Category Archives: Perfume shopping

I won’t be powdering my nose – Narciso Poudree

I’ll be powdering everything else I can. 😉

It’s funny – one day you’re lamenting how you can no longer find a perfume that will make you fall in love and then, suddenly, from the most unexpected place, one appears.

I’m not complaining though. Ok, maybe a little as it’s not yet out so I can’t get a bottle of  my own but in the overall scope of things, I can live with that. I can even live with the fact that I’ll be encountering many other people smelling like me once it’s released.

I think Narciso himself introduced this perfume in the clearest of ways:NARCISO image9.indd

“With the original NARCISO fragrance, I wanted to create an extremely sexy fragrance. NARCISO eau de parfum Poudrée captures femininity at its core in an even more seductive way. It is both tender and powerful and immediately addictive.”

I cannot but agree with everything stated here. I liked the original Narciso perfume but it is this one that is at the same time sexy as hell and feminine and not overpowering. It speaks to me like in all the ways I didn’t think a perfume can. It reminds me of younger days when I thought Very Irresistible by Givenchy was all the rage. There is a character note they share (rose) and where Very Irresistible made the air in the room unbreathable with its overbearing silage, Narciso Poudree is the wisp of air that makes you turn your head in search of the sensuality you think you noticed and want to make sure you didn’t imagine, because it smells too good to be truly there.

Yes, it’s obvious I’m in love, isn’t it? 🙂

Notes from I gathered from the press release include: jasmine, Bulgarian rose, vetiver, black cedar, white cedar, powdery musc.

Before going on to what I smell, I want to say a big thank you to Raquel Zimmerman who made me re-think the fact that synthetic muscs will never work for me. It is obvious this was made expertly as this perfume never veers off into territory where muscs take over, even though the longevity is here – my blotter still smells amazingly strong after 3 days and it smells great.

I admit with shame now that when I first smelled this I have no  idea what it was I was smelling, I just loved it from the first spray. The best thing I can say for myself is I understood why they named it Poudree. 🙂 It took me a while to understand that rose was the one seducing me from the start, accompanied by her minions whom I ignored. It is only now that I smell the drydown again and again I can understand where vetiver comes into play (I would never have guessed it was there by myself) and I would swear there is some vanilla in the base as the warm, seductive sweetness it exudes cannot all be attributed to the mentioned notes.

I love the powdery feel of this perfume as it keeps the rose in check and I love that the creaminess you feel in this perfume is a sleight of hand done by jasmine. And even though I would say that vetiver adds its dryness and sweetness to the poudree part of the name and the perfume drydown, I still think a drop of vanilla helps. 😉

So, I hope now you are all as eager as I am to see Narciso Poudree released.

Please let me know what you think once you get the chance to smell it.

 

And I would like to say a big thank you to Ivo who shared this gem with me. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Traveling in France – Paris

In December I finally had a chance to visit Paris again, even if it was only for two and a half days. It was a quick getaway that happened at exactly the right time to re-charge my batteries before work hit me hard for the rest of the month.

I arrived on the first Sunday of the month and the optimist in me thought to visit museums for free. 🙂 This is the closest I got to a museum – this is Rodin’s. Louvre and Musee d’Orsay were out of the question, the queues were unbelievable! Still, just walking in the gardens of Musee Rodin was a beautiful experience.

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So, since my free entrance to Louvre was out of the question, I decided to pay for it and used most of my Monday to stroll around it. I seem to have been fascinated with staircases this time around but I’ll post just one picture of them (ok, maybe two). 🙂

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There are so many beautiful things to see in Louvre. I’ve been there once already, my first time in Paris, but I really wanted to visit it again.

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The jewelry on display is “magnifique”!DSC_1394[1]

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This time I was actually able to snap a rather ok photo of Mona Lisa.

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It is not a worthy trip to Paris if you don’t visit a perfume shop and this time, my perfume wanderings took me to Jovoy (no pictures from there but a perfume did come back 😉 ) and to Caron which had an amazing Christmas display in their window. I didn’t buy anything there but the SA was amazingly nice and cooperative and explained everything. I went away with arms smelling of many perfumes and a sample of Poivre.

Honestly, I feel old French perfumery is calling me back to its folds. I seem to enjoy it more and more.

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Of course that no trip to Paris would be complete without a visit to Guerlain. This time a friend and I decided to visit the famous tea room (Le 68 Guy Martin) at Guerlain and it was the first time I discovered what the French insolence feels like. You see, you need a reservation for the place and we didn’t have one. But as it wasn’t really full we somehow managed to convince them to let us in for tea and cake.

That was misstep number 2. You see, you cannot come around 2 for tea and cake. 😀 Because that is lunch time. As we were very haughtily informed. Still, they obviously made an exception in our case.

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And since I didn’t know if taking a photo of my dessert would be misstep 3, I took it quickly so it’s not the best one.

That said, once we started eating our dessert and being so obviously appreciative of it, the chief waiter (one being frenchly mean to us) actually appeared with a smile on his lips. Honestly though, this was I believe the best dessert I ever had in my life. And I can’t even remember its name and can’t find it on the restaurant’s menu either (some kind of chocolate profiterole).

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My Guerlain visit ended with a purchase of Shalimar tea. Again the optimist in me thought I’d buy more than just Shalimar tea, but once I saw the prices, additional tins were out of the question. 🙂 Oh well, at least I tried one of them with my dessert. 😉

Profumo di Rovigno

I would have been a very bad perfumista if, when possible, I wouldn’t had visited the only different perfume shop in town where I was staying. In Rovinj, it was a little shop called Profumo di Rovigno where I spent more money than I expected, all thanks to the lovely owner and her products.

There are only two perfumes, the woman and man variant of Profumo di Rovigno and I admit that the woman version is a really nice floral. It contains the synthetic musks I have a problem with, but I still liked it a lot and thought is was extremely reasonably priced for the perfume you got (it’s been a while but I think it was around 30 Euros for 100ml).

The things I bought were a home perfume with the note of oud – La Notte di S. Lorenzo, a herbal/floral refreshing water Aqua di Rovigno and several soaps. There is something for everyone in that shop, I dare you go there and leave empty-handed. 😉

I thouroughly enjoyed my experience and almost succumbed to the amazingly beautifl silk scarves they have (that would be the only reason to advise anyone to not go there – they might succumb to silky temptation).

Still, if you’re ever in Rovinj, go visit the store, it’s definitely a place to see and smell and enjoy your senses, both scentual and sensual.

You can check more of what they have on offer on their site.

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Entrance

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Interior

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The owner

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Soaps! 🙂

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Tuberose as a mood enhancener

Or a review of Agent Provocateur’s Tuberose Intoxication massage oil.

I don’t use it as a massage oil. I use it when I need an anti-depressant. Ok, that sounds too drastic as I’m not depressed but I use it on days when I feel down for no reason and need something to make me feel better. I use it as an after shower body oil instead of the lotion I usually use.ap tuberose

I love the smell of tuberose and I know it is usually reviewed as a seductive perfume (and I agree) but I think its narcotic nature is what works for me. 😉 What other reason would there be for me to crave it when I need a pick me up if not for its narcotic nature? 🙂

OK, now that I admitted I like narcotics in my flowers and perfumes, the reason I really enjoy putting this oil on (except the fact that I smell tuberosey for hours) is its silky texture. It applies well to moist skin but it also feels like you still have some on because its silkiness makes your hands glide and you can’t lose that feeling. No wonder it’s advertised as massage oil…

The bad thing though, it seems it’s no longer available. That’s a shame as there were 3 oils released at the same time (I only tried the tuberose), but it makes me think that the others would smell and feel great too.

The one and only – Parfumarija

I’m saying one and only as it’s not only Dublin’s sole niche perfumery, it’s also Ireland’s only niche perfumery as I’ve been told when I was there.

Personally, I love the name as it’s a play on words, perfumery is called “parfumerija” in Croatian (and most of ex-Yugoslav countries) and the owner’s name is Marija (she’s Macedonian) so there it is – Parfumarija.

I didn’t spend nearly enough time in there as my group was waiting for me, but the little time I did spend there was great.

I was greeted by a fellow perfumista/blogger Freddie who also has a youtube channel where he reviews perfumes. It was quite a lot of fun discussing perfumes with him. 🙂

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Freddie talking me through perfumes

He talked me through the novelties they have and through some perfumes I haven’t had the chance to try yet, as they aren’t available in Croatia.

He also gave me the new F. Malle to try – I can’t remember the name, but it is Carlos Benaïm’s new scent by F. Malle.

*Eau de Magnolia* by Lucas’ comment

It’s a magnolia perfume and honestly, the beginning didn’t really wow me due to my idea of magnolia watery-green scent smelling like botanical garden, but its development gets more and more interesting and I want to smell it again and give it more time and thought.

I tried the two MDCI I haven’t yet had the chance to try, Nuit Andalouse and Vêpres Siciliennes. I should’ve known a white creamy floral would win my heart in an instant, but realistically speaking, I really don’t need another one (even though that Nuit Andalouse has my name written all over it). 😉DSC_0186

For the first time, I got to try Ys Uzac line and I must say I was rather impressed. There were only 4 perfumes in the line, Pohadka, Monodie, Metaboles and Immortal Beloved. And in all the hurry I remember liking Pohadka and Monodie rather a lot, but I would need to re-smell the whole line again for a better memory.

It seems I was there only for the experience of a new perfumery but even so, I loved it.DSC_0184

I finished my quick smelling escapades by smelling Aqua Sextius by Jul et Mad which Freddie said reminded him of Womanity (luckily for me it didn’t). But I understand why he would say it.

I read Lucas’ take on Aqua Sextius and for some reason thought it would be too watery/ozonic for my taste. But no, it’s actually quite lovely and very easy to like and wear. Unfortunately, it’s also 230 Euros for 50ml of edp…

*Lucas informed me it’s actually extrait de parfum*

Parfumarija is also on Facebook if you want to follow them. And if in Dublin, go and visit them for a little bit of perfume fun. 🙂

The Roman holiday (part II)

Where I talk about perfumeries and put in a little give-away. 😉

Even though Paris might sound like the city for a perfumista, Rome definitely has perfume merits of its own. Personally, I am generally not one for Italian perfumery but among all the available choices, even I found an Italian perfume to like. More on that later.

Our perfume wanderings started with the Alé parfum perfumery which we discovered by accident as it was just down the road from where we were staying.ale

It’s a small shop full of wonders. 🙂 I find it incredible how many different perfume brands were there. The perfumes that stand the most in my memory are Iris Nazarena I finally was able to try and the new Jovoy perfumes which I would need to smell better at leisure. I did like Iris Nazarena just not that much to warrant the price tag.

The next shop on our perfumista quest was HB Profumeria. It is a rather large shop with many cosmetic and perfume brands and here is where we spent the bulk of our perfume money. 🙂

Of all the Italian perfumes I smelled there, I decided to take home Electra by Sigilli which is a really strange perfume with metallic/ozonic vibes and radioactive longevity. It really requires you to spray it sparingly. 🙂 It’s labeled as an amber which it is but only after being so much more.

One of the main reasons to visit this perfumery became obvious after Asali’s talk with the SA after she spied an old version of L’Heure Bleu. 🙂 It seems the owner of HB Profumeria goes out of his way to procure the old Guerlains. So, who knows, if you’re lucky in Rome you might come across one for you.

The last perfumery we visited has several stores in Rome and after visiting the first, smaller one, we were told to go and visit their main store where they have more lines and which they use for perfume events (F. Kurkdjian’s event was this past week which unfortunately we missed).

If you’re going to visit just one Campomarzio 70 store, my advice is to go to the flagship store at Via Vittoria 52 and hope the beautiful blonde, blue-eyed SA is there. Unfortunately, I don’t know her name and didn’t think to ask at that point but it is very rarely you come across such a great SA. After learning a bit about our general taste in perfume, she proceeded to offer perfumes to try that would fit with what we had said. And she was guessing unbelievably well. As luck would have it, they ship all over Europe so if I decide I need a bottle of Isabey’s L’Ambre de Carthage, I’m getting it from there. She was also kind

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enough to help me on that way by giving me a sample. 😉

She also gave us Giulietta Capuleti perfume to try which you get on a cloth tissue. It has 20 different rose essences in it (and the price shows it, over 400 Euros for 100ml) but smells wonderful (if you like rose perfumes).

This ends our Rome perfume journey and as it was such a good one, I would like to share a 10ml decant of Electra with one lucky winner. Just state your interest in the comments. 🙂

Pics for Ale Parfum and Giulietta taken from their respective sites.

Perfume shopping in Zagreb – TOP

There is a new niche place to visit in Zagreb! 🙂 And, it’s one that is right on me routes around the town. The address being Tomiceva 4.

You can check their facebook site too.

It opened yesterday, when I learned about it from my Zagreb perfume crowd – so of course I went to check it out today.

The place is rather small and cosy (when compared to other niche destinations in Zagreb) and at the moment, you are greeted by Borut, the lovely SP who I first met at Viktor Koncept.

It might seem like there aren’t many lines there at the moment (the number will definitely grow once Croatia enters the EU) but I had to stop smelling at some point as my brain decided to process what I’ve smelled so far.

So, here are my reflections so far.

I am happy to say it seems L’Artisan’s Caligna will be available here (and I might get to try the tester even sooner, hopefully next week).

I finally got to test Blood Concept and even though I’m not sure I would wear any but my own group (A – strangely likeable) and realized again that I pretty much suck at rebus because I had to have the name +MA explained.

Also for the first time I tried A Lab on Fire perfumes – What We Do In Paris Is Secret is my favourite of the trio. The more I smell it, the more I fall in love. Well, I’m predisposed to it just by seeing the name. 😉 It is very romantic and seductive.

JHAG Mad Madame had the most intriguing opening and is the first JHAG perfume I liked from the start and the next time I’m there, I’ll give it some arm space (didn’t have any left today).

The more I smell Byredo line, the more I like them. I am not a fan of Inflorescense (or whatever is the name) but I quite like La Tulipe.

Of the LM Parfums I only tried O de Soupirs and I admit, it smelled much better on the blotter than on me.

A lovely surprise was Eight & Bob which I find a rather lovely concept and a perfume I will try at a later time when in passing.

So, from memory, here are the lines that can be found at TOP:

Juliette Has a Gun

Escentric Molecules

Parfum de Nicolai

Blood Concept

Naomi Goodsir

LM Parfums

Byredo

Eight & Bob

A Lab on Fire

LaDuree Beaute

L’Artisan Parfumeur

Vienna calling!

I was in Vienna this past weekend and had a wonderful time. 🙂

As you could have read on Olfactoria’s Travels, Birgit’s recap of our meeting, let me tell you what it looked like from my perspective.

Firstly, the reason I decided to run the Vienna City race is because it would enable me to finally meet Birgit in real life. As reasons to choose a race to run go, I think mine was rather good. 😉

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I was actually almost late registering for it, I was on the waiting list as I wasn’t aware of the fact that so many people want to run it and you shouldn’t leave your registration to 3 months prior to the race.

The first thing to do on my arrival to Vienna was to pick-up my starting number so I could proceed to meet Birgit and Sandra without any worries.

One thing I learned so far is that when you meet with perfumistas, no time in the world is enough to talk about everything that’s on your mind. Which is exactly what happened. And I always get sidetracked by many things and forget to say half of the stuff I wanted to.

So, after sitting down for drinks, the girls took me to the most lovely little perfume shop you could imagine – Le Dix-Neuf. Which I would also recommend if you are a guy and want to take a look at beautiful Austrian women. 😉 The SA there was everything you could imagine, and quite pretty I should add.

She took me through one Viennese line of perfumes and one from Berlin, but unfortunately, I don’t know the names of the lines (Birgit might though).

In the end, I tried on my arms the Opus VI which I found would fit me great in winter and Byredo’s Inflorescence which smells absolutely lovely and springlike but only in theory. I wouldn’t want to smell like that personally.

Spring garden

Spring garden

Here is also where I parted ways with Birgit and Sandra, after getting extremely good instructions on how to get to Pure Day Spa in order to try the new Malle (people are rarely this good in giving instructions on how to get someplace in my experience).

I limited my curiosity to just the Malle line (forgoing all the beckoning cosmetics on display) and realized I really like the French lover too.

But my main reason for going there was to try Dries Van Noten. Even before trying it, I was pretty sure the chances were high of me taking it home with me. It seems I was correct. 🙂

I just can’t tell you what exactly it smells like. I was sure it smelled floral when trying it in Planet Spa, then when I came home and applied it for work, I smelled the sandalwood that’s in there but I still have no idea in my mind of what exactly am I smelling, I just know it is incredibly lovely and likeable.

Start of the race

Start of the race

On Sunday, I ran in the VCM, my half of the marathon. The weather was gorgeous and the race was an incredible experience. Running with so many people, always in a crowd, I never experienced anything similar. And the atmosphere was so enthusiastic and supportive.

Which is why my heart broke yesterday when I learned of the bombing in Boston. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this terrible tragedy.

Runners are like perfumistas in so many ways but the most important being – they radiate positive energy. We shouldn’t have that forcefully taken from us (the humankind).

Photos taken from: http://cuabroad.cua.edu/programs/austria/vienna-european.cfm and http://www.vienna-marathon.com

Voyage à Paris

By Asali

Being slow to start writing about our recent trip to Paris, has meant that it’s now a bit difficult not to just be repeating what you already know… But wait, there was a wish from Tara, and maybe a little bit of this and that that I can add along the way, and not just feel like an imitator, but hopefully add something new to the mix as well.

Starting on this very blog only 6 months ago was a conversation to follow the last trip to Paris that Ines and I went on, individually, but none the less to meet up. I copied the exchange because it was what ignited it all; it went like this:

Suzanne; Oh boy, that could be a problem — or do they let saucy little redheads run wild and loose in Paris these days? 😉
Love you, Ines, you lucky duck!

Ines; Suzanne, of course they let redheads roam the streets of Paris.
Paris actually makes them feel quite welcome. 😀
I should get a picture of this redhead roaming the streets – one just for you (as proof of course). 😉


Suzanne; I like your response, Ines! And I would love to have a picture of you roaming the streets (especially with Asali in tow – I’ve enjoyed reading her guest posts here).

Me; <3Thanks Suzanne <3, I’ll make sure that Ines makes no mischief- without me that is 😉 About the not so lucky ducks, I plan for us to eat their livers and wash it down with champagne 😀

Suzanne; LOL! That’s a very good plan, Asali. If I’m ever in Paris, I think I’ll call you up to see if you might be available to meet me there as a tour guide. (Or at least to point the way to a good foie gras.) ❤

You can imagine that with this conversation, we had to go… And there we were 6 months later, Suzanne, Ines and I, plus a special guest star Mark, Suzanne’s husband, meeting up in the city of lights at a small but (as Suzanne aptly named it) ‘serviceable’ hotel in the old and lively Marais quarter of Paris.

Meeting Ines again was lovely, it was just like a further conversation of our mails and letters, and although this was only the second time we met, it already felt so familiar, catching on where we last left. I love meeting new people, and through our e-mails and her authoritative and deeply personal style at her perfume journal, I never doubted that I would like Suzanne very much, but I think I could never have anticipated what a magnificent time we would spend together, the four of us.  We spent almost all wake time in each other’s company, only to part shortly before passing out in our beds from sensory overload. Like Ines, I kept thinking ‘have we talked too much perfume now?’ Or a bit guilty every time we passed (on) Louvre to go and sniff perfumes.

‘Popsicle trees at Champs Elyssees for Suzanne’
It’s true that with Suzanne’s fragrant writing and sniffing skills and her generous and wise spirit I did imagine her taller, but she’s in fact rather delicate but with these strong eyes that make you at once seen and seen through, in that friendly way which makes you feel that you don’t have to explain everything, because she already knows. She had brought along her husband Mark, who not only patiently came with us to every perfume shop, but enthusiastically threw himself into full perfumista mode, with a playful and open mind, and ready to jump any fences or provide extra skin space where needed, he was a bonus to the already wonderful company. 
Also, I feel obliged to report that we did get to eat quite a few of those unlucky ducks’ livers and wash them down with a kir royale or two. One place the Kir royale was particularly interesting and was served with fig liquor instead of cassis, very memorable stuff. And since I was so lucky as to be gifted by Ines with a Croatian fig liquor I am now in the fortunate position of being able to recreate this little bit of Paris in Copenhagen.
Yes, I praised Jovoy before, and I cannot say it enough times; if you go to just one place- go there! For all the reasons already mentioned by Ines and Suzanne (and me last year), and because I’m sure afterwards you’ll have your very own Jovoy story to tell, it’s that kind of a magical space. Time stops, new spaces are created and the rest is perfume…
But perhaps you did want to hear a bit more than that? Since I last wrote about Jovoy, they got the opportunity of opening a second shop in a superb location, between the Tuillerie Gardens and the Place Vendome, a prominent position, neighbour to the most expensive hotels in Paris. This was where we went. It’s a much larger shop than the first in Rue de Danielle Casanova, with an even bigger selection, yet the shop is made to seem inviting and cosier through its crimson walls, the sofas at the back of the shop, and not least because of the very warm and welcoming spirit of M. Hénin which embraces the space. Yes, he’s a grand host; he makes everyone seem special and always has time to spare and a perfumed story to tell.
 (This one’s with Tara in mind)
It was a must to go visit Maison Guerlain at the Champs Élysées. First catching my eye, were all the gorgeous extraits. I had a serious struggle to not just pour Vol de Nuit all over me, and forget all about saving skin space, or concern for other peoples perfume space tolerance or lack of same, but since even Mark’s knees had been spoken for that day, much to a concerned bar owner, with newly reupholstered chairs‘s dismay, I restrained. The restraining exercise was due to the new and much talked about release of orientals; Les Déserts d’Orient.
As it turned out, they had only just got them in the day we arrived, which was great luck; I would have been guttered to miss them. They are really so deep and interesting, and as a literally red thread though all three runs one of my most beloved perfume notes; saffron. Merci, M. Wasser.
An incense in name ‘Encens Mythique’ is something as unusual as an aldehydic oriental, or the beautifully deep and dark rose oud; Rose Nacrée. My main attention was instantly focused on the woody dry Songe d’un Bois d’Éte though, and it was sprayed for a test drive. After Suzanne and Mark had left (to go looking for an obscure perfume wish from Undina) I had Ines ask for some help at the Guerlain make-up counter, since she seemed very interested, but equally because I had high hopes that I could rest on some very inviting sofas in the meantime. For Ines the make-up artist chose a gorgeous copper colour to match her hair, and did a pretty wonderful make up on her.

So a lot of words to get to my Guerlain point; On my last day in Paris, Ines had left the night before and Suzanne and Mark had left early that morning, so I was on my own and the weather had once again turned; it was now cold and rainy and it was sad to be alone after the days spent in such loving company. In that way I suppose the weather quite mirrored my state of mind, which is sometimes better than feeling mocked by bright sunshine on an introvert day. A lot of thought had already gone into deciding and thinking about what perfumes to potentially buy – I had suffered severe perfume stress – and I had narrowed it down, through as extensive a wearing as you can do when you go perfume sniffing. I’m just not very good at deciding which ones are truly mine, it’s like the perfumes take a bit of time to reveal their true self to me, or maybe that’s just me not asking the right questions?
Anyway, I decided to see if they would have the orientals at the Place Vendôme Guerlain shop. And not only did they have them, I also met the wonderful SA Patricia, who turned out to be exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful, chatting IFRA and lamenting discontinuations. She just knew it all, and – hold your breath – she even admitted to reading perfume blogs when she had the time!
Mostly we met truly dedicated and wonderful SAs. However, I think some were a cut above the rest. I’m happy to say that between us we must have mentioned them all. And Patricia should get on that list too. So Guerlainistas, now you know your next G-stop in Paris when it sizzles.
I’ll end with the text of G. Apollinaire, which Poulenc sat into music.

Voyage à Paris

Ah! la charmante chose
Quitter un pays morose
Pour Paris
Paris joli
Qu’un jour dût créer l’Amour.

Translates approximately into:

Going to Paris
Ah, how delightful it is

to leave a dismal place
and head for Paris!
Beautiful Paris,
which one day Love had to create!

Sharing the wor(l)d

Like I said many times before, I’m slow, but I get there in the end (can be applied to my running as well). 😉

So, I finally have a page up with Undina’s great informational post on perfume shopping around the world.

I sincerely hope it comes useful to many a perfumista traveling the world and visiting these places.

Happy sniffing!

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