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August 03, 2010

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Jonno

Such a lovely, lovely review. Come back soon!

monique

While displaced in Massachusetts, early September following Katrina , I longed for something that I could reach for, that little piece of home to hold onto. I thought of Hove'. I imagined it shuttered and closed and wondered if it would become a casualty of the flood. On a lark I dialed the number, "Hove'" the perfumer answered. Shocked, I stumbled, 'Can I order some Vetivert? Two bottles." The answer was yes and " It might take some time to get to you since its a little messy here & we have to drive well out of the city to post it to you."
They had phone service and never even lost electricity. It was miraculous. And I had my bit of home to keep me buoyant until I could come back.

Perfumaniac

Monique, That's such a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing it. I can imagine your shock when you heard them answer the phone, and I love that you ordered Vetiver! I can't wait to see my New Orleans friends again!

Paramour_plsTY

Wonderful post, got me searching for Galangal leaves! There is so much I miss about New Orleans, certainly.

Perfumaniac

Hey Paramour, I meant Kaffir leaves. Whoops! Go search that. :) And thanks for stopping by!

Drew Zeigler

As a expatriate New Orleanian (ok, I'm only in Lafayette now), this article made my heart sing. Nothing makes me think of NOLA more than Hové. I own five (mens') colognes and four of them are Hové. Vetivert is king, but mainly for winter for me. Vervaine sings of summer. Habanera is my favorite everyday scent (wonderful tobacco flower). And Grandee is for those elegant occasions.

Every time someone visiting asks me where they should go while in the city, Hové is always on the list.

Perfumaniac

Oh, you're making me wish even more that I could just pop over to Hové and try those out, Drew! (I do remember liking Habanera.) Everyone I've talked to who has lived in New Orleans for a long time has a Hové story, or owns a perfume/cologne. Long before Bond decided to connect perfumes with cities, Hové was doing its thing. Thanks for the comment!

Jonno

Inspired by this post (+ Drew's comments), I zipped over to Hové on my way home from work yesterday and bought some Vetivert shower gel (which they actually blended for me afresh while I waited) and a few bundles of dried vetiver root. When I left the store there was a $20 ticket on my scooter for not putting money in the meter when I parked (who knew?) It was still worth it :)

Perfumaniac

Oh, cute Jonno; the things you'll do for perfume! Perhaps this is payback for the time you eluded the meter maids while we amassed hundreds of dollars worth of Tom Ford samples at Saks? Big kiss! Miss you a lot.

Cathlyn

I have Guerlain Vetiver (mens- but I don't care), and vintage, of course. It smells so clean, subtle and feminine to me... A little sexy too, and quite sensual. I believe this is one of the other-worldly scents. It is amazing what you can do with it if you want to shake things up. I put it on and layer something else over it. It smells incredible when you squirt some Chanel # 19 over it. I think it smells delicate as well. It's definite "huffer for me." I love Vetiver.....

Perfumaniac

Have you ever smelled Hové's Vetiver, Cathlyn? It's a little wilder, more peppery, with more angles, even a bit salty. I love it! But really, I love vetiver in almost everything...

Nancy

Has Hove' moved into their new location yet? I know they announced a change to a larger F.Q. store for this summer. That both pleases me and causes worry. I have very fond memories of their quaint and lovely previous location. That was the last place I shopped when I had to relocate from NOLA. Growth for the company probably means I can keep getting my "fix" for Vetiver no matter where I roam, but the fact that they will now be carrying clothing/etc. concerns me.

Perfumaniac

Hi Nancy,

They move in July to 434 Chartres: http://hoveparfumeur.com/ I'm ambivalent about their move, too, for the same reasons as you: I have my memories of that place, and for sentimental reasons, I want it to always stay the same. By having a clothing line, I feel like they're diluting what's special about who they are. They're holdouts who did the rare thing: had the same products for years on end, in the same store. (I mean, they have moved around the Quarter before, but there's something different about the clothing line.)

But you know, maybe this is a way for them to stay afloat? Perhaps perfume sales are not enough? It's definitely the end of an era, and I'm glad you reminded me...I'm going to stop by there before July! I need some Vetiver soap and roots, anyway. :-)

Nancy

I envy you being in NOLA! Wish I still was...."do you know what it means to miss New Orleans"... yes, indeed! Thank you for the update! I am very curious if the quality of their wonderful products have changed any recently. When I contacted Hove' early in the year, they did say that the Summer sales mailer should be out on time since it is very popular with customers, but I do wonder. I was waiting for a sale to stock up. Possibly the new generation that probably owns the store is making the changes based more on making alot of money and not just survival, although many of my old favorite boutique-style stores are becoming victims of today's bad economy. Friends still in NOLA complain that rents are now just stupid high. Apparently Hove's satellite store in Florida is doing really well with the clothes/etc. I just hope they don't become yet another F.Q. T-shirt shop, no matter how "high end", but perhaps Katrina scarred me too much to accept change no matter how necessary.

Perfumaniac

Nancy,

So where are you now? Did you have to leave after Katrina? I totally empathize with missing NOLA. From the time I was a kid, NOLA was a vacation spot, and every significant other I've ever had has been dragged here by me. It was only last year (well, 2009, really) that I asked myself, what are you waiting for: MOVE THERE! I made significant sacrifices to do so, and then had to move back to the Bay Area in 2010...but here I am again! I love it like a person, and I've never felt more at home. Give me some Hové Vetiver, fried chicken, my bike, and some quirky party in someone's backyard to go to, and I'm in heaven...

Nancy

I also moved to NOLA after years of visiting. My parents were stationed in the military nearby in their youth and they kept a link to the area. Mom must have missed it because the family home in KY had louvered shutters and doors in NOLA style right down to being painted "Paris green" like in the F.Q. When I moved to NOLA I thought it would be my forever home, until Katrina kinda changed that. I did manage the monumental task of getting back in Spring of '06, and lived in a FEMA trailer/helped with the rebuild/worked in a local coffee house, etc. Then I graduated into the dying national economy, so leaving NOLA was the hardest business decision I have ever made. I'm near Louisville now, and sections of that city look just like NOLA's Gentilly/ Midtown. Used to give me Déjà vu sometimes, but both of those city areas were built at approx. the same time including shotgun-style houses along rivers. It does "smell" different up here, although people have been complaining about the French Quarter's smell since the 1700's. :-)
At least I can get Abita up here, occasionally crawfish, and there is a NOLA "refugee" community. But there are no rose bushes blooming in December, and I just can't walk to Igor's laundromat/bar on St. Charles to drink and wait on the spin cycle while watching the streetcars roll by. Thanks for asking. :-)

Nancy

In correction to my post, since this is a fragrance focused site I should have opined instead on smell. Actually sometimes it does smell like New Orleans up here. I have a huge magnolia tree, and a neighbor who is originally from East Louisiana planted some sweet olive and night blooming jasmine. Some sultry evenings the fragrance of the night is very bittersweet and memory filled, indeed. A few weeks after the hurricane, when the friend that drove me back to my destroyed home in New Orleans asked me what the unusual smell was in the neighborhood/city, I remember responding "mold, mortality, and sweet olive." I'm glad that fragrance as a memory trigger no longer exists in more of the city these days.

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