OKAAAY...time to move on to nicer thoughts and greener pastures (pun intended), like perfume, of course!
It was my first time in Tahoe during the fall season, as I have only been there during peak seasons (summer and winter) for boating and snowboarding. It is very quiet in the fall. Tahoe is some 6,000 feet above sea level and covered in tall, elegant pines, including ponderosa. as well as white fir trees. But I had no idea that there were aspen trees in Tahoe, and in the fall they color the landscape with their stunning, bright yellow leaves.
I walked into the boutique, and a lovely and very knowledgable saleperson, Zenimue, greeted me. The walls of Fragrance Vault were covered from top to bottom with perfume. I can not possibly remember everything I saw, but I will break it down into categories as best I can:
Designer/Accessible: Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, YSL, Guerlain, Molinard, Cardin, Caron, Cartier, Agent Provocateur, Bal a Versailles, Patou, Lalique, Escada, etc.
Higher-end/Exclusive: Dolce & Gabbana's Velvet Collection, Guerlain Elixir Charnel, Chanel Les Exclusifs
Vintage/Rare/Discontinued: Guerlain Meteorites, Tendre Poison, Caron Bellodgia EdT, Vol de Nuit, Shalimar, Opium flankers, Chanel Gardenia, Victoria's Secret Victoria, Theorema, YSL Nu, Champs Elysee Too Much, Gucci Envy, Lauren in the new and old formulas, Deneuve by Catherine Deneuve, Byzance by Rochas, Must II by Cartier, Interdit and Fleur d'Interdit by Givenchy (the latter was my signature scent until it was discontinued)
Niche: Imaginary Authors (L'Orchidee Terrible is always in stock, as the house makes batches of it just for them, eventhough it is technically discontinued), Ramon Monegal, "Uncle Serge", Mark Buxton and Xerjoff
They also had a vast and very impressive selection of new and vintage minis that included so many brands that I can not possibly remember, but some that spring to mind are: Coco, Dune, Fendi Asja and the original Fendi, Dana Incognito
I learned two things from Zenimue that I never heard before:
1. It is believed that Angel is based on Molinard's Nirmala, which was the perfume that Thierry Mugler's mother wore. I smelled Nirmala for the first time, and it smells so much like Angel's candied, fruity top notes. It's like Mugler took those and added more heft with the base of patchouli and dark chocolate.
2. Tom Ford worked for YSL when Nu and Rush were released. Not sure how much of a hand he actually played in their creation, but I'd love to find out.
Fragrance Vault is like finding buried treasure. And what was my booty, you ask? I walked away with full bottles of YSL's Nu, Dune (2012), Poison (2013), Jovan Musk, and Infini by Caron, as well as 3-ml decants of Ange ou Demon Parfum Extrait, Bellodgia (edt), and Opium Oriental (a limited edition flanker). I was so mad about the 2014 reformulations that I deeply regretted having never bought bottles of Dune nor Poison, so I was very happy to find a legitimate distributor with pre-2014 bottles, rather than resorting to eBay.
The list of inventory is so huge, it's not easy or practical to post it all online, but if you give them a jingle, I'm sure Zenimue or the owner, Jana, will be more than happy to check their stock and ship to you. Don't quote me on this, but I believe it's a flat $6 for shipping ConUS. They also sell decants, so if they do not have a particular full bottle in stock, there is a chance they can sell decants atarting with 3ml.