Monday Question – Which Perfumes Do You Bring When Travelling?

Here comes the obligatory pre-vacation question for you:

What do you take with you on vacation?

Do you bring decants? One beloved full bottle (or seven)? Samples only?

Do you rely solely on your perfume shopping at your destination?

Do you bring a wide selection fitting every mood or do you set a theme for the entire time with a select few scents?

How does your perfume hobby influence your travels?

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My Answer:

Usually I bring one bottle that I declare the bottle of the year and a few samples or small decants to provide some change when needed.

I do plan to smell and possibly buy perfume when abroad, so I know I always end up with more bottles on the way home than I leave with.

This year I will probably make either Hermès Eau de Merveilles or Acqua di Parma Acqua Nobile Iris my bottle of the year. Although Atelier Cologne Oolang Infini and Cartier Baiser Volé EdP are also still in the running. (Unfortunately Malle’s Eau de Magnolia is out since the husband – inexplicably – is not a fan.)

What do you bring (for your real or imagined vacations)?

And please help me along a bit – for which of the four perfumes above would you vote?

Which one shall be my bottle of the year 2014?

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Summer On The Balcony – Checking In

I have to apologize to you all, dear readers, because I have been very quiet these past weeks, not because I don’t want to talk to you, but because I feel I don’t have a lot to say. About perfume at least…

The summer is passing quickly and July is as good as over already. We are going to Italy soon and I can’t wait for the infusion of joie de vivre that I expect strolling around Florence and relaxing at the seaside will bring. Not to mention the excursions into Italian perfumeries and all the delicious food in copious quantities. :)

Since returning from Paris, the Husband and I have stuck to a new-found ritual of ending the day together on our balcony, an oasis of relative quiet and a view of lawns and trees which is a treasure in the middle of the city. We sit drinking Aperol mixed with Prosecco and sparkling water and imagine ourselves back in a Paris street café.

I wanted to share a few pictures of our balcony with you today, since it fits my old Search for Beauty series that I have sorely neglected.

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The Husband bought his 6th (yes, that is no typo, his sixth!) grill a few weeks ago and he is blissfully making us bacon and steaks as often as his schedule allows. Thankfully the fulfillment of our barbecue needs is no longer restricted to the country. ;)

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I’m enjoying perfume very much too, only the impetus to write about it is sadly absent still. I wear Acqua di Parma Acqua Nobile Iris a lot these days, also my usual Hermès rota and as summer progresses I feel my yearly tropical floral mini-obsession coming on. Which means I pulled out Carnal Flower, Moon Bloom, Songes and Juste un Reve.

What are you enjoying at the moment, perfume-related and otherwise?

What are you looking forward to this summer?

How are you doing?

Hugs, B xx

Posted in Ramblings | Tagged , | 57 Comments

Portia gets you Celebuscented

Hello delicious Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia with you today from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse.

It is with much delight and no small shame that I open my heart today to you all. I am a not so secret wearer of fragrances made for, and bearing the moniker of – celebrities.

Yes, those much maligned smells where often the celebrity in question comes in on the first day and gives a brief and last days, then smells a few offers and decides. Not all celebrities do this, some are heavily involved and invested in the process. Some, whether by good luck or good management we will never know, are quite good. Wearable, fun, cheap and cheerful fragrances that after a year on the market can be found for a song at discounters.

We all know that SJP works at her scents, that JLo was a perfumista before being a perfume brand and that Kate Walsh brought out a hit but there are others who have done a good job of making wearable affordable fragrance for the masses, today I’d like to look at a few of them that have made it into my fragrance wardrobe.

 

Fancy Nights Jessica Simpson FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Jessica Simpson: Fancy Nights

Righto, well this is an all time favourite of mine and gets a LOT of skin time. I have shower gel and lotion and find Fancy Nights a thicker, more dense version of Shalimar as if Shalimar had been tweaked for heft. The amber/vanilla and patchouli present right from the outset and Fancy Nights is a warm, vanilla-d up feeling chypre, without the austerity I feel is part of the style. I wear Fancy Nights like a blanket and always feel comfortable and secure when I wear it. Longevity and projection are excellent and I never regret my choice to spritz.

Truth or Dare by Madonna Naked Madonna FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Madonna: Truth or Dare Naked

Honeysuckle in its cleanest form braced by neroli and orchid opens what has sadly been a bit of a flop for Madonna. The month after it was released in the USA Tom (from Perfume Posse) and I had to traipse all over LA to find it. There was only one department store still carrying Madonna’s Truth or Dare Naked and, thinking it would vanish without trace, I bought a few. The flowers segue into a chocolate/amber/praline with definite nods to nougat on my skin. The faux oud is about as clean as it gets, washed of all its more confrontational aspects and dry down is lovely. Madonna’s Truth or Dare Naked could have been part of one of the Pierre Guillaume ranges and would not stand out as unworthy.

Siren Paris Hilton FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Paris Hilton: Siren

Winner of the tackiest and cheesiest advertising campaign and packaging. Paris Hilton did herself no favours when listening to her crew on Siren. It looks ghastly, the pictures, costume, bottle are all definitely budget, budget, budget. The juice though? Well it’s a fun, flamboyant, fruity, white floral, a little bit edgy with the white flowers breathy and honeysuckle just steering clear of urinous, the peach is not overpowering and it dries down nicely to a generic sweet musky woods that will offend no one. I often get compliments from women when I wear Siren, and questioned about what it is. Wear time is good, projection moderate after the first 20 minutes and so cheap that everyone can afford to smell nice.

Queen Laifah FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Queen Latifah: Queen

Vanilla, cognac, tonka and patchouli. Queen goes on sweet and sizzling citrus that never fails to make me smile. Quite an intricate fragrance it ducks and weaves between light and shadow, sweet and green. One minute teacle sweet and the next hints of a dark green-ness and herbal backbeat. Queen has the most extraordinary staying power so you need to be committed to a day of smelling it. Excellent for long days or nights where the object is to maintain your sweet aroma indefinitely. The dry down is a very sensual warm haze of musk/vanilla skin. MMMMMMMMMMM

Twilight Sarah Jessica Parker FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

Sarah Jessica Parker: Twilight

A fizzy opening of pink pepper and citrus paired with galbanum. A lovely light and breezy opening that remains cool and pretty into its heart of amorphous floral bouquet. It really is like being outside in spring as the warmth of day cools and the fresh breeze or lack of direct sun changes the mood. It’s the packing up of things and going home. As Sarah Jessica Parker’s Twilight moves through to dry down it remains remarkably cool on my skin for an amber and I think incense and peony keep it that way. I love the way the musks create a lived in, end of a beautiful day smell and after a couple of hours the amber/woods warm through slightly like an amber necklace on your skin. This is as comfortable as your favourite T-Shirt.

So, there you go. I would like to add honourable mentions to With Love by Hilary Duff, Queen of Hearts by Queen Latifah, Mon Parfum by Paloma Picasso, Keith Urban’s Phoenix, Laguna and Salvador Dali EdT and I even quite enjoyed Our Moment by One Direction.

Now, unleash your shame. Which celebuscents do you spritz? Who would you LIKE to see do a scent? What would you put in your favourite celebrities fragrance? What would you put in your LEAST favourite celebrities fragrance?

Come on, it’s all in good fun and I love to read what you say.
Portia xx

Posted in By Portia | Tagged , , | 22 Comments

Alpha Male – Review: Parfums de Nicolai New York

By Tara

You may be aware that New York is the fragrance Luca Turin tells us in Perfumes: The Guide that he wore for a decade. It’s an eau de toilette aimed at men that was launched in 1989 and is described as Woody Spicy.

nicolai_new_york

Patricia de Nicolai is related to the Guerlain dynasty through her mother’s side of the family and has a long-standing love and admiration for the house’s iconic fragrances. It perhaps comes as no surprise then, that New York has been described by some as “a masculine Shalimar”.

 

The top notes are listed as bergamot, Amalfi lemon, cloves, lavender and green notes; middle notes are thyme, cinnamon, pepper, paprika, patchouli and cedar; base notes are amber, vanilla and leather.

On the face of it the top notes seem comparable. It’s that same citrus twang of lemon with bergamot, but New York lacks the caramelised crackle of Shalimar. It is much more fresh and cologne-like, although it has a depth a lot of citrus openings lack. You get an initial squirt of the juice, but then you also get the peel and then the flesh.

Almost immediately after the citrus, I notice a mossy under-tow from the combination of lavender and green notes. It rapidly becomes herbaceous and earthy, creating that “forest floor” effect. The spices are dusty and very low-key, none of them taking a noticeable lead. They just add a bit of interest to the aromatics, a slight oriental twist.

Unfortunately, during this stage New York turns just that bit too bitter and herbal for me to find it pleasant. It rolls on in this vein for a number of hours with the sour edge lessening but never disappearing completely.

The base is the only time I’m truly reminded of Shalimar. The ambery vanilla with touches of leather mirrors the Guerlain classic like a fraternal twin. It reveals a welcome sensuality and lets us know it’s not completely strait-laced.

New York has a square-jawed sophistication with a dash of sex appeal beneath its smooth exterior (think Don Draper from Mad Men). Perfect for a well groomed businessman with a corner office and a hint of mischief in his eyes.

don-draper

Those who strongly believe things are not necessarily better just because they are modern may well appreciate this approach.

I should state that women would have no problems wearing this if they are fond of dry, aromatic fragrances. In fact it could well be more interesting on a woman because she would make it seem less traditional and conservative.

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It may not be unique or on-trend, but New York is an example of well executed classical perfumery and I feel there should always be a place for that.

Posted in By Tara, Fougère, Fragrance Reviews, Parfums Nicolai | Tagged , , , , , | 28 Comments

Monday Question – How Would You Introduce A Teenager To Perfume?

Imagine you have a daughter, son, niece, nephew, godchild or other young person you are close to. How would you introduce them to the world of fine fragrance beyond Britney Spears and Justin Bieber?

Which line do you find especially good as a “starter line” into niche perfumery?

What about the classics? Too much too soon or just the way to go?

How would you kindle appreciation of the art of perfumery in the next generation?

(Thanks to reader Empliau for the idea to this question.)

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My Answer:

I think perfume, just like art, or oenology or any kind of cultural interest, even fashion, is a thing that warrants and profits from an introduction, ideally by someone who is passionate about it.

Niche lines that are great starting points on any individual journey into perfume are the ones that are close to the mainstream in the sense that they do not demand too much from the wearer. Atelier Cologne, Annick Goutal, Ormonde Jayne all come to mind as lines that are accessible, easy to wear, pretty but still a big cut above most mainstream offerings.

I don’t think it is a good idea to start with an Amouage or a Serge Lutens, nor would the classics like Guerlains or Chanels be my first point of introduction. There is time for that later.

I also think that perfume needs to be - to a degree – age-appropriate, there are always exceptions of course, but in general I think most fourteen year-olds wear Eau D’Hadrien better than Chanel N°5.

What do you think? How would you get a new perfumista started?

 

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Serene Green – Review: Jacomo Silences

By Tara

As I write this, it is one of those gently rainy, warm mornings. Everything seems calm, quiet and slowed down somehow. It’s a perfect day for wearing Silences.

When wearing it for the first time I was surprised by just how many times I raised my wrist to my nose. I found something compelling about it…

Silences dates back to when green perfumes had their heyday in the 1970s and it was created by perfumers Gerard Goupy and Jean-Claude Niel.

According to Bois de Jasmin, it was reformulated and reissued under the name Sublime last year, but I’m reviewing the preceding EDT which is still available for a very reasonable price on auction sites.

silences

 

Top notes are orange blossom, galbanum, bergamot, lemon, green notes and cassia; middle notes are iris, jasmine, narcissus, hyacinth, rose and lily-of-the-valley; base notes are vetiver, musk, sandalwood, oakmoss, cedar and ambrette.

Silences is a mostly linear, floral green perfume. It starts with aldehydes and settles down with the finest dusting of baby powder, which acts like a soft focus diffusing galbanum’s harsh lines. The presence of aldehydes and powder could make it seem matronly and if it were a floral perfume that might be the case, but this is mean green.

It’s that very particular shade of green you find in some perfumes from the 70s. It’s not fresh like crushed stems but more like undergrowth very close to the soil. It also has that mild acidity you find in nature.

This retro hue may not be to everyone’s taste but I enjoy the depth and richness of it.

Also providing a counter-balance to the vegetation are the spring flowers (hyacinth, lily-of-the-valley and narcissus) which are silken and sheer, so the effect is hazy. Their pretty luminosity is set in relief against the stark green background.

Silences does indeed get very quiet after a couple of hours, so I suggest spraying liberally and reapplying often. Because it’s so low-cost you can afford to be lavish with application if you wish. It feels more like a gauzy, glistening veil than a perfume. A light covering that is always present but never intrusive.

Although it could quite fairly be regarded as austere, I find the cool solemnity of Silences more consoling than steely. It clears my head and helps me feel centred.

It brings to mind the hushed feeling I can sometimes attain on the rare occasions I take the time to meditate properly. It’s a place so serene that your thoughts may actually stop their incessant chatter for a short time. It’s a silence like no other; an inner silence.

One of the saddest things about the human condition is the mind’s tendency to sabotage our contentment by keeping us trapped in the past with regret, or worrying about events in the future.

Buddha-in-Forest

However, there is a reassuring stillness sitting behind all of that distraction. It is an alert, watchful silence that lets us know all will be well, if we can only stay in the present moment long enough to experience it.

For most of us, spending a few seconds a day focusing intently on a fragrance like Silences, is the closest we can get.

Posted in By Tara, Fragrance Reviews, Green, Jacomo | Tagged , , , , , | 26 Comments

Portia’s Designer Days & Nights – Mini-Reviews

Hi Hi Olfactoria’s Travelers,

Portia with you today from Australian Perfume Junkies and Perfume Posse.

Sometimes we get so caught up in the newest niche and the most exquisite and expensive frags that we forget about the old faithfuls, the spritz and forget, the easy-wear casuals. About 60% of the time when I put on a fragrance I don’t need to smell challenging or outrageous, what I really want to smell is good. Good for me and good for others in my vicinity. When I’m not wearing fragrance selfishly or for review purposes it’s often for work, which as you can imagine in my line of work is pretty laid back as to what I could wear if I chose, rarely do I go all freaky though.

So today I thought I would tell you a few of my go-to easy wear spritzes, but what I really want is your input. Some new inspiration that I might to go grab for my casual, easy wear, designer self. I am sticking to designers only, so fashion and jewellery designers for choice because they’re the easiest and most obvious but if you know an architect, civic planner or garden designer who has released a frag and I need to know about it then let it rip.

Chanel N°5 Chanel Fragrantica

Chanel No. 5

Yes, the most obvious of them all is one of my faves. It has loads of familial scent memory growing up, is one of the most copied, wears so well and smells killer on me. It would be a lie to tell you anything but “I love it.” I like it when parading as a beautiful lady but I also think Chanel No. 5 smells great when I’m in dude mode. If you have been living under a rock your whole life and never tried Chanel No. 5 on your skin then go grab a spritz at your nearest mall. You may hate it, but at least I think you should give it a whirl.

Fleur du Male Jean Paul Gaultier Fragrantica

Jean Paul Gaultier: Fleur du Male

Yes I love Le Male too but what I often spritz in both boy and lady mode is Fleur du Male, it’s pretty, fun and light. I can go spritz crazy and it doesn’t ever feel too big, like it’s older sibling. Another great thing about Fleur du Male is that you can currently buy it at the discounters for a SONG! Caraway, it will always remind me of eating goulash in Hungary with Jin (who has now taught himself to make it here at home. OMG! The man is so good). Add some lovely orange blossom and very little else, gorgeous.

Chaos Donna Karan Fragrantica

Donna Karan: Chaos

This deep woods and spice dream is so badly named, though I do love the name in itself. Warm, herbaceous, and BarBQed wood that is totally cool. To be honest I think it leans a little masculine, which is wonderful. The girls should have some souped up wood powerhouses too. I can wear Chaos in both modes and it fits both sides of my persona beautifully. If you are a woman, be prepared for your paramours to expect you to growl.

Le Parfum Elie Saab Fragrantica

Elie Saab: Le Parfum

This is the original one he brought out. I grew to love it on a friend and couldn’t help but own some myself. This is also the best accepted gift buy all recipients, everyone I’ve given it to has fallen instantly and irrevocably in love with it and I often smell them wearing it. Great fragrance, nowadays at an excellent price point on the discounters too. Francis Kurkdjian can do with white flowers, honey and patchouli what no one else ever has, beautiful.

Boucheron pour Femme Boucheron Fragrantica

Boucheron Pour Femme

Sold as a symbol of ultra luxury back in 1989 Boucheron had us all at hello with this incredible fragrance. Big and bold and effortless, Boucheron will walk a few steps ahead of you and fill the room once you get there. Totally inspired by the jewellery of Parisian goldsmiths from Place Vendome, it sparkles and thrums while you wear it and it’s a compliment getter almost every time. Even the current reformulation is quite nice though thinner than the original and more modern.

So what designer do you wear? Do you have a favourite that they have created? Which ones have I missed?
See you soon,

Portia xx

All Photos Stolen from Fragrantica
Posted in By Portia, Fragrance Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Monday Question – Where Do You Find Your Inspiration?

In my People In Perfumeland series I always ask the question “Where do you find your inspiration?”

Today I ask all of you!

If you feel burnt out and without creativity what do you do to get started again?

Where do you turn to feel inspired?

What is a reliable source of inspiration for you?

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My Answer:

I’d like you to help me today, because my answer right now is: I don’t know. I cant find it anywhere…

I should be very relaxed and full of joie de vivre now after Paris, but sadly  I am not.

So I set my trust in you, dear readers! Tell me about your ways of finding inspiration!

Posted in Monday Question | Tagged , , , | 41 Comments

Romantic Vanilla – Review: Van Cleef & Arpels Orchidée Vanille

By Tara

The majority of vanilla perfumes focus on the end result of vanilla production – those calorific cupcakes and cookies. However, Orchidée Vanille takes its inspiration from the start of story: The orchid flower which produces the vanilla pod.

This floral vanilla creation manages to prove that vanilla perfumes can be grown-up and refined while still possessing that addictively satisfying quality many of us love so much.

vca orchidee vanille

Orchidée Vanille is part of the Van Cleef & Arpels high-end Collection Extraordinaire. It was created by perfumer Randa Hammami (Cruel Gardenia, Epic Man) and released in 2009 as an eau de parfum. Notes include mandarin orange, litchi, bitter almond, dark chocolate, Bulgarian rose, violet, vanilla pod, cedar, tonka and white musk.

Sparkling mandarin and smooth chocolate meet in front of a vanilla back-drop for a striking opening scene. The litchi (or lychee) adds a feeling of freshness and the bitter almond gives it some bite.

For those familiar with UK confectionary, it doesn’t resemble Terry’s Chocolate Orange too closely because the mandarin is tart and the chocolate dark. I thought this first act would be brief but it lasts on me for a good hour.

The next stage is my favourite and when it arrives it’s a nice contrast. The violet and rose merge to form a fine cosmetic overlay to the vanilla. The effect is extremely pretty and feminine, with the colour and texture of lilac devoré velvet.

Most vanillas are best suited to colder weather because of their heaviness and comforting sugar content, but Orchidée Vanille feels like a summer perfume. The vanilla seems aerated, so you get the volume without the weight. It’s not too sweet either, only peeking over the fence into gourmand territory.

The base is lush, creamy vanilla and I could still smell remnants of it on my skin the next morning. So despite not being thick and gelatinous, longevity is outstanding. It projects nicely too, leaving a pleasing trail. It’s the kind of fragrance you and others would be subtly aware of.

During his wonderful evening of vanilla perfumes for Perfume Lovers London, Neil Chapman of The Black Narcissus said Orchidée Vanille is beautiful but lacks backbone. Being someone who has struggled with vanilla-centric perfumes, this suits me just fine. The vanilla is a captivating scent in the breeze rather than an all engulfing pudding.

Neil also described it as a good “pulling perfume”. I would venture to say this is not because it’s overtly sexy but rather because it is highly alluring. It’s a lingering fragrance which would draw you in rather than get its claws into you, femme fatale style.

It’s perhaps unlikely to satiate those who like straight-up, tooth decaying vanillas such as Tihota but for those looking for a vanilla based perfume with style, Orchidée Vanille is a classy option. It has a similar balmy, romantic feel – if not scent – to Annick Goutal’s Songes. Both are the kind of fragrance I can imagine being worn for a wedding ceremony on an island shore.

Orchid-Rose-Bridal-Boquet-Stock-Photo-resized

If you’d like to read more about the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection Extraordinaire do see Olfactoria’s mini-reviews of the first six fragrances.

Have you tried Orchidée Vanille or any others in the Collection Extraordinaire?

Which perfumes do you think would be fitting for a tropical beach wedding?

Posted in By Tara, Fragrance Reviews, Gourmand, Van Cleef & Arpels, Vanilla | Tagged , , | 38 Comments

Paris In A Day – Olfactoria Travels Again

For my last birthday, my dear husband surprised me with the (to be honest somewhat uncharacteristically) romantic idea to go to Paris for a weekend. Of course I was raring to go. I am almost ashamed to admit that I had never been to Paris before, so it was especially nice to get there at last before that ominous mark of turning 40 next year. Somehow it seemed important to me to manage to do some things before that day.

The boys were happy with our lovely long-time sitter, so we happily left Vienna behind on Friday morning.

We arrived at our hotel at 2pm and it turned out that 2pm was also the time we would have to leave the next day to catch our flight back home. So we had exactly 24 hours in a city that offers enough beauty to last a lifetime.

We were staying close to the Place Vendome on rue de Mont Thabor and it proved to be a very good location to venture out from.

hotel vendome

The Marriot Renaissance Hotel Vendome

That first afternoon we set out with only the haziest of plans, because we wanted to just look, experience and walk without a strenuous schedule. We wandered along boulevard Haussmann, ambled through Galeries Lafayette and Printemps (stocking up on Tom Ford foundation and smelling some niche perfumes, though nothing particularly stood out), then we found our way to the most important address on my personal agenda: 24 rue de Faubourg St. Honoré.

hermes 24 faubourg

The Hermès flagship store is overun by tourists and therefore especially the ground floor feels a bit hectic. But we found a wonderfully helpful SA on the calmer first floor, Marco Marri Manetti, who assisted me in my quest for one thing that I have been really coveting for months now – a pareo (also to be worn as a big format scarf) called Mythiques Phoenix in Bleu Minuit.

Photo by MaiTai

Photo  of the 90×90 silk scarf of the same design and colorway by MaiTai

They actually had my pareo in their window, but if you know Hermès, you know that you cannot have stuff out of the window (it would destroy the carefully though out art of window decoration I assume). So the lovely and extremely helpful Marco looked everywhere, he looked some more, but still he came up empty. In the whole of Europe this lovely piece of cloth seemed sold out.

When we were almost out the door, he caught up with us and told us he had found one in the avenue George V store right here in Paris, but when he called he was told it was reserved for someone else already. Very disappointed we went on, but the beauty of Paris and the gorgeous weather leaves no room even for Hermès related doom and gloom.

Our next destination was the Palais Royal and the boutique within that Perfumistas the world over dream of visiting – Serge Lutens. It was as dark, as purple, as hushed as imagined. The SA’s were very nice and left us alone while sniffing the provided mouilettes. The spiral staircase is truly impressive indeed.

serge lutens

We then enjoyed our walk home to the hotel where we changed and went out for dinner.

Dinner was a very noble affair. We had made reservations at 1 Place Vendome because we had heard of the excellent cuisine there. The restaurant is gorgeous, it looks like it could have been decorated by Christian Dior himself.

1 place vendome

We had the Menu Dégustation, and each and every one of the six courses was nothing short of fantastic (and we are quite critical when it comes to fine dining!). Slightly tipsy from the pink champagne and stuffed to the gills with delicious food we went for a stroll after dinner to walk off at least a few of those calories.

Our stroll led us into the famous rue Cambon, which proved to be just around the corner. We longingly looked up at the windows of Gabrielle Chanel’s apartment above her first boutique.

31-rue-cambon

The cafés on every corner are very inviting, so we sat down for a nightcap. It was the evening of the Football World Cup match France vs. Germany and unfortunately the French lost, which made for a bit of a sad and dejected atmosphere that night. But again we just could not let ourselves be distracted from feeling high on life and utterly happy to be where we were.

The next morning after breakfast at our hotel, we ventured out again, this time with a plan: Hermès at avenue George V was on our agenda. To go there we walked along the Champs Elysées (already being readied for Bastille Day on July 14, the French workers are either very conscientious or very slow), we bought cute Mickey Mouse bathing suits for the boys at the Disney Store (they are a bit obsessed with the Disney Store – there is none in Vienna – so they always ask for a souvenir from there, no matter what city we are in) and marveled at the architecture and grandeur of Paris.

The Hermès store at ave George V is very nice. Smaller, less crowded and we got lucky. The one pareo in the Mythiques Phoenix design apparently left in Europe was no longer reserved and waiting for us. The Bleu Lagon is not the colorway I wanted in the first place, but I am still extremely happy with it. You can imagine the swing in my step when we walked out.

My scarf drawer with the folded Mythiques Phoenix in Bleu Lagon on the left.

My scarf drawer with the folded Mythiques Phoenix in Bleu Lagon on the left. The light blue gavroche on the right shows the Hermès store on 24 rue de Faubourg St Honoré.

We crossed the Seine into St Germain de Prés and walked along the Quai d’Orsay. Walking along the boulevard Raspail we “happened” upon the third Hermès store on Rue de Sévres (so no accident, my dears! ;) ).

This is the most beautiful store of the three. It has been renovated a few years back and focuses on the Hermès home line. The decoration is truly awe-inspiring and even my husband was very glad we saw this as we felt it honored the flair and feel of this luxury house best.

Hermes Rue de Sevres photo (65)

Crossing back over the river at Pont Royal, we had a great lunch of Steak frites (for him) and carpaccio (for me) close to the Tuileries. A final stroll through the neighborhood there revealed Colette, a depot-vente (a second hand store) that seemed very interesting and a final cup of espresso at a corner café.

We had to leave for the airport at 2pm again. Those 24 hours felt very short and very long at the same time.

You might say, well you didn’t do anything but run to the maximum amount of Hermès stores?! You know what? I loved it!

I know this was only my first time of many in Paris. It is a city where I felt at home right away, it is very much like Vienna, so I felt very safe there. I know I will be back, and I know I will get to know this city well. It felt perfectly okay to not do all the sightseeing, all the touristy stuff, all the culture… it would not have fitted in the timeframe and would just have left us dissatisfied and inefficient. So we didn’t even try, we just went with what we wanted and it was a great day.

P.S.: There are two more Hermès stores at Terminal 2 at Charles de Gaulle Airport. ;)

terre tres fraiche

P.P.S.: No perfume? you ask. Fret not, we did get our share of fragrant goodies at the airport. A his’n’hers Hermès package of Terre d’Hermès Eau Trés Fraiche for him (a fabulous citrus scent for summer, I’m stealing it all the time!) and Eau de Mandarine Ambrée for me. Ah, thank goodness, I hear you say, she has not completely lost it…

Posted in Hermès, Travels | Tagged , , , , | 49 Comments