During frigid February, the boyfriend and I left New England for a short vacay in South Beach. Rum drinks! The ocean! Sunshine! Melanoma!
We cashed in all of his Marriott points to stay at The Miami Edition, which is like an edgy Ritz Carlton, designed by Ian Schraeger. It’s fancy.
As soon as I walked in the hotel lobby, I exclaimed, “WHAT IS THAT GLORIOUS SMELL?!”
It smelled like Ricky Martin and Roger Federer had a baby on a bed of bergamot and cedar. It was everywhere. It was glorious. As an asthmatic, I’m highly sensitive to bad perfumes. This was not bad perfume. The way I felt about this smell reminded me of the first time I inhaled Calvin Klein Eternity in 1987. It felt like coming home (to Ricky and Roger and their baby).
We asked the manager at the front desk about the smell. He told us it was from hipster perfumer Le Labo, made EXCLUSIVE for the Edition hotel. The scent was not sold in stores. Not at Barney’s. Not at the Le Labo store in the Nolita neighborhood. Nowhere. WHY IS THE UNIVERSE THWARTING ME?
So I did what anyone would have done. Before we checked out, I hoarded as many of the shampoos, body washes, lotions, and conditioners I could. 50+ bottles. No shame. I am down to six bottles. I am getting desperate. I NEED THIS HOTEL SMELL.
Last week, I took my daughter to New York City for her spring break. On Friday, we went to my favorite museum: Saks Fifth Avenue. BTW, the Outlander windows were already gone. That didn’t last long, did it?
Not a corset or cravat to be seen
Saks has a Le Labo counter, so Ruby and I stopped by before we went to the shoe department. I sniffed every single fragrance, knowing none were the Edition smell, hoping nonetheless.
The attentive gentleman behind the counter, mixing scents and potions, struck up a conversation.
Mahmoud: Can I help you, young lady?
Me: You could if you sold the Edition hotel fragrance. But alas, dear sir, you do not.
Mahmoud: The Edition scent? I can make that for you.
Me: WHAT DID YOU SAY, GUY WITH ONE GLOVE?
Mahmoud: I can make the Edition scent. They made it our newest fragrance. It’s called Thé Noir 29.
Me: (passes out from joy and from Mahmoud’s beauty)
Ruby watching the genius work
Mahmoud whipped me up a 3.4 fl oz bottle of heaven. La Labo describes Thé Noir 29 as:
Thé Noir 29 is an ode to the noble leaf and the craft that surrounds it. Thé Noir 29 combines depth and freshness, softness and strength through permanent oscillation between the light of bergamot, fig and bay leaves and the depth of cedar wood, vetiver and musk. A special extraction of black tea leaves wraps up the composition by bringing to the formula a dry, leafy, hay, tobacco feeling in the dry down to transform this creation into a sensuous and addictive essence.
I got my own custom label. Compounded: at Saks NYC by Mahmoud, For: Ruby. That kid is always stealing my things.
I was so happy. I had succeeded on my quest. Seek and ye shall find. I handed Mahmoud my AmEx, as he said, “That will be $317.”
Okay, fine. Take my money. Ruby is a terrible wingman. Seven-year-olds do not believe in budgets. Plus, I was tipsy from those two mimosas I’d had at the American Girl Place brunch. I had no defenses.
And now every time I walk down the street, people say, “What is that smell? Is that heaven?” and I say, “No. It’s hotel.”