Hello hello hello (bonjour)!
I’ve been in Paris the last week so I haven’t posted at all- I haven’t been here ever before and I feel in some ways as if my heart has finally found where it belongs, so I’m completely unapologetic.
…Even if my heart felt exactly the same way in Venice last year.
I’ve made a lot of observations of the city and am hoping I can boil that down (or flesh that out) into one or two (or 10 or so) lists for your perusal. In the meantime, I’m going to stick with something that takes little mental energy on my part, because my days have been long and my nights short.
Paris is the city of fragrance. You can’t even really argue with that. And so naturally I have a shit ton of perfume emporia on my agenda. But even so I couldn’t resist packing a healthily robust selection of samples and decants to sustain me away from home. After all, as much s I regret it, I doubt that I’ll ever be the person who smells something on vacation, falls in love, and takes it home as a spur of the moment souvenir. The one time that came close to happening, I bought the perfume I had been planning to purchase (Diptyque Philosykos, no regret on that front) and spent years dreaming of the perfume I had passed up and being unable to find it. Until finally… finally… Cristina by Hilde Soliani became mine.
So what perfume did I bring to the city of fragrance? Read on.
- Cuir de Nacre, Ann Gerard: Haha, I haven’t even worn this one yet.
- Jolie Madame, Balmain: Haha, I’m going to buy a full or partial bottle of this soon. I believe I have a sample of the current from a swap or a lovely perfume fairy godmother. And if this is the current, I don’t even need to smell the vintage. It’s a plummy violet with semi-bitter leather. Completely ladylike in a hard-as-nails Lauren Bacall type way. Plus, Mom also loves it, which means the purchase is easy to validate.
- Bois des Iles, Chanel: So I mostly made this into a Chanel/Dior/Guerlain extravaganza of classic French-y sensuality (scensuality?) and this is ugh so good. I already talked about it in a post. But ugh so good.
- Diorissimo, Dior: Lilies of the valley, fresh, grassy, naive-sexy. This is the Eve of perfumes. In an All About Eve Anne Baxter sense. Except less psychotic? It’s the deceptively innocent ingenue.
- Promenade des Anglais, Guerlain: Mom doesn’t like this one? Even though I’m sharing with her because she only brought Etat Libre d’Orange Jasmin et Cigarette? (A bit of a blunt instrument). A lovely friend sent me a decant and I’ve pressed it closely to my bosom. Fig and iris and ooooh so goooood.
- No. 22, Chanel: Reminds me of being sick and reading Phantom of the Opera because that’s what I was up to the first time I tried this one. It’s zazzzzy! Bubbles bubbles, and some floral sweetness. Not as sweet or resinous as Baghari. More refined than Noontide Petals. Cool and reserved but elegant as all get out. Do I need it. Mum, maybe?. Let me finish the sample.
- Cuir de Russie, Chanel: Ah, the guilt! I needed to reexperience and I still don’t think I love it, but I feel like I should. There’s this wacky split between very cool and elegant purse leather and then this underlying warm raunchiness that I just can’t mesh in my head. And I get this sense of cognitive dissonance?
- En Passant, Frederic Malle: Do you want to smell like a wet lilac in the fresh spring air, with approximately no other smell?! Sometimes you need to. But it is a tad alien.
- Une Voix Noire, Serge Lutens: Oh my god, I’m going to see the Serge Lutens flagship store and then I can finally
die happybuy some Paris exclusives? Which would be? Well, this one, for one. Use Voix Noire. De Profundis (I’ve gone through so many samples). Rose de Nuit (I used up a dabber four years ago and haven’t had a chance to try it since, so I’ll probably just test it again). La Myrrhe (Haha, I only tried the wax sample. But there will be testing in my future). Anywayyyy, Une Voix Noire is inspired by Billy Holliday. It has this kind of seedy cigarette smoke vibe and a miraculously pleasingly funky gardenia. Kind of perfect for Paris.
- 31 Rue Cambon, Chanel: This is the perfect work-formal perfume. Like CEO kicking ass kind of things, because I’m no good at the green oak mosses which are usually work-kicking ass appropriate (very frustrating because Mom carries them off so well). It’s a character flaw. I don’t quite have a resting bitch face, but I tend to look serious. Which means even if I wear a blazer with no top underneath I look like a schoolmarm (actually I’ve recently been working through this issue) but I can also wear whatever sexy ass thing I want and still look fairly appropriate. Which is how I got away with wearing bustiers to public high school. I think I first tried this on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
And other perfume news? Well, I was planning on getting Musc Intense from Parfums de Nicolai but I retried it at one of their stores and it wasn’t how I remembered it from a few weeks ago. But I guess I tried it with a whole lot of others at Osswald in New York City. But Mom got L’Eau Mixte, so that’s exciting. It more than satisfies her lust for Profumum Roma’s much expensive Aqua Vitae.