Having just literally tussled with the Chanel sales runt at Duty Free ( she inSISTED on spraying the perfume on the paper card , I REALLY insisted on spraying it myself), as we contorted into a grotesque shape and my strength got the upper hand …. ( HA ! )

I proceeded to search through the miserable selection of scintillating Xmas offerings in search of something new ( I was hoping to smell the new Hermes Rose Amazone and report about it back to you, but they hadn’t even heard of it, the tight, right, Hermes bitches also, as per usual, viewing the act of perfume spraying autonomy with disdain). I came, nevertheless, across, in my zoned out zombie-ing, the quite astoundingly and moronically titled ‘Knot’ .. ( what?!! ) by ‘Bottega Veneta ‘ . ‘Whatever’, I thought, in an American accent, and proceeded towards the standard grab and sniff.

Immediate impression: quite pleasant, feminine and sexy sheer and shimmering orange blossom in the current, off the shoulder style,
cleverly placed between laundry musk, eviscerated cedar wood chemicals and a grassy green and nose brazzling artificiality that, though harsh and really quite offensive up close, works well when you smell it from the bottle, in that put together, hair tossing-at-hotel-reception kind of way.

Rubbish though, ultimately.


The departure lounge is packed.

I have heard terrible things about American Airlines.

Can all of us be really getting on that plane?

Speak to you all soon from Miami.



Filed under Flowers


  1. One good thing: I feel skinnier already.

  2. You know what’s foul? Calling sales assistants runt and bitches.

    • Although the attitude of these people is extraordinarily exasperating.

      • Renee Stout

        I have to say, they exasperate me too, because they’re all so condescending and won’t leave you alone to smell what you want. 99% of the time, I know more about the product they’re selling because I’ve done research on it before I went to the store to sniff. I really don’t have much faith in mainstream launches these days so I’m not surprised that Knot is mediocre. Although I do like the Bottega Venetta suede-like scent.

  3. Lynley

    You sound like you’re in a lovely mood, hope it improves 🙂
    The moronically titled Knot is the name of their clutch. Much like Hermes Kelly Caleche i guess, if that’s also moronic..?

  4. Hope the journey us far more pleasurable than Duty Free. Wish you were closer to where I live, I would love to have had you visit and peruse the fragrance collection. Have a smashing time in Florida.

  5. Muswellhillgirl

    Wow. I usually really enjoy your posts but calling people who earn not very much ‘runts’ and ‘bitches’ is just nasty. Disappointed.

    • In my family, ‘runt’ is just used as a kind of jokey word as we are not that tall – I never thought of it as offensive.

      As for ‘bitch’, now that I know is a word fraught with danger, although a gay man using it and a straight one does somehow seem different (discuss). The thing is, though, the idea of sales assistants looking down on the customer and behaving coldly and in a ‘superior’ manner just because they work around ‘luxury’ goods (see my piece ‘Japan, Perfume’) makes me so livid that ONLY the word bitch will do. Sorry.

    • I think it is also because I profoundly, deep in my soul, hate so many things about the way human beings behave, particularly their need to talk down to others. I don’t do that: with my students, colleagues, anybody. If a person acts snooty just because they are not dressed in the way that their clients are supposed to be, they need a custard pie in the face. The profound stupidity and lack of thought behind that way of being is unforgivably thick and deserves a nice, sharp, slap. See, just writing this is making me furious.

  6. Mimi G

    Well, I enjoyed this very much ! At least you’re honest, Neil. Snobbery in high end sales of any kind is just pure nonsense . Have a fab holiday XXX
    Merry Christmas !

  7. David

    Gay man in the house and know what you mean about the use of the word bitch.
    I’m in New York on holiday and the sales assistants for the most part are friendly and fun. Lots of samples.
    I hate arrogance and snobbery, too. I especially hate it when Europeans act all superior with their perceptions of the USA. (Not you, I never got that vibe from your posts). What makes me angry about it this: just which Americans are they directing their snobbery towards– the millions of Cuban Americans? Mexican Americans? Chinese Americans? Coming back to the USA for visits really hits home how diverse this country is. I know for sure you are getting a sense of that in Florida. I’m really looking forward to your impressions.

  8. Wow, I am utterly amazed at all of these foolish bleeding hearted fools. I find nothing wrong with what you said Neil, not a thing.
    I worked in the industry for over 20 years, for many major lines including Guerlain, Dior and Chanel. I know firsthand that many of my colleagues were nasty runty bitches. They treated people with rudeness and disdain, which I found abhorrent and pathetic. I find that many if the salespeople I deal with are truly bitchy and condescending. Thus does not have anything to do with how much they make, nor what thier position is, it gas to do with proper customer service.
    I used to assist multi-millionaires with purchases regularly, some of these people looked and dressed as if they were homeless, but I treated them with the utmost respect. The problem with too many sales people is that they judge everyone on appearance and treat most with contempt. When you are working in the service industry everyone should be treated like a billionaire, everyone. If you do not like that, find another job, very simple.
    So Neil my live, I find nothing wrong in your comment, nothing at all.
    To the rest of you, wake the hell up and expect decent service. If you are spending good money on an item, you should be treated well, just the same as if you are perusing, you should be treated well. Unless of course you think you are unworthy, then you are just a plain old masochist…in that case you can pay someone to properly demean you, without going into a nice shop.
    Happy holidays

    • The thing is, I actually like people being honest and if I am rude or offensive then I like people telling me so.

      But though very left-leaning, I also find Political Correctness horrifying. A bitch is a bitch!

      • Touché!! The states here are over run with closet haters. They are all so PC on the outside but just filled with hatred in their home, then others are just self delusional and feel everyone us truly good at their core…malarkey I say.
        You hit it on the head. Sometimes a bitch is just a bitch. I have known too many of them to try to redeem them, they just were truly unpleasant humans who took it out on the populace at large.
        Never censor yourself, it would be too…well, too common of you 😉
        Hope your time here is fabulous my dear, simply fabulous.

  9. Spell check horrors, I apologize for that.

  10. Good old thinking that a gay man can’t be misogynistic and everyone who disagrees is just awfully PC and a Hater. Jesus fuck. I have no problem with rudeness and don’t think that you are a misogynist, but if you really think it’s OK to call someone a runt and a bitch because they refuse (for whatever reasons) to let you spray some perfume the way you like it to be done, then may be you should ask yourself a question or two about snobbery and sense of entitlement.

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