My body was obviously tired, but thankfully I woke up in time to make it to L’atelier Gentlemen for my 11:30 shave. Hey, it’s my vacation – if I want to sleep in, I will do so.
Emanuel did a great job with the shave and introduced me to two new things. First, an incredible herbal preshave from Somersets. I asked him where to get it – of course, Planet Rasoir. Then after the shave, he wet an alum block and rubbed it all over my face. I was going to ask him why he did that – but with my broken French and his broken English – I didn’t bother.
Next stop was Planet Rasoir to pick up – yes, the preshave oil. Then a quick metro and a nice walk brought me to Sens Unique, where I picked up two scents from the night before – the extrait of Oliver Durbano Amethyst and Au Pays La Fleur D’Oranger Lavande Ombre. I was quickly getting addicted to the Verveine candy – the grass dried out and sweetened. The lovely sales associate gave me a bag to bring home with me and snack on (along with a lot of samples).
Again, thanks to Google Maps – I found my way to the Brasserie to lunch with the always witty Neela Vermeire. While most of what we spoke about was off the record, we had a great fun chat exchanging stories and experiences. She gave me a sample of the figgy Ashoka that I look forward to testing really soon. Seeing her each year in Paris is always a treat and I felt really honored that she came even though she wasn’t feeling well. One thing that was funny, is that I kept asking her if her phone was vibrating. We realized that I was extra sensitive to the motion of the underground metro and I kept mistaking that for her phone buzzing.
Since I had back-to-back meetings, I had to hug Neela goodbye and rush back to Jovoy to meet Joyce Corduray (PR Rep for Von Eusersdorff). I was instantly taken by his double-zippered vest and I realize that he was a rep for several fashion houses, and was about to move to London. I asked him for a suggestion of where to go and he suggested Merci. He brought me a nice sample of the new Von Eusersdorff Orange to test. After a nice chat, he had a meeting and I had more places to go…
I went back to Maison Francis Kurkdjian to buy the Ciel du Gum which I fell in love with the day before and Anastacia pulled two more things out of the back. Pas de Deux is a scent he made for the Paris Garnier Opera. Crystal is the infamous marigold/jasmine/rose/incense scent that was limited to 20 flacons – 10 with gold engraved with gold and 10 with gold engraved with platinum. I don’t remember what the prices was but I remember it was insane. While both of these were pretty incredible, lucky for my bank account, I didn’t fall for either.
Here’s where I had to start watching my time. I headed back to my hotel so that I could pick up my laundry at the shop up the block. Then I found Merci and walked around a bit. It was really cool and curated – like Corsi Como or Collete in Paris. Not really my style, but still really cool – and they seemed to have custom Annete Goutal fragrances. On my way to Bon Marche, I stopped off for a sandwich and found myself playing translator for some hopelessly befuddled Americans trying to order at a restaurant. Not that I speak perfect French, but I was able to help her get a coffee with milk at least.
At Bon Marche, I walked around the men’s clothing section and a pair of Missoni x Converse jumped out at me until I realized how impractical the fabrication was. In the housewares section, I imagined if I could redo my house with Missoni (or even Etro) textiles then I realized I would be too afraid to use anything because of the insane cost.
The fragrance area had sections for Acqui di Parma, Memo, Killian, Robert Piquet, and Miller Harris along with the big brands Tom Ford, Armani, Chanel, etc. I sniffed the new Armani Prive Myrhhe Imperial – a really nice, but familiar-smelling spicy incense. The new Memo Italian leather smelled really sweaty on my skin. A few of the Miller Harris scents grabbed me – La Fumee Arabie was surprisingly sweet, and Rose Noir was exactly like it was titled.
I ended the evening with a nice drink (yes, I had a Mimosa) with Denyse Beaulieu. Author of The Perfume Lover, I refer to her affectionately as a bawdy broad. She and I chatted for a few hours about everything from living as an expatriate, to fakery in the fume world and her new projects in the art world. Denyse is definitely a character – as you can tell from the expression on her face in the picture. Seeing her and Neela each year in Paris is always a highlight.
It was dark out, I was tired and my morning train to London meant it was time for me to pass out again. That’s exactly why I did when I sat down on my hotel bed.