Gaming Everyday Life: Floris of London

by Gareth Jones on September 16, 2010

The Floris Shop at 89 Jermyn St.

Okay, so we all know I’ve developed this sick James Bond fetish over the past 3 months or so and, now that I’m in London, it’s blossoming into this crazy, nerdy search for anything Bond-related. Just today, I stepped out of Sainesbury’s to be greeted by The Fleming Collection Art Gallery with Diamonds Are Forever throw pillows and books written by godknowswho from Moneypenny’s perspective. I was all-awash with excitement.

Coincidentally, a 10-minute walk from my current hotel is the famed Jermyn Street. My main desire to visit Jermyn St. was because, located at number 89, is the oldest perfumer in London called Floris. In addition to being the oldest perfumer in London (with original fixtures! SUPERCOOL), Floris is the house that produces No. 89, the cologne that Ian Fleming wore and, as a direct result, the fictional character James Bond was known to wear, too. I desperately wanted to get down there to have a whiff of the exact smell James Bond wafted into a room so, after much navigating, I stumbled onto the street (not literally).

If you’re into haberdashery and general manliness of the most refined type, Jermyn Street is a fucking Mecca. Every store had the finest silk handkerchiefs, the most antique Spanish silver cufflinks and the coolest velvet smoking jackets. I even stumbled onto an encased Winston Churchill suit that struck a pretty historic chord in my wandering eye.

Anyhow, Floris wasn’t the first shop I found. The first I spotted was Turnbull & Asser, the shirtmaker I know to have made Daniel Craig’s evening shirt in Casino Royale (nerd alert). After a pleasant stroll through that shop, I continued on to Floris, where I smelled the amazing No. 89 (super nerd alert), and then, at the conclusion of Jermyn Street, was the Swaine, Adeney & Brigg store, the very store that made, AND STILL MAKES, the attaché case Sean Connery uses on the train in From Russia With Love (SUPER SUPER nerd alert). I held it in my hands, aglow with delight, and the three sales associates looked at me with pity, knowing exactly what I was envisioning. The case has been renamed ‘The Bond’ after it’s position in FRWL.

This was an amazing day and I fondly smelled my wrist throughout the remainder of the evening, zapping myself with a Bondian seriousness every time No. 89 graced my olfactory awarenesses.

The next day comes and I am down around Jermyn Street again for another wander and, whether it was the mystical allure of a mahogany institution established in 1730 (unlikely) or a total fanboy urge (likely), I stepped back into the Floris store to, without gilding the lilly, spray that shit on me again (dude, it was $86! I’m not buying that shit).

This is where it gets good:  As I walk in the tiny shop, the tall black girl remembers me from yesterday and I say hello. I decide that if I’m going to come in just to spray this stuff on me, I’m going to have to do a bit of light conversation to keep from looking like a weirdo and, possibly, avoid any further weirdness for the likely event that I will a) keep coming back in and b) keep stealing free samples.

The conversation continues in a casual manner, me discussing the intricacies of the perfumes and colognes themselves and how interested I was to find that the store had been around so long with its (really cool) original fixtures. We chatted about the business of perfume and, since I really wanted to make a connection with the two girls behind the counter, I gently transitioned to my experience in retail, then to their personal lives (where they live, why they’re doing this, what they do on their off time, etc). As they were both in their early 20’s, I knew that they were dying to escape the prim and proper etiquette zone of the high-end retail conversations, so I eased their guards down and we were laughing and joking in between blue-haired customers.

We only talked for 10 minutes, and I went back to browsing and reading about the histories of Floris and the various perfumes (as the shop operates as a museum as well), and one of the girls asked me if I wanted to take some samples with me. I was absolutely delighted.

I told her that would be amazing, as I really did want to take at least No. 89 home with me, but I simply wasn’t going to spend $90 on it this time around. She laughed and expressed complete sympathy, telling me she doesn’t even wear the stuff, and bent down behind the counter. I walked back over and watched as she took a small bag (relatively) and absolutely stuffed it with perfume samples. She asked me if I was interested in the men’s or women’s and I told her I’d like to bring some home for my mom and dad (halftruth, my dad wouldn’t give a crap, but it’s better than saying “I’d like to bring some home for my mom and hoard all the men’s stuff until my next trip”). She then proceeded to take EVERY SAMPLE OF EVERY PERFUME IN THE PLACE, PUT IT INTO A, NOW QUITE HEAVY, BAG. AND TIE IT WITH A GOLD RIBBON.
”Oh, you don’t have to do that!” I said, laughing.

“I simply cahhhn’t let a bag leave the store if it’s not perfect!” She laughed her little British laugh and then looked me in the eye with the look that made sense of the 3lb bag of probably $200 worth of perfume I was leaving with. I had inadvertently made this woman quite attracted to me.

As a woman is wont to do, she slid the bag over to me and stood there, expectantly, telling me “They tell us not to give out the samples freely, but almost no one asks, so this’ll do you quite well for a while.”

I took the bait and told her that she was extremely generous and that I didn’t know how I could repay her. Oh, yes I did. Turns out we were going out quite a bit this weekend and that she ought to come out and have a drink on me. Here’s my number, do shoot me a text if you’re free. Warm smile. Exit. Jump for joy.

Often times, when I know a girl is interested in me and I don’t have any particular desire left or right (she wasn’t particularly attractive. Nice girl, but mousey), I’ll give them the number, knowing women aren’t generally the ones that make the first move, however, they do a) feel validated and b) have the opportunity if they so choose. Of course, if they do follow-up, I’ll keep in touch with them (it never hurts to have girls around), and invite them out with us, but I won’t go to any great lengths on my own.

So, why did I post this?

At the ABCs of Attraction, we teach the idea of Holistic game. This is the all-encompassing lifestyle development focus of Pickup, defined by our slogan “If you want to get the girl of your dreams, you must learn how to become the man of hers.” This is basically saying that you gotta be a good person with good shit in your life if you want to get the good girls. We do teach tactics and techniques, but we also strive to show the benefits of being a good, forward-thinking man with perspective, motivation, and confidence.

This is an opportunity that I was exposed to because of my ability to integrate my most positive and attractive personality-traits into general life. i.e. Even when you’re not trying to game, you’re gaming. This follows the mantra “Beginners think what to say, the average thing how to say it, and experts think about where they’re going to fuck her”. If I hadn’t been as social as I was (even though it was in an effort to not look like a weirdo, which is surprisingly metaphorical), I wouldn’t have had the outcome that I did, and as silly as it seems to be so pleased by two tiny cologne samples, smelling like James Bond when I walk into the club tonight is going to lift my head a little higher, smile a little bit wider, and act with a little bit more mystery.

Thanks for reading all of that!

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