"I can't even begin to describe Fahrenheit," says Keila Crucet, manager at Alberto Cortes. But after taking a whiff of the sample stick soaked in Christian Dior's hawthorn and sandalwood fragrance for men, she finds just the right words: "It's very out there." Besides offering such eloquent descriptions, Crucet will advise you on when to apply a certain eau de toilette. For instance Yves Saint Laurent's Opium is a winter fragrance that should not be worn in the mornings. "It's very overpowering; you would kill everyone around you," she cautions. She'll also acquaint you with the liquors, herbs, spices, and flowers stored in bottles and flacons, which are blended to rouse intoxicating, olfactory emotions. Boucheron Pour Homme includes orange, basil, sage, moss, and patchouli, among other ingredients. Lolita Lempicka, a floral eau de parfum, smells of violets, ivy leaves, vanilla, and more. Escada Pour Homme, a fragrance that evokes the Orient, is made from cognac and musk. For children Givenchy's Tartine et Chocolat is a fresh, sparkling scent of plum, peach, mango, and marigold. Most of Crucet's customers are South Americans who were referred by friends. At Alberto Cortes not only can you call upon a knowledgeable staff, but you can buy aromatic essences for about 50 percent less than retail.
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