A Mini London Meetup – Photo Essay

Last weekend Val the Cookie Queen and her fabulous daughter Hannah (aka Blondes Wunder) landed in London for a flying visit. I met them on Friday afternoon and we had a chilled time after healthy fast food at Leon.

We got on the tube to Oxford Circus and similar to last time, Val and I installed ourselves in the Topshop cafe while Hannah trawled the rails. We had goods to exchange. Val brought me perfume but I was more excited about the world’s best cookies. I immediately ate three which showed great restraint on my part.



Val’s first sniff of the vintage Chanel No.5 I brought back from Sydney for Portia.





On Saturday morning I met Val at the back entrance of Liberty on Canaby Street. We’d be spending the day with Nick of fragrance consultancy Olfiction and Thomas, The Candy Perfume Boy who was coming down from Milton Keynes with his lovely husband, Nigel.



Before they arrived, we went into the store and had a look at Le Labo. The new Tonka 25 is very soft and quiet – likely to appeal to those craving something comforting. Val checked out Vetiver 46 which was better than most in that genre for me. (Later Thomas and I had a laugh about the fact that people regularly tell him that they wear a perfume called Santal 33 that nobody else knows about).




We spent some time at the Frederic Malle counter where Val and I always seem to gravitate. As a collection, it’s hard to beat, especially when it comes to niche.




Val’s friend Rosie joined us and became totally smitten with Portrait of a Lady. We were shown the new 30ml atomisers which are a nice addition. Prices vary depending on the perfume: Musc Ravageur is £85 while Carnal Flower is £122.




Thomas and Nigel arrived.




Thomas checked out the Christmas limited edition coloured bottles.




Nick found us after having to get an Uber thanks to a cancelled train. He was due to be on QVC at 6pm for Miller Harris. We regrouped outside and decided to head to Muji to buy some atomisers for Val.




Lunch was at Nando’s. I rarely eat there but luckily I was with aficionados. I had the Fino Pitta with Peri Peri salted chips and it was so good I didn’t stop to take a photo. Before the food arrived we did what my friend Natalie calls ‘table spritzing’. Not to be encouraged in public but we were seated in a corner away from other people. Nick had brought the strangelove nyc perfume samples for Val. Believe me when I tell you the vicinity smelt of oud from then on (it was good oud though).





Next stop was the bakery Crumbs and Dollies in Kingly Court for Nigel. Hannah found a vegan cupcake too.





Nick and me outside the bakery. He gives excellent advice and is a great listener.



At this point it began to rain. We made it to Champion for Hannah to get some jogging pants and then went on to Selfridges as the downpour got considerably heavier. Nick had to shoot off to QVC once we got to Oxford Street.

Our last sniff was at the Chanel counter. Bien sûr! We looked at the limited edition red bottles which photograph beautifully but I found a little underwhelming in reality.





Check out Blondes Wunder’s excellent beauty channel on YouTube here.


I’m currently experiencing extremely high levels of anxiety thanks to a house move so to spend time with such wonderful people was just what I needed.





Filed under Perfume Friends, Perfume Shopping

27 responses to “A Mini London Meetup – Photo Essay

  1. GOSH. I am always glad to get home because I am so exhausted, but now I wanna turn around and come straight back. Already planning the next trip. Was an absolutely brilliant time. Thank you all for being so welcoming, taking time off of work, giving up Saturdays, catching Übers….. (and these Strangelove NYCs are damn good), as are all the other goodies I may or may not have got. Hugest hugs Tara. Great write up – I will reread it a hundred times. Love ya. xxxxxx


  2. Of course, you are spoiled leaving where you live, but I don’t find anything “mini” about this meet-up! 🙂 I’m officially envious! Though, I must admit, from the quick reading it seems like it was… OK, maybe not more but at least equally about food 😉

    I think that 30 ml FM bottles is a very nice addition to already available sizes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I’m super lucky being in London. People usually come to me but I’m getting to them more and more.
      Oh yes, it was a lot about the food and mostly about the people. The perfume was pretty incidental really.
      The new 30ml atomisers are great particularly as these days so many niche brands offer you 100ml or nothing.


  3. matty

    Fab post and wonderful pics. Looks like you had a blast. it’s nice to put faces to other bloggers I follow.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sandra

    Sounds like a fabulous time Tara! Wishing you all the best for your upcoming move. I am sure you will be very happy there once you have settled. Sandra xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Your eating three cookies showed restraint, haha. How I loved and could relate to this. The weekend sounded like the very best fun in the very best company, and you all looked the epitome of urban chic. Great perfume aside, I am now curious to explore Nando’s menu as we have one in Stafford. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • It would have been great if you could have joined us V, but you had bigger fish to fry.
      Hannah put a pic on Instagram of our feet – all shod in white trainers.
      Definitely give Nando’s a go. I can recommend the pitta with the (mild) mango and lime dressing. I learnt that guys on dates order for mild at the counter but ask them to stick in the little ‘hot’ flag to make them look tough when the food arrives 😀


  6. Looks like a fab day out with like-minded souls, Tara. Hope the move goes well. R


  7. PHWOAR!! Lucky duck Tara
    It looks like a super fine time was had by all.
    Love the look of the small Malle bottles, so cool.
    Wish we lived closer.
    Portia xx


  8. Cody

    Aggghhh I was just there a month ago! I was in heaven at the fragrance department at Liberty and I’m kicking myself for not buying Riven Oak by Tom Daxon as it’s not available anywhere in the US. Oh well I’ll probably be back in Europe this coming spring.


  9. Pingback: A WEEKEND IN LONDON. | Australian Perfume Junkies

  10. I hope your move goes well for you Tara. The timely visit of friends,fragrance and food I am sure were well received. Omg yummmm Cookies I ate a couple in Vienna…
    I missed out on the London part of my Paris Trip and I hope to return one day in the future. Take care Tara, its not worth to stress too much, and it will work out in the end xxx


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