Friday, May 27, 2005

Perfume exhibition, Perfumepaths and Paris.....

Last week has been such good fun mixed with a lot of hard work. This has been more my perfume week and my other project has been sidelined quite a bit. On Monday I attended a really fun exhibition on Parfums et Aromes 2005 which was held in the Carrousel du Louvre.

This exhibition was a marvellous mix of fragrace houses like Lancome (who are relauching classics like Climat, Sagamore, Magie) in autumn 2005, MPG, L'Artisan, Thierry Mugler (so very popular in Paris too it seems), Cerruti, Molton Brown and several other companies launching new products.

There was a huge stand by Givaudan, presenting several gorgeous 18th century perfume bottles, from a collection of Leon Givaudan, as soon as you entered the hall. This exhibit drew a lot of interest as some of the bottles were absolutely stunning.

Then there were stalls like Frapin, the famous cognac makers, who also make perfume, room sprays and candles. Then there were various herbs, vanilla, spices and some chocolate stalls which were fascinating. The highlight for me were the ateliers where you could learn to identify fragrances and mingle with budding noses. We attended a couple of sessions which were really basic but great fun.

After buying lavender and herbes de provence, my friend J and I went for a nice cup of coffee.
We both really loved it there. J is not even a fragrance fanatic like I think I am!

Later last week, there were a couple of perfumepath tours. It was again very interesting meeting clients who are so ready to test fragrances and soak up the atmosphere. A lovely lady even found her holy grail and that was a rather emotional moment for all of us. I have decided on changing a few things on the perfume tours which will make the tours even more enjoyable.

The temperature soared by the end of the week to nearly mid-thirties centigrade so it was a quieter time to reflect on so many things I had experienced the past weeks. It was a great weekend where my husband and I enjoyed great food in a small restaurant and then browsed shops in Bastille and then in Marais. I did get to test the newest Miller et Bertaux (finally) - while I found it nice I did not feel the urge to procure a bottle.

Sunday was fête des mères here in France, and we went to eat in a Michelin recommended restau in the 19th near the Parc Buttes Chaumont. This restaurant was open only for the Mothers Day (usually closed on Sundays) celebration and doubled the price of the menu. It was packed! I cannot complain as the food and service were excellent. That is one area in Paris (along with 20th) we had never visited yet and were delighted to see the arrondisement with lovely little houses and the park is really pretty - landscaped with several levels - a change from our local Parc Monceau which is pretty and has gorgeous gates but is quite flat!

Hope you are all doing well and have a wonderful week.

PS: I would like to announce a correction that the Samarkand perfume I wrote about a while ago- Ormonde Jayne's new perfume for men is now launched as Isfahan pour homme.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Some new fragrances I tested in London last week...

included the newest and only Rosine for men in Liberty's (think it is called Rosine pour homme) - all I remember is that it is a very lovely spicy rose. I did make a note to re-test this in Paris. Will get the notes and post soon. Also tested all the Bond No. 9's in Harvey Nicks (London's sole purveyor of this highly acclaimed US brand (except Chinatown which will arrive soon). I cannot say I have loved any yet! Then I was pounced upon by some school leaving SAs and was introduced to Matthew Williamson's new fragrance with a rather unimaginative name Matthew Williamson perfume - got mainly vanilla, amber (supposed to have jasmine) - perhaps my nose was blocked by the time I was forced to try this and frankly was rather forgettable.
Ormonde Jayne's new spicy Isfahan is ready for sampling and will be launched tomorrow.

More soon.....

Have a great day/rest of this week!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Part II of week in London....

I love perfumes and so what is new to most of you but what I also enjoy is revisiting my favourite stores in London whenever I am there with some time in hand. This time I happened to have a lot more time and therefore managed to see most of the stores like Liberty (where they have a rather nice niche section of perfumes), Fortnum and Masons (great perfumes mainly classics but a fantastic place for bath products), Ormonde Jayne (where I can talk to them for hours), then Harvey Nicks and Harrods. I did not go to all in one day - spread my perfume sniffing to four days. :)

Harrods is usually a good experience (now that is an interesting place as the Haute Parfumerie created by the Roja Dove is the kind of place where it would help if you have an unlimited bank account) for instance his own perfumes No 1 and No 2 are both for exclusive customers. I must have looked "right" that day as I was encouraged to try both.
No 1 is a chypre and No 2 is a sweet floral blend. I maybe wrong so do not even take notice of my comment. Now the juice sells for mere 1000 quid and the Lalique bottles are from 300 pound onwards. The beauty of these Roja perfumes is that only about 50 clients world wide have this and they are not sold normally. OK I must admit rather grudgingly that both were lovely if I had that kind of money to spend I probably would. The other highlight was that the SAs were really friendly (as a rule - I have yet to meet a snotty SA in Harrods as Harvey Nicks make up for that department) took a lot of time and care to go through the perfumes. We discussed most houses. They have a few perfume urns from Caron and are planning to add a few more classics. I do wear French Cancan and was told that they have apparently managed to sell more French Cancan than Caron's boutiques in Paris have in the past few years. I think Haute Parfumerie is a brilliant idea for people who love good fragrances and have decent sized bank accounts to match. Then again the snob appeal would not be there if they sold Calvin Kleins would there? No offense meant to people who love CK perfumes or other designer brands. What surprised me is that Roja had a wide ranging taste - he had La Perla there, Annick Goutal's, Patou, Serge Lutens, lots of Lalique, Guerlain, Caron, Balenciaga, Balmain and the list goes on and on and on.

I will write more later on the other stores but just wanted to share the Haute Parfumerie experience....

Have a great day!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

A week in London.....

an overdue visit to meet some of my closest friends in London town went by quickly - as always! We managed to walk, eat in my favourite restaurants like Chowki, Sakura, Ikkyu, Salloos, Tamarind, Fortnums for tea etc. I did visit some of my favourite shops esp all my favourite perfume stores in London you can imagine (a separate post on that soon).

Also saw a couple of exhibitions -Caravaggio the final years - was fantastic at the National Gallery

and managed to see the Matisse exhibition titled 'Matisse, His Art, His Textiles'
twice (I tend to see exhibitions at least twice is I can find the time to) at the Royal Academy. I really enjoyed the Matisse exhibition because I adore textiles and this was such a well curated exhibition.

Have a number of photos of London and will upload soon.

Just wanted to write to say I am alive and well...

Hope you are all very well.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

BBC wonder pics...

Gotta love the swiss for being the kindest environmentalists....

Monday, May 09, 2005

Walk to Louvre, Palais Royal and Place Vendome for r/o

my new promise to keep fit by walking as much as i can. Met a friend for lunch in Louvre and then we walked to Palais Royal. It was a deceptively gorgeous day - blue skies with a few mousse like clouds and you step outside there is this artic wind blowing.
Perfect day for some perfume testing with my friend (she is a lovely woman with great taste but she cannot be classed as a fragrance addict). We went into Serge Lutens and tried some Rahat, Un Lys and Rose de Nuit. Then we said goodbye as my friend needed to return home to her daughter.

I walked to Place Vendome - today was such a great photo day - one day when I ought to have remembered to carry my camera. Zut! Next stop was Montale to test the latest perfume Intense Tiare - very nice and lasts for a while. It smells like Tiare oil I once tried at a friend's place. I tried this creation at 2:30 pm and it is still going strong. Then I crossed Place Vendome to the Patou boutique to test Joy parfum again. I think this is really lovely for summer - reminds me of my mom (she wears this and smells amazing). My mother smells fab in most perfumes - strange chemistry she has! Guess I miss my mother because there are days when I gravitate to her perfumes and find a sense of comfort wearing them.

Then I browsed briefly in WH Smith - the local bookstore where books cost 30% more than other places. I learnt years ago (when we lived here the last time around) not to buy there but master the art of browsing. Whenever I get to London town I buy my books there and if I am really lazy Amazon is a good book delivery service! ;D

Am now slogging away but wanted to share this small adventure

Hope you are all enjoying a great week.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Do you care how Napoleon died?

I grew up with the BBC and that has always and will always be "my" news source but do I really care how poor Napoleon died? Yes sure I am interested but this cannot be front page news!

Here is another I just saw on BBC - a saviour for unimaginative minds....

I am the worst blogger but I like it that way...

as some of you who know me (kinda) are aware of how busy I have been since the beginning of 2005. It has been quite a steep climb - work, travel, imagination, frustration, ill health, perfumes, good news like the birth of a new nephew, day trips outside Paris, friend's wedding, getting used to living in this merde filled city and many other things have kept me from being a regular blogger. I am nowhere near the summit of my life/my ambitions and i am huffing and puffing (I am in poor shape - lazy non exerciser who will def get a heart attack one of these days). Besides as you may know - I am pretty crap at writing because my name ain't Robin, Mireille, Laura or Tania. :)

However - I have to share that this week has been quite a mixed one in a good and not so good way but I have survived so far and plan to continue with my backbreaking projects.

These are some BBC images - thought you may find these interesting - as I cannot be bothered to be original today or ever...

Be well....

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