Erstes Mal in Berlin. (The First Time in Berlin)

Everything is once for the first time. This time me for the first time in Berlin and the first hotel fire alarm too.

All my life I try to carry for hotel accommodations my better pajamas, opaque and not too worn, for the case a fire alarm occures. And when it really happened, I was wasting my time by dressing up. But I noticed everyone was doing it.

The fire alarm somehow verifies what is important to a person. So the daughter packed a t-shirt that was hand-drawn by her friend, the son immediately rattled a plush marmot that acts as his class mascot and a pack of Pokemon cards. Then I strictly schooled them in front of the hotel that when we are in danger of fire, we don’t take anything with us – at most if they were within reach, documents and phone – and at the same time I felt guilty that I’d secretly packed my notebook with perfume notes. Finally, it turned out the alarm was false.

Trying to to squeeze some sightseeing, some program attractive to children, and also some perfumery into three was not an easy Tetris game, but I managed to smuggle one perfumery to each day, somehow even related to the program.

(So i do not know. I was the only one who got the bag with this sticker. And so far I thought I look pretty good for my age!)

First of all, I decided that the KaDeWe department store (Kaufhaus Des Westens) is a touristic stop anyway, which has historically something to say, so it was easy choice in this respect.

KadeWe is a blast. Looking at all those brands and collections so rarely available, I was catching genuine panic, what to try, what to choose, what to skip, where to pillage samples. It’s everywhere. Not only the huge Beauty department, but also the individual branded clothing boutiques have their perfume collections laid out in their area or duplicated there. And yes, there is a plenty of brands. I managed to stop at least at Dior, Prada, The Merchant of Venice, Givenchy, and some others, I couldn’t get rid of a Cartier’s salesman, but in the end even that was a nice experience.

As I am always very interested mainly in local perfumes, besides all the mentioned above, I found the Berlin brand Birkholz to be very interesting, which, besides its boutique at Knesebeckstraße 55, is also represent in KaDeWe, so I did not have to include the boutique visit as a special item on the agenda. The only minus is that while in KaDeWe their display does include refill bottles, in fact refills is available only in the home boutique. But at the first visit it doesn’t matter.

Interestingly, experienced perfume salespeople on the first spot offer me either joyful floral or delicate powdery scents. And mostly good. In fact I look everything else than a delicate, fragile fairy. So the saleswoman in Birkenholz – seeing my fuzzy and helpless look – picked the following with her experienced eye:

First Spring – A hit exactly. This is one of the most beautiful and happy crystal flowers I’ve ever felt. It’s just a bouquet of fresh spring flowers, just cut off and put in a vase of crystal clear water. And holding and holding. At the end there is a soft peach tone with a little musk, but it does not feel sweety, sticky or like a fabric softener.

Green Garden – This was the second fragrance she put to my hands pointing out that it can be layered with the first. It is also flowery, but significantly greener and more monolithic. Roses with freesia also create a beautiful floral impression, but despite the freshness of the entire composition gradually turn to slightly more serious and balanced tone.

Forest Fantasy – May, May, May, all the forest sings, somehow like this that old song goes … Impression of a green forest, with damp clay, for some reason I smell also rosemary, but it fits, wood, wet bark. Gradually it goes from green tones to the wood, but the fine dense-green trace remains till the end.

Velvet Orchid – so this one really did not fit me. In addition to the warm floral tones of the orchid, I can feel some strange fruity tone that I don’t like. But only for a moment, then it goes on to some kind of general-dry-sweet-woody, artificial tone that doesn’t make me feel any good.

Luxury Passion – A little better but also I’m not completely enthusiastic about it. Orange with star anise, preparing for Christmas, mixed with an incomprehensible mint-herbal tone – maybe someone is ill with cold at home and brewing tea? Gradually woody tones will prevail. In fact, it is quite pleasant, though uninteresant. And especially, the herbs didn’t stay long.

(Catches – if one can’t choose, discovery sets come in handy)

Frau Tonis Perfume is strategically located at Zimmerstraße 13, just a few steps from Checkpoint Charlie.

It is furnished very simply, light, minimalist, elegant. The fragrances are in large medical bottles with ground-glass joints and there is free access to them. There was a very nice and helpful salesman. So at least I tried to smell everything (of course I managed to skip the most interesting for me the highest concentrations, but that’s the fate of us distracted).

Finally, I learned the answer to a question I had long been curious about: Why do some of their perfumes have the same / similar names and compositions as some perfumes of the French brand Galimard? Well, the answer is simple, the two companies work together and the perfumes are the same. After trying those I already know, I can confirm that they are really the same.

Out of the most interesting for me, I took in mini packs Veilchen, Berlin Orange and Linden. I was still thinking about acacia (Acazie), but I had to pick three to make a pack.

Veilchen – Fragrance inspired by Marlene Dietrich. Why did they attributed her violets I do not know, but it’s nice. It starts quite “darkly”, reminding me a bit of Creed’s Love in Black crossed with Lolita Lempicka. But the rougher tones with the liquorice are quite quickly developed and a pleasant fruity violet with a slight raspberry tint remains.

Linden – Linden tea with honey, like from mum. Very soothing scent.

Berlin Orange – A very pleasant, refreshing scent of a non-sweet orange with delicate greenery. It acts non-synthetically, not “sorbety”, naturally, but nonchalant. Light summer smell, staying time is not really amazing, but sensible for the concentration of EdC.

(There was no problem getting younger members of the trip to this place, because at this time there were accommodated their idols – members of the currently popular K-pop boyband, due to which, more specifically due to their concert, was actually the whole trip.)

The Krigler boutique is located directly at Unter den Linden at the Hotel Adlon, essentially overlooking the Brandenburg Gate, so also close to the mandatory targets of the trip. It is located in a small passage at the entrance, connected to the hotel lobby. It is tiny, but stuffed with perfumes. I’m surprised that the saleswoman can take turn there without knocking anything from shelves. But she was very kind and helpful. I had chosen in advance which perfumes I wanted to try, but on the spot I was so overwhelmed that I tried villy-nilly, although I tried to focus on more recent fragrances. Even when I found out ex-post that I had forgotten to try Schöne Linden, it seemed to me that it was so embarrassing not to try it out on the spot that inspired it’s creation so I order it from the e-shop right away. This is my most expensive sample so far. It was delivered fast. Place of dispatch – Hotel Adlon.

But the experience was great, not only for me, but also for the three accompanying ladies aged 15-17, who smelled with me and eagerly listened to the shop assistant, which perfume was made for which princess or king. And the enthusiasm when the saleswoman sprayed all three girls abundantly from head to toe with the scent of Extraordinaire Camelia, explaining to them that it is the scent of the Swedish princess Madeleine, protecting their faces with a black lace fan, they were hovering from the store like real princesses. So fragrant they wandered around the hotel lobby for a while, scenting vases of lilies in vain hope of seeing some celebrity, and the perfume part of the expedition finally ended.

We decided that we must come to Berlin again. I’m already looking forward.

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