I’m embarrassed to admit that three quarters of the year have passed since I originally promised this post.
On a business trip to New York back in September, I extended one extra day over the weekend to do some shopping, eating, sightseeing and visiting with family. Yes, I know, ambitious plans for having only one extra day. Needless to say, I had to let go of some of my plans. One that I was not prepared to give up though, was my trip to the Caron boutique.
I had seen a few posts on other blogs that I follow about this fabulous perfume house called Caron. When I saw the pictures of the beautiful gold gilded Baccarat urns filled with perfume and the glorious cygnet down powder puffs, I knew this was a place that I, too, had to experience.
Since I don’t have plans of traveling to Paris anytime soon (even though I wish I did), I had to find a Caron boutique in the United States. When I began searching for the location of a store in New York (which I figured was a likely location), I found that the New York City location had been closed. Not willing to accept this answer, I kept searching, hoping that the information was incorrect. As it turns out, the store on Madison Avenue is no longer open, but that is not because it closed, it’s because it moved.
The Caron boutique is now located within Phyto Universe, a salon/spa on Lexington Avenue [UPDATE – April 30, 2016: Caron has been relocated to One Grand Central Place 60 E 42 St New York, NY 10165]. You see, the owner of Caron also owns Phyto hair products and Lierac skincare products. All three of these luxurious products (and the services to go along with them) can be found in one location at Phyto Universe.
With an agenda for the day that included the Chanel boutique, Phyto Universe, visiting my Great-Aunt in New Jersey and ending the night with Junior’s cheesecake, I had to begin early. I was staying at my Uncle’s brownstone in the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, so early that morning, I hopped on the subway and made my way to the Central Park stop.
I first went to Chanel to pick up my Chanel Le Coton. If you don’t have it, purchase now! Even though some would say it’s a ridiculous price to pay for “fancy cotton balls”, it is an affordable piece of luxury that any boudoir should not be without.
After experiencing the cold noses in the air at Chanel (making me feel a little bit like Julia Roberts being snubbed on Rodeo Drive in Pretty Woman…which is not an uncommon attitude in many fine boutiques, unless you’re a socialite or celebrity), I made my way to Phyto Universe. You might pass it if you weren’t paying attention. It sits on the corner of 58th Street and Lexington Avenue, but it is not on ground level, so you must look up [UPDATE – April 30, 2016: Caron has been relocated to One Grand Central Place 60 E 42 St New York, NY 10165] There is a very small unassuming entrance on 58th. When you enter, there is a small reception desk to the left, elevator doors straight ahead and some shelves lined with product to the right. The woman behind the counter kindly greeted me and asked me what I was there for (i.e. salon service, shopping, etc.), to which I replied, “the Caron boutique”. She called upstairs to let them know to expect me, she opened the elevator door, and off I went. When the vestibule door opened, there was a woman standing there waiting to help me. She escorted me to the small breathtaking room which was the Caron boutique. Despite it’s small size, the marble, mirrors, Baccarat urns and chandeliers, cygnet down powder puffs, hand milled face powder and perfume galore, made it a boudoir dream come true!
She first explained the different perfume scents to me and made me samples of my three favorites: N’Aimez Que Moi, Pour un Femme and Sacre Intense. She placed her business card inside a tiny envelope and inserted it all into a small gold drawstring nylon bag. What a fabulous presentation just for a sample!
Then it was on to the powder puffs…the reason for my visit! I had expected that they would be luxurious, but they exceeded my expectations twenty times over. Unless you’ve been to Caron, it is probably unlikely that you’ve ever been introduced to a true cygnet down powder puff. At least I had not been, despite the many frilly and delightful powder puffs I’ve owned in my life. It feels like a soft air on your skin. In fact, it’s so soft that you might be unsure that it is even touching you. Needless to say, there wasn’t much “selling” involved, because I was sold as soon as I saw them. I decided upon the smaller size, because it can actually fit into the container of loose face powder. She also explained the different face powders to me, and sent me home with some samples (both matte and shimmer).
Selecting the color of the powder puff that I wanted was a bit challenging. While she went into the back to pull the different colors for me to view, she offered me a seat and let me look through a book about the history of Caron. She returned with a nice selection of colors. It would have been an easy choice if they had one in turquoise with a black ribbon (My Little Boudoir’s signature colors), but they don’t make turquoise (or at least didn’t then). The closest to it was mint green. She did have a lovely one that had been special ordered (yes, they do special order!) for someone else that she showed me. It was a black puff with a pink ribbon. It was sooo fabulous, but she didn’t have any others in stock. I was going to go for pink, but ultimately decided to go with Caron’s signature peach. Plus, since I intended to use this one for face powder, the color of the powder would at least blend in more with peach. That would leave me with an excuse to buy a big one in a different color at a later date, for body powdering, of course! She did offer to contact me if they had the pink/black combination in again. Not that I expected it, but she actually called and emailed me months after my visit to let me know that they had some in stock. Now that is some good service!
The woman was so very kind and walked me over to the register at Phyto Universe. The gentleman there was extremely kind, too. He gave me several samples of Phyto and Lierac products, placed it all in a Caron shopping bag, with lovely gold polka dotted tissue paper.
Thanks to the lovely team at Caron and Phyto, they made my Caron dream everything it was meant to be.
When I returned home from my trip, I placed the powder samples in a small china dish that I purchased at a garage sale for probably 75 cents. The display is lovely though. It sits upon my bedroom vanity looking absolutely stunning!