One might ask what I was thinking…
I cannot provide a sound answer other than I was spontaneous and had to go. What am I talking about? Paris. More specifically, Paris in winter. I went to Paris at the beginning of March – not one of the wisest of choices some would say but I love Paris at any time. What is there not to love? Beautiful sights, excellent food, magnificent museums and of course perfume. You name it, Paris has it all and it is magical.
I live in Vienna, Austria where it is notoriously dark and grey during the winter months. This winter has been a nightmare and actually persevered through to April. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that Paris too would be dark and grey.
It was. It was dreadful outside. Thankfully we missed the snowstorm which hit on the day we flew back home.
Paris has become a family destination for me. My three and half year old loves the carrousels and the parks. We mention we are flying to Paris and his face lights up. I was on my own with my son during the days while my husband worked and I was not up for battling museums and sights with an energetic toddler in tow on my own. So I set out, teeth chattering and face and hands that felt like ice to find out what beauty I could find in the city of lights during such dreary winter days.
We braved the cold and set out to the parks with the object to find statues and points of interest. My son gladly undertook this project as he was getting what he wanted anyway – to go to a park and a carrousel. He just had to keep his eye open for interesting objects to photograph. Naturally, his enthusiasm skyrocketed with all the cars and motorcycles, but he got the hang of it once he understood what I was looking for. He even managed to guide me to several odd sculptures in the Jardin du Tuleries.
I photographed away and actually enjoyed the cold misty air and found romance in Paris even under those conditions. Out of five days, we were eventually blessed with one afternoon of sunshine.
Of course no trip to Paris would be complete without a trip my „mothership store“ – Hermès on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
The windows were magnificent and much to my son’s delight one window housed a motorcycle with leather wings.
Not only did he love the motorcycle, but on the ground by the motorcycle he spotted some large beetles. The balcony with the horse sculpture was on the inside. (The SA who assisted me allowed me to photograph them – as I did, another SA came rushing up to me shaking his head with a vehement no. I explained about the first SA and he huffed and puffed but let me take a picture.)
The only perfume shopping I managed to do was the Galeries Lafayette. Silly me, I had only ever explored the ground floor. This time around I went up to the first floor and gleefully discovered all the exclusives were there from Guerlain, Dior and Chanel.
Guerlain on the Champs-Élysées was under major renovation and it was so full that I did not go in. Last time I wrote about Paris and noted that I was not swooning over Jovoy, several said I should try again. What can I say? I did and sorry to report, but I am still not at all impressed with their customer service.
Let me leave you with a few snapshots of Paris in winter. There is something truly magical and romantic about Paris in all seasons.
The Dandy was in Paris a week or two before you… and it did snow on me!
And yet like yourself I elected to take to the streets rather than seek solace in the muggy comfort of museums.
Something about the city still glows even beneath grey skies.
Yes, the first floor at Galeries Lafayette must be the most beautiful perfume department in the world.. it’s where I tried Guerlain’s ‘Sous le Vent’ for the first time and as for le Marais… the whole quarter seems to have been turned into one enormous perfume store, even including its own Guerlain botique, my own ‘mother ship’.
Thank you for sharing,especially the horse and the winged velo moteur.
The Perfumed Dandy
I wish it would have been me in Paris, bad weather or not, but it was Sandra who travelled and Sandra who wrote this post… 🙂
Great to hear you had such a good time there though!
Dearest Brigit (and Sandra)
Ooops. Must pay more attention!
The Perfumed Dandy
I am so glad to hear that you also enjoyed the city in winter Dandy. It is such a magnificent city.
It is indeed. The Jardins du Luxembourg had a particular beauty with the fountains all frozen to ice.
The Perfumed Dandy
Sandra- this was a beautiful post…from your writings to your photographs!!! I have been to Paris twice but always in the summer……somehow you have made a wintered Paris look quite appealing!
Thanks Brie. Paris is wonderful at any time of the year. I learned that this time. I am sure Paris with snow is magical but I am so grateful that I missed it because we would not have been equipped for that.
I’ve never been to Paris. It seems like a lovely city but since I don’t speak a word of French I probably wouldn’t do well there. I’d love to wander through the perfume shops and museums.
Poodle you do not need to know French to enjoy Paris. The Parisians are most welcoming and friendly. I have minimal knowledge of the language and I get by just fine. You would love wandering through perfume stores and museums. I keep going back because I cannot fit it all into one trip and there is so much to see. 🙂
Sandra, I think those grey skies with the grey statues work really well in your beautiful photograps. It’s always lovely to dream of Paris so thanks for taking me there on my tea break.
I didn’t know the Galeries Lafayette and it looks amazing. Did any of the exclusive Guerlains, Diors or Chanels capture your interest?
Thank you Tara! Don’t get me started on the perfumes at Galeries Lafayette. It is painful for the wallet to have them all in one area. To give you a hint – Chanel 22 and Gardenia in extrait and Dior New Look 1947. Ouch!
Beautiful pictures – you should make a postcard of the first one and of the horse inside Hermès!! 🙂 Yes, you are so right – Paris is always beautiful, summers as winters and I never get tired wandering the streets and looking into the beautiful shops…and time is somehow always limited! 😉 Have a SUNNY and HAPPY holiday! 🙂
I love your name and all the smiley faces. Makes me smile. Thank you for the compliment – but Paris is just so darn photogenic!
🙂 Thank YOU! 🙂
I actually share your impressions of the Jovoy sale force. I’ve been there only once, but I felt they were not that interested in helping me. Maybe 4–6 different people that circulated the place seemed to work there (or at least weren’t customers), but I still had to struggle to get anyones attention when it come to selling me something. It was weird. Their selection is great though.
Last time I was in Paris, I took a walk in The Jardin des Tuileries, which is very close to Jovoy, but never cared to visit the shop.
Martin, thank you for your impressions as well. I was beginning to think it was all in my head. Oh well, Paris has plenty to offer elsewhere.
Sandra, you’ve written many lovely things in your guest posts here at OT, but I think this post is my favorite. Your photos of the statues in the cold mist of Winter are sublime – they almost seem alive. I’ve only been to Paris once but long to go back again. Actually, I am always longing to go somewhere; I think the anticipation of travel to foreign cities is one of the most stirring feelings in the world, the thing that makes life seem magical. Thanks for reminding me of this. ❤
Thank you Suzanne. I have grown up a global nomad and I have to go travel every couple of months otherwise I go stir crazy. You are right in saying this is magical. Hopefully my son will see the world the way I do.
Sandra, thank you for sharing your wintry excursion! I’ve never been to Paris but of course I hope to visit one day. I enjoyed reading how your son helped you find points of interest. 🙂 Your photos are gorgeous.
Thanks Ringthing! Today we were searching for statues in Vienna. Trying to open up his eyes. 🙂
It’s a beautiful city any time of year. And those are beautiful photos.
Thanks John! It is nice traveling to a city where every street has a point of interest.
Your pictures are beautiful!! Paris has always been a dream of mine!