Down a little street off of the main drag in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware - a street called Penny Lane - lies a hidden gem. I want to come up with some kind of clever analogy between finding this shop and a pearl in an oyster, you know, to play up the ocean thing... but I am not that clever. Or trite.
The hidden gem in question: The Perfume Shoppe, which opened this new location just a few weeks ago! I was only able to visit briefly, but the whole experience was excellent.
Rehobeth's boardwalk area is not the typical tacky, bright-lights-neon-signs scene. Instead, cute shops (shoppes?) line the street, selling jewelry, breezy sundresses, and other fairly upscale sundries. At least, that was my impression as I dodged tourists with ice cream cones and sunburns. You see, I had to dash, because the kids were overdue for naps and we had plans for an early dinner!
Penny Lane is a quaint bricked alley a block from the ocean. Two doors in from the arched entrance, past the hanging flower baskets and across from the beautiful shrubs in large urns, is where you'll find Cindy, proprietress of the Perfume Shoppe. Cindy greeted us instantly when we walked in, making us feel instantly at home. By the way, I don't know how she does it, but she manages to pull of elegant and comfortable and beachy, all at the same time.
The shop (shoppe?) itself is as elegant as Cindy. It seemed sound-proofed, but that's probably just a lovely benefit of the location. There were gorgeous orchids blooming on the desk, everything was spotless, and a pretty curved stairway was tucked in one corner (Ara wanted to climb it, of course!).
Behind those glass doors? Amouage. Keiko Mecheri. L'Artisan Parfumeur. Montale. Penhaligon's. Serge Lutens. There were more, but the mind boggles!
That's my Ara there, lounging comfortably in the stool. Trust me when I tell you this place must be nice - and friendly - if she was that at ease!
How sweet was Cindy when she discussed Ara's love of lavender perfumes with us? And when she happily spritzed Ara and Lulu with Penhaligon's Lavendula? It's their favorite, and I dab a bit on their wrists before naptime on most days. She also sprayed a few girlie-girl-friendly scents on blotters and let Ara try them. Ara was over the moon!
Cindy did a quicky profile of my girl, too, and suggested a few scents. My almost-five year old deemed Premier Figuier as her favorite, identifying its scent as smelling like "granola". You know what? She's not wrong! Figs, almond milk... I can see the link to the almond-heavy, raisin-laden granola she snacked on the day before. I think my kid has a great nose! Cindy was kind enough to provide us with a sample of Premier Figuier to take home, and Ara is in love... Well, at least a small bottle of PF is cheaper than Lavendula! ;)
|The Chanel wristlet is NOT Ara's. Or mine. :)
I tried, and enjoyed, Amouage's Ciel, which was one of the few I hadn't tried from the line. Yum! It rode out the door on my left wrist, with Lutens' Un Lys on my right. Hubby liked the former, but thought the latter smelled like a monkey cage. Um, hate to break it to him, but I adored it and it's going on The List!
I had a few regrets about the experience. One, I wish I had more time to spend. Two, I wish I had a few hundred bucks on me to buy a few scents I've been ogling for awhile! And Un Lys. Three, I am so sorry I was so rushed that I was scattered and took only a few (lousy) pictures and had a disjointed conversation with Cindy. Last but not least, I had hoped to meet a fragrance friend there, but due to a super late night the evening before (we saw Harry Potter at midnight!) my schedule was a wreck and I missed her.
What I did not regret, though, was making the time to go meet Cindy and see the shop (shoppe?). It was a great time! I will definitely go back, hopefully for an evening of wine and sniffing -- Cindy hinted that she was planning to arrange such a thing from time to time.
Many thanks to Cindy for her time and kindness, and to Naz for having such a great business and letting it expand!