgium, where even the cosmetic shops like Ici Paris XL and Planet Parfum carry Serge Lutens and small lines like Kenzo, Rochas, and Tom Ford. A couple of weeks ago my husband proposed to visit the trappist abbey at Westvleteren that brews a particularly sought after beer. Since the abbey’s limited distribution of their beer rivals that of Serge Lutens bell jars, we decided to combine our interests in one trip. We’re a family of geeks, what can I say.

The first thing I said when we opened the door and stepped inside the boutique was “Wow!” The space is decorated with gold leaf and crystal chandeliers, evoking an Arabian Nights fantasy. But the boutique nevertheless retains an elegant look and an intimate ambiance. In addition to perfume, Place Vendôme sells some high-end skin care and makeup, a small, but  well-edited selection. Besides the neat rows of perfume bottles, there are gorgeous ornamental flacons and factices (large size bottles made for display only). The boutique arrangement reminded me of a museum, where with every step you’re discovering something  new.

Guerlain, Annick Goutal, Chanel and Amouage are represented really well, with displays that combine fragrances and raw materials. The store also carries Cartier, Etat Libre d’Orange, Hermès, Serge Lutens, Parfums de Rosine and vintage gems like Balmain Ivoire. It’s the only place in Europe, besides Paris and London, where you can try the coveted Guerlain Les Déserts d’Orient trio. The entire range of Chanel fragrances is available for sampling in all concentrations, from Eau de Toilettes to Parfums. Should you wish to play with Chanel lipsticks and eye shadows, the display cases are nearby.

Having gotten used to the polite, but indifferent Belgian customer service, I was pleasantly surprised by the generosity and warmth that I discovered at Place Vendôme. (For the record, I didn’t mention that I had a particular interest in perfume nor did I mention my blog until I was ready to pay for my purchases.) I, along with other customers at the store, was treated like royalty, and the hour or so that my husband and I spent at the boutique was more like an educational experience than a shopping trip.

Steven Verstraete, one of the Place Vendôme specialists, showed me the fragrances I was interested in and gave great suggestions on wearing them. I learned about the launch of Guerlain Mon Précieux Nectar, the origins of the gorgeous Mitsouko bottle decorated with lotus blossoms (it’s a rare limited edition filled with actual perfume and it costs around 25 000 euros) and how Guerlain Delice de Peau cream can be worn with any Guerlain fragrance to add a more sumptuous aura. There was no pressure to buy or to make up my mind quickly. I could see myself spending an entire day at the boutique and making more discoveries, and I definitely plan to return.

If you are a perfume lover, Place Vendôme merits a special pilgrimage. While Wevelgem itself doesn’t boast many great sights, it is close to Ieper, a city with an incredible history and moving World War I memorials. It is also one hour away from Brugge and Gent and 30 minutes away from Lille.  The surrounding countryside is dotted with tiny villages and scenic pastures. The Abbey of Saint Sixtus in Westvleteren is a must visit for beer lovers. Beer guides repeatedly declare its beer to be the best in the world, and since it’s not sold outside of the abbey (and even there, it’s available by appointment only) and the local cafe (thankfully, no reservations needed), it makes for a memorable discovery. Their Blond tastes bitter and hoppy, with a surprising creamy feel, while the Brune has a lingering aftertaste of chestnut honey and cinnamon stewed pears. After testing your nose with the beautiful perfumes, it will be a great treat for the palate.

Place Vendôme – Haute parfumerie
Menenstraat 2/A
8560 Wevelgem, Belgium
(+32) 056 41 24 68

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

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79 Comments

  • LadyM: This place is incredible. I live in Lille and I visit at least once a month. Even in Paris there is nothing like it, professional, kind and generous. This summer I was too busy with my new baby to visit, but at least they ship and always include lots of samples.
    Merci! August 16, 2012 at 7:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Best of luck, LadyM! Two of my close friends had babies this summer, so I can just imagine how busy and happy you must be.
      I completely agree with you; this was such a warm and genuinely welcoming place. Very special. August 16, 2012 at 9:16am Reply

      • LadyM: Merci! It’s my second, so I’m managing better. The first baby was a handful. My mom had to fly in from Kansas to help me (I’m American, married to a French guy).

        I also want to thank you for your blog. I’ve only been reading your posts over the past 2 years but they are always wonderful and I love the positive energy you put into your writing. I even re-read your archives. August 16, 2012 at 1:00pm Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you very much for your nice words! It means so much to me.
          So good that your mom could come and help. I can’t imagine how one would handle everything on one’s own with the first child. Even with the second! :) August 16, 2012 at 2:51pm Reply

  • Lucas: So that’s the place you told we need to visit together when I get to visit you in Brussels. It looks amazing!
    Thanks for sharing it, now I’ve got greater motivation to plan a visit at your door August 16, 2012 at 8:11am Reply

    • Victoria: It’s definitely a must visit if you’re in Belgium. There are other towns in the vicinity that make a visit there worthwhile as well. Ieper is a must visit for those who are interested in history, Brugge is a jewel box, Gent is stunning. Belgium is not a large country, but it has so many interesting places. August 16, 2012 at 9:18am Reply

  • Irina: oh yes, i know what to do tomorrow! ; )
    thanks for the info! August 16, 2012 at 8:20am Reply

    • Victoria: Oh, have fun, Irina! I would love to hear what you think of the place (and if you end up buying anything; nothing like vicarious shopping thrills through others :) August 16, 2012 at 9:19am Reply

  • Henrique Brito: You finally discovered my favorite perfumery of all times Victoria. I love them, love shopping with them, they treat you like you’re very important. My Guerlain purchases i try to always do with them :) August 16, 2012 at 8:36am Reply

    • Victoria: Agree with everything you said 100%! Our visit was a couple of weeks ago, but I already want to return.
      How is the mail order, Henrique? August 16, 2012 at 9:25am Reply

      • Henrique Brito: It’s always carefully wrapped and they are not greedy in sending samples, this is helpful to try harder to find perfumes and decide for one.
        I envy you, wish i was able to go there and met the store, Steven and David personally. August 16, 2012 at 12:54pm Reply

        • Victoria: I have yet to discover a store that has testers of Chanel in all concentrations. Even most Chanel boutiques don’t have the parfum testers. So, yes, it’s a great place to explore. Hope that you get a chance to visit! August 16, 2012 at 2:48pm Reply

  • Marie: Looking at your pictures the word W-O-W came to my mind. This place looks wonderful and so luxury! I wished I had a chance to visit it one day…

    I think this is my first or only second comment on your blog but I am a regular reader and love your articles. You and Angela (from NST) have had a massive influence on my perfume preferences. ;)
    I’m glad that you keep blogging now that you live in Europe and that there are places and perfumes worth writing about. xxx August 16, 2012 at 8:41am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much for dropping by, Marie! I’m also a big fan of Angela (and the whole NST team), so I’m flattered to be in such a nice company. It’s fun to share these discoveries here. Everything is so new to me, and I’m still finding my way around.
      Glad that you enjoyed the photos. The place is even more beautiful in real life. August 16, 2012 at 9:31am Reply

  • Anna Minis: Belgium unfolds its treasures to you, pli selon pli. August 16, 2012 at 8:59am Reply

    • Victoria: I love this expression–pli selon pli, fold by fold, which is so evocative and perfect. Like unrolling a scroll or opening one of those folded children’s books. Which is exactly how I feel about being here. August 16, 2012 at 9:32am Reply

  • Awfulknitter: I love Westvleteren beer. We have some ageing at home at the moment, from a visit we made a few years back. I’ve been saying we need to go back, and now I’ve got another reason!

    I was wondering, though, how do you spend an hour browsing perfume? Doesn’t your nose get jaded after a few? I must confess that my mass perfume browsing is usually done in airport duty free shops, and by the time I have one on each of my upper arms, one the in the crook of each elbow and one on each wrist, I’m either ready to swoon or thoroughly confused! My favourite perfume shop is Les Senteurs in London, because they’re so ready to let you have samples to take away and try at leisure. (Oh, and of course they know what they’re talking about.) August 16, 2012 at 9:17am Reply

    • Victoria: We ended up buying some at the cafe (they happened to have some on sale), but the process to order it from the abbey rivals that of getting a residence card here! But it’s worth it. I was far from a beer lover until I came to Belgium, but the beer here is incredible. Westvleteren is great, but a more readily available Rochefort and Orval are my other favorites.

      When I was a perfumer trainee, I had to smell from 9 to 4pm, with only a break for lunch. So, 1h is nothing, but I still have my tricks to revive the nose. With some of the techniques anybody can smell for an extended period of time and not get tired. I wrote about some of them here:
      http://boisdejasmin.com/2010/12/perfume-fragrance-shopping-tips.html
      At stores where they don’t give samples, I just label blotters and then ask for some tissue paper to wrap them individually. This way I don’t end up covered head to toe in perfume and can revisit scents when I get home.
      1h is probably the most that my husband can take, being as patient as he is! August 16, 2012 at 9:45am Reply

  • Figuier: Gorgeous pictures, Victoria, they are even more impressive than those on the boutique’s website! The array of gold-decorated bee bottles is particularly beautiful.

    I’d love to visit some day. I ordered perfume from PV (online) recently, and the customer service was magnificent – efficient and friendly, and a very free hand with samples. They will certainly be my first port of call for mail order in future :) August 16, 2012 at 10:09am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you! Those bottles are so stunning, and the display of them was even more impressive than anything I’ve seen at the Guerlain boutique. :)

      Good to know that the mail order is just as great as their in-store customer service! August 16, 2012 at 10:21am Reply

  • yomi: dear Victoria, well done! May your blog continue to get better. I am inspired – will love to open something like this in Nigeria. August 16, 2012 at 10:15am Reply

    • Victoria: What made this place special for me was the knowledge and passion that the people who worked there communicated so well. It made me realize how much better perfume shopping would have been at the department stores if the counters were staffed by people who really knew their stuff.
      Thank you for your kind words, Yomi! I also wish you lots of luck with your ventures. August 16, 2012 at 10:22am Reply

  • Nicola: Oh my goodness! I am now thoroughly cheered up after my post Olympic slump (though not forgetting the Para-Olympics). I have booked a small trip to Lille in September (love the art at La Piscine) but think a visit to this lovely sounding place is more than achievable. Thanks very much for the account. Apologies if you have already said, but what did you buy if you don’t mind me asking? August 16, 2012 at 10:31am Reply

    • Victoria: Definitely more than achievable, Nicola! September should also be a good time to explore the countryside and drive around. When we were there, the whole fields were covered in frothy white blossoms. “What are they?” asked my husband. They turned out to be potato flowers!

      I bought a bottle of Chanel Coromandel. This perfume has been on my wishlist for a couple of years, so it felt like the right time to buy it. August 16, 2012 at 10:41am Reply

      • Nicola: Congratulations on your purchase! There is something particularly satisfying about making a wish list purchase as opposed to a spontaneous one. The element of anticipation. I have to admit I have ALREADY checked out the train timetable between Lille and Wevelgem. It will be no problem and maybe I’ll get to see those pretty potato flowers! (the last photo in your post?) August 16, 2012 at 11:13am Reply

        • Victoria: Yes! And lots of cute cows!

          Nicola, I agree with you. These days I appreciate the pleasure of making a careful purchasing decision much more than going into the store and buying something impulsively. With perfume, it’s hard to make a spontaneous purchase that’s completely successful. My one recent exception to this was Diptyque L’Ombre Dans L’Eau EDP, but I already knew the EDT well. August 16, 2012 at 11:18am Reply

  • OperaFan: Dear V – Thank you for taking us along on your visits! It’s the next best thing to actually being there. Belgium is on my wishlist, but not sure I will ever make it over there. Wonderful photographs as well.
    Cheers! August 16, 2012 at 11:28am Reply

    • Victoria: Glad that you’ve enjoyed this little adventure. And I really hope that you can make it to Belgium. It’s such an incredibly complex and fascinating country. August 16, 2012 at 12:32pm Reply

  • Nikki: So glad you are experiencing the beauty of the landscape and also the population…Belgium seems like a small place, but it has an amazing culture and history and is quite wealthy, but all behind doors which is great! Samsara was made for a Belgian woman dressage rider…I love the flat countryside and Belgian beer and pommes frites with mayonnaise are just great…or mussels steamed. Fall is really gorgeous. I am getting a little homesich with yur descriptions, so will really have to plan a visit soon! Thanks, V! August 16, 2012 at 12:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: I love the fact that you have a very long day here in the summer. Right now is close to 9pm, but there is still lots of light. Makes it easier to explore even after we get home.
      And you’re right, such a small place, but full of so many interesting things. August 16, 2012 at 2:46pm Reply

  • Austenfan: And I visited Westvleteren last autumn and missed this. Thanks for the recommendation of what sounds like a great shop.
    I didn’t get any beer at the time though, it was incredibly crowded and they had somehow run out of the one I was interested in. ( The Blonde probably)
    Have you tried La Chouffe yet?
    In one of your earlier posts this week you mentioned a visit to Antwerp; did you enjoy that trip? It is not as obviously pretty as Gent and Brugge, it has some good places to visit though. The view from the MAS is wonderful and I personally adore the Plantijn Moretus Museum. It gives the history of bookprinting in a lovely setting.
    Another nice spot for a relaxing visit is park Middelheim. A park with sculptures and a nice café. August 16, 2012 at 1:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: I haven’t tried La Chouffe yet, so I just asked my husband to get some for tomorrow. Will let you know how we like. Westvleteren is great, and there is a complexity to this beer that is really fascinating. It’s really like a perfume, with top, middle and base notes.

      We spent one day at Antwerp and enjoyed it very much. We went to the Rubens’s house and then to several cathedrals. I even did some clothes shopping, which is something I haven’t done in a very long time. I will be sure to explore your recommendations next time. August 16, 2012 at 2:56pm Reply

      • Austenfan: Isn’t the Westhoek amazing though? It’s so peaceful there now. I have visited there a lot, wanting to find out a bit more about WWI. (As the Netherlands were neutral we were not taught about that as much.) I am surprised every single time by how lovely and quiet it is around Yper, yet it must have been an inferno between ’14-’18.
        Nothing to do with perfume, but your lovely photo with the cows reminded me of my first visit in the area, a couple of years ago now.
        Next time I go exploring there I will visit this gorgeous shop. August 16, 2012 at 6:10pm Reply

        • Victoria: Yper/Ieper is fascinating. The memories of ’14-18′ are so strong there, although from the looks of the place–so serene and peaceful, you would never guess. The locals don’t refer to WWI as such, but only fourteen-eighteen. At one point, I was very much interested in WWI and the trench warfare, and I read so much about it. It was a special experience just to visit the place.
          The cows there were particularly photogenic–black and white and quite graceful. :) August 17, 2012 at 7:25am Reply

        • Illdone: Hello Austenfan and ofcourse Victoria!

          So happy those wonderfull people of Place Vendôme get into the spotlight.
          First time I went there I was a bit overwhelmed, like the feeling you get in a very fancy boutique.
          Since I’ve returned there many times (it is an addictive place!). I live about half an hour away from them in the Flemish Ardens, also a must visit, Victoria!
          But what I meant to say is ; if you’re afraid of getting lost, Austenfan, I would love to accompany you when you visit Belgium and Place Vendôme!

          Victoria, I read every post you write, your knowledge never ceases to amaze me and your eloquence is transporting.
          Bedankt! September 23, 2012 at 6:01am Reply

          • Victoria: Thank you very much for your kind words, Illdone! I’m taking notes too–we haven’t explored the Flemish Ardens that much, so we will in the coming months.

            I can completely understand how one can get overwhelmed there! Plus, there is so much choice. But it’s a great place to have these moments of indecision. :) September 23, 2012 at 4:13pm Reply

            • Illdone: Oh, there are many more places to see and visit!
              There is the small village I grew up in : Deurle near St Martens Latem, if you like art and painters a must see. This could become a non-perfume topic ;)

              Just one more thing, Belgians are raised to be extremely polite and modest so if we seem distant (your SA’s example) we just don’t wanna bother anyone, once you get us talking , we do not shut- up anymore. ;))
              Hope the home-sickness doesn’t persevere it’s not an nice feeling. For very grave cases there’s always our chocolate.

              Last but not least if I can help with anything, info, samples of perfume (I’m a collector and obsessed with perfume) do ask!

              Looking forward to further reviews and take care Victoria! September 23, 2012 at 10:47pm Reply

              • Victoria: Thank you! I love all of these suggestions, and you can be sure that we will explore them all. Just added Deurle to our list. :) September 24, 2012 at 9:27am Reply

  • Madelyn E: Oh Victoria, I Really enjoyed this post ! What a fabulous discovery . It sounds like heaven to me to learn about the classic Guerlains and Chanels .. How nice to be treated so elegantly .. I think you are discovering new jewels in your new life in Belgium every week. !! August 16, 2012 at 3:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m glad that you liked the post. It was definitely nice to find a great selection of perfumes and a very wonderful service. Makes such a huge difference. I’m still feeling very homesick, but I’m finding more things to enjoy here. August 16, 2012 at 4:26pm Reply

  • carole macleod: It’s really kind of you to keep blogging, even as you move to a new country and have to learn a new language! Thank you!

    I want to smell the Guerlains, but alas-probably never will get to :)

    The beer sounds delicious! August 16, 2012 at 4:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s something that also keeps me in balance, keeps me grounded and reminds me that some things didn’t change. It’s a comforting thought, especially on days when I feel that I ended up on another planet. :)

      The beer here is something else. I always thought that I hated beer, but it was probably because I drank wrong type of beer. August 16, 2012 at 4:28pm Reply

  • Perfumista8: Thanks for another beautiful article. It’s great that you and your husband go exploring together. My husband and I do the same but in this case, I’m impressed your husband stayed for the whole hour! Mine would have told me to take my time and left for the beer after 10 minutes. Haha! He indulges my passion for perfume but the Belgium beer would win out for certain. August 16, 2012 at 4:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: Ha ha! He’s very patient, that’s for sure, but I could tell that the thought of beer was really tempting him. I think that he has decided that the next time he would do exactly the same thing as your husband–drop me off at the boutique and go have beer on his own. :) August 16, 2012 at 4:33pm Reply

  • Lavanya: What a beautiful place this seems,V..I am trying to convince my mom to go to Brussels to visit her best friend enroute to visiting me- I just sent her this link. She loves perfume too- so hopefully this will help make up her mind..:) August 16, 2012 at 4:56pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that she will get inspired to go! Brussels is a great city.
      And I hope that you can come and visit too. :) August 17, 2012 at 7:19am Reply

  • Lynn Morgan: All this and french fries too?? The Belgians are truly brilliant! August 16, 2012 at 6:38pm Reply

    • Victoria: And add to this the speculoos paste–a marvelous invention of crushed gingerbread cookies meant to be spread on bread. August 17, 2012 at 7:26am Reply

  • Wesley Parker: Ah! Loved your review. My husband is as crazy about beer as yours. If we ever make it to Belgium, this is a “must” stop :) Thanks so much for sharing. August 16, 2012 at 6:44pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’m happy that you’ve enjoyed it! Yes, the moment I mentioned the proximity of the abbey, my husband got more interested in the trip. If your husband likes beer, then it should be on the list. If other trappist beers like Chimay, Orval, Rochefort, etc. can be found in shops all over Belgium, the Westvleteren beer is sold only near its brewery. Apparently, the monks brew it for themselves and sell the excess. In the past few years, the demand for this beer has been growing thanks to the glowing reviews in various beer guides, but the abbey refuses to expand its operations. In order to prevent the stock from selling out too fast, the abbey instituted a very complicated buying process. But if you go to the cafe nearby you can just order a glass and enjoy it on the patio overlooking the wheat fields. My favorite was the Brune (called Westvleteren 8). August 17, 2012 at 7:37am Reply

  • Apollonia: What a great article today, and what beautiful photographs! Really, I found myself exclaiming, “Oh!” with each one coming into view as I read! I would just love to trail behind you, listening to you speak to the owner, asking questions, sniffing all those fabulous scents we just read about and try to “picture” in our imaginations….especially the Chanels! Coromandel, Cuir de Russie, et al just SITTING there waiting to be spritzed! What a wonderful place you discovered! Good for you, Victoria! Hope you had a magical time (even with the hubby waiting!) August 16, 2012 at 6:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you very much! I really enjoyed the place for the kind of welcoming and warm service, and I’m glad that I could capture a bit of its magic. It was impressive to me that they managed to maintain it for such a long time, especially since the location is hardly a bustling metropolis (but it has its charm and is well-situated). August 17, 2012 at 7:41am Reply

  • Daisy: WOW!

    Okay, now Belgium has skyrocketed to the top of my list of places to visit!

    I had actually just listened to the Roman Mars’ 99% Invisible show where they featured the abbey when I read your post!

    http://tmblr.co/ZYocFyMUgLF0

    There is perfume too? And Bois de Jasmin? Sign me up please :-) August 16, 2012 at 10:36pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, yes!! :) That’s the goal. I need more familiar faces around here. :)

      Thank you for the link. I completely agree with the article and this quote sums it up well: “The Head of the Abbey says, ‘We are not brewers. We are monks. We brew beer to be able to afford being monks.'” They could have easily turned it into a huge commercial operation, but they don’t. August 17, 2012 at 7:48am Reply

      • Daisy: That was my favorite quote too! There are not that many things left these days with that kind of integrity, so it really feels special when you encounter it :-) August 17, 2012 at 12:48pm Reply

        • Victoria: Exactly!
          I like knowing that in some far off village in France or Italy someone is making a special type of cheese that I will never get to eat. Or some grandmother in Russia is making her special gingerbread that she sells only at her local market. But because they are doing this and keeping the tradition, that’s already special. August 17, 2012 at 3:10pm Reply

          • Daisy: I love that too. I wish there were more people out recording these things because once they are gone, they’re gone. Like lost languages. August 21, 2012 at 11:44pm Reply

  • Catalin Varje: Reading your so wonderful words about the story of the most wonderful boutique in the world, the warmth and generosity combined with perfect professionalism made me feel the luckiest man in the world! Why? Because the universe gave me the chance to have David as my best friend, the most wonderful person I know on this planet! This experience makes my life as I like to say:” ONE OF A KIND”! He and what he creates changes every person that gets in touch with him! And yessss… if you walk in Place Vendome, you feel like royalty, because is what you receive. Thank you very much for sharing with us this experience and that you reminded me, how lucky I am! Best regards, Catalin Varje August 17, 2012 at 2:18am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Catalin! You are lucky indeed.
      As a perfume lover, I’m glad to add another place to my list that can educate me further. The exceptional customer service is one of the reasons I decided to write about Place Vendome. Very special. August 17, 2012 at 8:00am Reply

  • Florin G.: Visiting the amazing place you have created at Place Vendome changed my vision forever about perfumes and ‘products for the soul’ as I like calling them.

    You have created a ‘museum’ dedicated to this art and your knowledge, uniqueness, generosity and style makes this one of the most incredible experiences one can have!

    Thank you David for sharing with us your lifetime creation- Place Vendome- and for being the wonderful person you are!! August 17, 2012 at 4:55am Reply

  • Isabeau: I love this place, it is really heaven on earth! Great service and I do agree with you on their passion and knowledge.

    I am a real lucky woman, cause I have already visited this place for about 5 times (live in Netherlands and it’s a two hour drive but so worth it!) I really feel like a princess leaving this place ;-)

    This year my husband suprised me on my birthday with a night Antwerp and visiting Place Vendome, I had the best birthday ever!
    Last visit he had email contact with Steven to get me a nice present without me knowing (it is really tough to buy me perfume and make sure I do not already have it) and I got Sous Le Vent…do I need to say more, I wish I could go on vacation over there :-)

    So everyone who loves perfume has to visit Place Vendome! August 17, 2012 at 8:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Oops, my earlier comment to you disappeared somehow.

      You’re a lucky woman! What a great birthday present, and I can just imagine how happy you must have been. Sous le Vent is one of the most beautiful Guerlain fragrances. :) August 18, 2012 at 8:57am Reply

  • Zubi d’Nova / Melissa de Blok: I know where I’m driving from Holland when it’s not so hot…

    Thanks for the wonderful write-up and the tip :D August 17, 2012 at 11:41am Reply

    • Zubi d’Nova / Melissa de Blok: Or maybe on my way to France for that trip I mentioned! Unfortunately though, no one seems to want to go with me so far :( August 17, 2012 at 11:47am Reply

      • Victoria: Well, you can have lots of fun on the way by yourself–stop by at various little towns, try local foods, take photos. Make your own party! :) August 17, 2012 at 12:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: You’re welcome! If you’re driving, you should definitely add it to your itinerary and visit the towns nearby. It’s a very interesting area. August 17, 2012 at 12:39pm Reply

  • Jessica: I felt so happy after reading this post! It was as though I’d just gone fragrance-shopping with you. What a beautiful store.

    I also love Belgian beer, so it sounds like an ideal outing to me! August 17, 2012 at 12:17pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Jessica. I’m glad that you enjoyed this little virtual trip. Perfume and beer is a combination I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. Only in Belgium! :) August 17, 2012 at 12:46pm Reply

  • patricia borgenon: How heartwarming, all these reactions about our little, complicated country. It really became a perfume/beer mix :-)
    Reading all this ensures me that there is still a lot of passion among people. And all your visitors can express there passions.
    David and his teams are nog fighters against they odds. They express their passion for olfactory miracles as they are … worth living, enjoying …. with all the passion they have.
    Its good to read that they are known and appreciated … almost worldwide! August 18, 2012 at 5:40am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you, Patricia, for your comment! I’m also happy to hear that so many other people have had a wonderful time at Place Vendome. Passion makes all the difference, as all of the other commenters have testified here. August 18, 2012 at 4:22pm Reply

  • karin: Wow is right!!!! WOW! August 18, 2012 at 11:27am Reply

    • Victoria: The bee bottles are to die for! August 18, 2012 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Natalie: PV is really high on my wishlist to go and visit. As I live in the Netherlands (where good perfumeshops are REALLY scarce i.e. almost non-existant) I almost always have to go abroad for quality perfumeshopping. As I love to go shopping for food in France I will try to combine a trip to the Lille region with PV. Really looking forward to it! The Guerlain Déserts d’Orient are not only available in Belgium I should note: I tried them last week in Düsseldorf where Schnitler carries them. So for those nearer to Germany than Belgium; perhaps an alternative? August 19, 2012 at 5:45am Reply

    • Natalie: That should be Schnitzler….. August 19, 2012 at 5:46am Reply

    • Victoria: Natalie, thank you so much for the tip! It’s good to know that these perfumes are also sold in Germany.

      What kind of food shopping do you do in Lille? If you have any favorites spots there that you recommend visiting, I would love to know. August 19, 2012 at 8:43am Reply

  • Lori: I just discovered your website today…precisely because I have a visit planned to the Place Vendome in the next week and wanted to make a list of parfums to try. Imagine my surprise when I discovered not only an incredibly informed blog, but also an article on the Place Vendome!

    I am an American living in Belgium (Kortrijk), and from what I can make out from the comment section, you are now living in Belgium as well, is that correct? If so, I would love to connect…please let me know! December 29, 2012 at 4:05pm Reply

    • Victoria: Lori, I hope that you will enjoy your visit. It’s such a gem of a shop, and to find it in the middle of a farmland was like discovering a treasure.

      Yes, I live in Brussels, so we’re neighbors. :) December 30, 2012 at 3:37am Reply

  • gentiana: Oh, my ! How far away it is… :(
    Maybe this summer I can do it together with my long-time-planned Paris trip…. February 26, 2013 at 7:27am Reply

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  • Tourmaline in My Perfume Story : Andy: Thank you, Andy. Indeed, it would be fantastic to compile such a book; it would probably be the first of an endless number of volumes! At least we get to… October 30, 2014 at 7:18pm

  • Lilly in Caron En Avion : Perfume Review: Hello Victoria, I am really moved by the softness of Caron’s retro fragrances. Today I wore “n’Aimez que Moi”, in extrait. I know you don’t care for it much but… October 30, 2014 at 7:07pm

  • Tourmaline in Caron En Avion : Perfume Review: Hi Victoria, My goodness, “an authentic scent of another world”, carnation, “worn-out leather jacket” and “sweet violet, like a smear of someone’s red lipstick on the cheek” – these are… October 30, 2014 at 6:36pm

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