My layover sniffing tour of Dallas

Cowboy-boot store in the West End Historic District

On our way back to Massachusetts from New Mexico, we had an approximately 8-hour layover in Dallas, Texas. Too bad the revolving restaurant in Reunion Tower is permanently closed, but we made the most of our short time in the city otherwise. We had brunch at a nice Southern diner called Ellen’s, chosen for its proximity to our first destination, the Dallas Museum of Illusions. That was fun and had some interesting photo ops, but it was much smaller than expected and therefore felt expensive to visit.

Not the most elegant pose, but gets the idea across…

We then walked around the West End, where I tried to find a pair of cowboy (cowgirl?) boots for myself. One of the shops had an impressive selection, but I must have taken the environment for granted because I can’t remember whether it smelled strongly of leather. No luck with the boots, so we continued walking along Main Street (parts of which smelled like urine) to historic Deep Ellum, an artsy area known for its nightlife. Here we stumbled upon happy hour (between 1 and 2 PM!) and shared a $5 pitcher of local beer.

Eye by Tony Tasset (2007) on Main Street, Dallas, TX
Whiskey Hatchet in Deep Ellum

Now I’m getting to the point—my Dallas sniffing tour really consists of only one niche perfumery: the first in this city. We took a rideshare to West Village, about 2 miles away, to The Scent Room, “an elevated perfumery.” The usual sales associates were out that day so I got to talk with the owner, Deborah Turner, who was super nice and down-to-earth, casually providing recommendations (such as layering Nishane Ani with its rose-vanilla dressed in citrus and woods and the jasmine-forward Hacivat, which works beautifully) while letting customers explore any of the several hundreds of perfumes from most niche lines you could think of. I spent at least an hour in there, trying as much as I could, although I get overwhelmed easily with so many choices—akin to trying to talk to everyone you meet at a party, even if you’ve heard of some of them before. My other half found a comfortable chair to bide his time while I “curated” scent strips to keep him involved in the sniffing experience.

Perfumes are organized by brand, but each had its notes listed on a label taped to the tester bottle and the price on the bottom, which made testing pretty straightforward. I would have gone for the very leathery Frapin Checkmate but wasn’t ready for a large bottle and the smaller size wasn’t available for this particular one as it was for some others in the line. I ended up buying a travel spray of Essential Parfums Rose Magnetic, which I’d planned to buy at some point anyway, but I’ll definitely keep The Scent Room in mind when I want to get something else in the future. At the moment, it looks like not everything that’s available in store is offered online, so one should visit in person if one can…!

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