Tag Archives: Fragrance meetup

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!

Paris – the place to meet perfumistas

Some of you might know, and for those who don’t, this Sunday I returned from a 4-day trip to Paris where I got to spend time with perfumista friends, one of which I only knew virtually, one I already met in Paris a few months ago, and a new one. 🙂

Suzanne, Asali, Mark (Suzanne’s husband) and I met on Thursday afternoon and from that point on, we went together on a perfume journey through the streets of Paris – and on a culinary one as well, through the numerous possible choices of bistros, cafes and restaurants (and many other names the French like to call similar establishments).
You already know I met Asali in December, and now I met a pair of perfumistas from across the Atlantic Ocean, I cannot but think that the perfumistas of the world are the most wonderful bunch of people one could ever meet.
In case you were wondering about Suzanne, she is this wonderfully nice, petite and delicate (bossy if you ask Mark) lady.
I still feel ashamed that my first words to her were that I thought she would be taller. It’s just that through her blog and some of the photos there, her strength and character came through so obviously so I somehow added height to that.
And once you meet her, the quiet strength she has is obvious (well, she also doesn’t lack physical strength what with her regular running routine).
Also, her love of the sun, perfumes, reading and writing and her gently inquisitive nature makes talking with her (or just hearing her explain something) a great experience.
Btw, I believe the fact that in my mind I added height to Suzanne has more  to do with the fact I wish I didn’t feel big when compared to other women (so I like to refer to my build as Amazonian, that sounds much better). 😉

Mark on the other hand is rather tall, with an inquiring mind, capable hands and teasing personality (it seems he always tries to learn how to do things himself – and he succeeds as well).
We didn’t get to talk much about Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings (we got a little in during one dinner) but he’s obviously as much of a fan of HP as I am since while walking around the city he also noticed an interesting street (this photo is for him). 🙂
So when I say Paris is a place to meet perfumistas, I am including Mark in that as well. He fits the picture perfectly (for the three of us girls you already know we fit the definition).

We had lots of fun sniffing perfumes and each other (for perfumes each of us decided to try) and keeping track of who was wafting what and how come it smelled like this or that. Then we would find a bistro and have a break for something to eat and drink.
Asali called it “nerding” about perfume and I admit, I kept waiting for someone to say, OK, enough of the perfume talk already, but that never happened. 🙂
Some people might not think it, but I found it extremely refreshing not having to curb my perfume enthusiasm and being able to indulge in talking about perfumes to my heart’s content.

Where we went, who we met, and the perfumes we bought, to come in following installments.

Toronto/GT​A Fragrance meetup

I’m sorry to say I can’t participate and I do wish a similar thing happened here so while sharing thoughts with Daniel, who is responsible for me posting this, I came to realize if I ever wanted to participate in a meetup of fragrance afficionados, great chances are ,I would have to be the one to organize it. 🙂
Oh well.

For all of you who are close to Toronto, you already have an organized meetup so just go and enjoy yourself.

Here is the info:

Date: SUNDAY July 24th, 2011
Location: Noor Boutique, 176 Cumberland St (Yorkville), 416-928-0700 (http://noorboutique.com/]). Nahla and Fred are the friendly owners
Time: Around 12pm/Noon to about 3:30 or so, but drop by any time. We may move around the area to some other locations at some point. Let’s see how things go and decide at the time.
To Bring: yourself &significant others / friends, any industry books or magazines, business cards, samples/decants/bottles to share/trade, etc.

original thread here – http://www.basenotes.net/threads/280392-4-Toronto-GTA-Fragrance-meetup-SUNDAY-July-24th-12pm-noon-at-Noor-Be-There!

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