Last year I joined a tour to visit some Eastern European cities and at the Vienna stop, the tour guide gave us half a day to stroll through the shopping district. I visited a few department stores, and I remember Bond No. 9s, Etro’s, Serge Lutens, Robert Piguets were dominating the shelves. Back then, I still had some self-control and sanity whenever I visit a perfume store; so I had only picked up a bottle of Etro, a brand that I had never seen before. On my way to the cashier, a sales lady asked me if I needed any help, and out of the blue, I asked, “Does Austria make any perfume? I mean, are there any local brands?” She hesitated a bit, and she went to the back of the store, on the bottom-most shelf and reached for a bottle of perfume named Sissi. That all decked-up saleslady in her thirties said, “We have one, but it smells like a grandmother.” Since it’s unlikely that I would visit Austria any time soon, I had decided to bring that bottle back to Canada for a good price of $20US. (I couldn’t have imagined that a year later I would turn into a grandma and now the perfume is perfect.)
Elisabeth of Austria (1837 – 1898) was the wife of Emperor Franz Joseph I, and thus Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary. (Thanks, Wikipedia) She smelled quite nice, a bit old-fashion, but not inspiring – if the perfume is a good representation. There’s no cheat sheet found on Fragrantica for Sissi, so I would guess the ingredients include aldehyde, lavender, rose and some sandalwood. No one needs to fly to Austria now to get a bottle, you are not missing much. It somehow reminds of me some Bond No. 9 perfume that is not very popular.
I wonder if you have brought back any perfumes from a foreign country that no one knows about? Please share!