Hello everyone. As you may have gathered from the rather abrupt change in my reviewing schedule over the last 10 days, something is up: I’m leaving on holiday Thursday! I’ve been frantically packing, unpacking, and packing some more — an ordeal I despise like few other things on earth — and generally have been running around like rather demented chicken. Thankfully, however, the end is finally in sight.
I’ll be away from Thursday, September 26th until Monday, October 7th. It will take me some time upon my return to get back in the swing of things, primarily because I will have to pay copious penance to The Hairy German for my departure. I’m worried about the welcome I’ll receive upon my return, because he does tend to hold a slight grudge over these sorts of things. He will be with his grandparents who always spoil him like mad, but I’m still very stressed about it all. The last time I left for 2 weeks, they couldn’t drag him away from the front door for the first 7 days, and he barely ate.
So, where am I going? It’s a two-part trip, and I’m being quite honest when I say that I don’t have the faintest clue where I’ll be for the first portion of it. It’s a Mystery Trip! No, seriously, it is. A friend is throwing a party, and all I know is that: I have to be Charles de Gaulle airport by 10:00 a.m. on Friday the 27th; I need a bathing suit; and I have to have a costume that fits a specific theme that they’ve given us. It’s a costume that has to be made (not bought) and, for this year’s party, you’re paired up with another guest (who is located halfway around the world) to work out the outfits in tandem. I was also informed that I might want to be careful about the perfume lest I attract some unwanted attention from animals. (I’m actually not sure if that last part was a joke, or a genuine warning. Oh dear.) Finally, I assume that, for various reasons involving the other guests, time, and past tradition, the location will be some place in Europe, but that’s only a guess. Personally, I think it will be some obscure beachy place in Portugal, Spain or the Canary Islands, perhaps even one of the islands on the Dalmatian Coast.
For the rest of the trip, I will be in Paris, my old home. I’ll be staying with one of my best friends from high school, whilst also seeing some childhood and university friends. I don’t know how much time I will have to go perfume shopping, but I’ve typed up a 9-page document with all the perfume addresses, metro stops, and even a step-by-step sort of walking route for both the Left Bank and the Right Bank.
The one place I know for certain that I’ll visit is Serge Lutens. Not only because it’s Serge Lutens and, therefore, my Mecca, but also because a close friend lives right around the corner! I had planned to get De Profundis, then possibly a second bell jar, but I’m now reconsidering my choice of perfumes. I love De Profundis, but I think I want an opulent, heavy Oriental or a woody fragrance. I do know that it will NOT be Miel de Bois…. <ahem>
After that, the rest of my schedule is unclear, partially because of my friends who are more of a priority for me. If I can carve out some time, Jovoy is at the top of my list, a list which also includes everything from JAR to such niche perfume boutiques as Sens Unique, Arabian Oud, Marie-Antoinette, and Nose. At Jovoy, I’m going to be seeking out the rest of the LM Parfums line, along with Roja Dove, Amouage, and lesser-known perfume houses. I’m particularly interested in Von Eusersdorff, which is supposed to have an excellent patchouli, as you can read in this review from the lovely Susie Baird of Epiphany. As for Roja Dove’s line, I’ve heard absolutely spectacular things about Diaghilev, but I’ve also been told that it costs €990 (or $1334 at today’s exchange rate), so… um… Good God!! I’m not sure if I want to be masochistic enough to even give it a testing sniff, lest I end up loving something that is wholly out of my reach.
In terms of perfume houses with their own presence in Paris, I have a special interest in Oriza LeGrand, IUNX (by Olivia Giacobetti, which is exclusive to the Hotel Costes), Parfums de Rosine (located conveniently close to Serge Lutens), Les Nereides, Reminiscence, The Different Company, and Teo Cabanel (due to my passionate love for their Alahine). I can’t recall if Reminiscence bought Ylang-Ylang, the jewellery house that made my old Holy Grail patchouli fragrance, but Reminiscence is well known for their own, so I hope to find something similar to the perfume that I used to wear and whose twin I have been hunting for over 20 years! Their Patchouli sounds wonderful, as does their Amber, and they’re priced extremely reasonably at €52, €76, or €105 for a 50 ml, 100 ml, or 200 ml bottle. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it’s similar to my old HG scent, despite missing the Mysore sandalwood which that one had, and Reminiscence’s unfortunate inclusion of the usually crap Australian variety.
As for Oriza L. Legrand, I’m fascinated by the return of this perfume house with some seriously ancient history. It was founded in 1720 under Louis XV, supplied several European royal courts and Napoleon III’s imperial court with their perfumes, won prizes at the World Fairs of 1889 and 1900, and is now making a return with scents that are supposed to have an old-school, luxurious, heavy richness to them. I’m mostly interested in the incense-y Reve d’Ossian out of the original line, and you can read about it at theCaFleureBon link above or at Fragrantica. I’ve also got my nose set on trying Horizons, a rich amber whose notes (according to Oriza) include: Bark bitter orange, Tangerine Confit & Dried Rose; Cognac Amber, Aromatic Tobacco Leaves, Cocoa Roasted Almonds, Old Oak & Patchouli; Benzoin, Amber Gray, peat, Tabac Blond, Vanilla, Honey & Soft Leather. Fabulous, no? I really hope I’m not disappointed, especially as it’s a reasonable €120 for 100 ml. You can get samples of the full 7 fragrances in the range for €9, plus another €9 for shipping.
As for the big houses, Caron, Chanel, and Dior will be on the schedule if I have time. Then I suppose I’ll have to pop into Guerlain, but I’m completely skipping Hèrmes, L’Artisan Parfumeur, and Annick Goutal.
Food is extremely high on my list of things to focus on, too, perhaps even higher than perfume. Everything from Ladurée, to oysters, seared foie gras, really good steak tartare, Oeufs à la Meurette, Lebanese food, Tarte Tatin, and grotesque amounts of cheese. In fact, I have a plan to eat my own weight in as many gooey, creamy, hard, nutty, smelly cheeses and baguettes as I can get my hands on, until it’s too much even for this bread addict. (If you read in the newspaper of someone who died from excessive bread and cheese consumption whilst on holiday in Paris, you’ll know who it is.)
In short, the order of my excitement is: my friends, being home, divine food, and then perfumery. Screwy priorities for a perfume blogger, no doubt, but c’est la vie. I look forward to telling you all about my trip when I come back, but you’ll have to give me a few days after October 7th to spoil The Giant, Disgruntled, Fanged One, to recuperate from jet lag, and to go through all the things that may have piled up in my absence. I hope to have a fun post up around October 9th or 10th about some of my adventures.
One last word: if any new readers comment on the blog but don’t see their comments posted or visible, it’s because first-time commentators must have their post manually approved as part of the anti-spam system. (If you knew how much spam I delete each day, you’d understand the necessity for the rule). I will have limited internet access for most of my trip (and probably none at all for the first part), so I won’t be able to get to or approve your comments during my absence. But I promise to read and clear everything upon my return, so don’t hesitate to share your thoughts on something in the meantime.
On that note, I have some packing to finish, and some perfumes to decant for my trip. Attracting the local wildlife? Phooey!