Wednesday, July 09, 2008

An American Blogger In Paris: Guerlain





The Guerlain boutique on 68 Champs-Elysees is my happy place (I considered calling it a perfumista's Disneyland, but that would be so very wrong). It was the opposite of my wretched Caron experience, both in terms of the wonderful gracious and patient customer service and of scent. It didn't hurt that the store is very spacious and elegant.

The street level entrance doesn't prepare you for the golden oppulance of the second floor, where you can go around the three tiered table in the center to play with the more famous classics and major releases (the parfums are on the top tier) from Jicky to Insolence. There's a wall that holds more of the popular ones like the new flankers and Eau de Shalimar, but the main attraction is the stuff you'll never see in Sephora.

Mouchoir de Monsieur, the last escargot bottle, sits in its vault in all its 800-something euro glory (I got to sniff and it's gorgeous). L'Art et la Matiere collection sits on a table by the large window, all yours to play (and overdose on the vanillic aftertaste you get from having several of them on one arm). I tested them before, but this is way more fun than Bergdorf.

Then there are the re-issues, the Parisienne collection, the crystal bottle of Quand Vient La Pluie that comes in a box with a funnel, and the bee bottles. Speaking of the latter, I got a kick out of the option to have your own engraved gold-plated bee bottle in any size of your favorite Guerlain. I'm not sure who buys the 32 oz, but I wouldn't have objected to a small personalized one of Shalimar parfum that reads Gaia, the Non-Blonde...

I was too tired to really play much in the other rooms, the ones with the makeup and skin care, but having purchased a bottle of Sous le Vent (I was sure I'll end up with one of the la Matiere, most likely Spiritueuse Double Vanille, but the grownup sex appeal of Sous le Vent won over the cake and booze that day) , I got some generous samples that are worth a review once I actually try them.

14 comments:

  1. In heaven, my bathroom looks just like that..

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  2. Great choice! ;-)
    And great pics, too.
    It's obvious you had lots of fun. Deservedly :-))

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  3. You were lucky, then. In my experience at this boutique, they look you up and down in a snotty way when you ask to smell Voilette de Madame and sneer: That's only for collectors. You might want to try something less exclusive. (I was well-dressed, but I'm fatter than my friend, who got excellent service. Apart from that: every customer, no matter how s/he is dressed, deserves good service). The lady I met at Caron's on the other hand, looked like a slutty beautician in a fifth-rate film but was genuinely interested and friendly.

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  4. That sounds great. I look forward to experiencing that when I go there next month.

    x Grayburn

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  5. Oh I truly envy you! :-)

    dinazad, sorry for your bad experience.
    lavinia

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  6. Gaia, it looks like we went to the same places - and felt the same. I've always loved the Guerlain boutique : back in April I spent 2 hours there, playing around and sniffing everything they have... The service was kind and excelent (and I ended up with a bottle of Double Vanille and a candle - and lots of lovely samples, very generous). Yes, that place is one of my favouriote playgrounds...

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  8. Tom- Mine as well. From the chandelier to the gold mosaic. And all shampoo in bee bottles that the cats never knock down.

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  9. Helg- Thank you :) And I already miss Paris and hoping to go back next year.

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  10. Dinazad- I'm sorry you had such a negative experience in such a lovely place. It's horribly wrong. I had my share of snootty SA at a couple of NYC boutiques. I'm blaming the 'tude on my somewhat bohemian look (even though I'm always well-dressed, accessorized and in full makeup). I try to remind myself that I'm the one with the credit card and the leisure, but sometimes it's just too insulting. They lose the sale and I buy online, instead.

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  11. Grayburn- I hope you have a wonderful time. I know you're in Europe, so you're probably already familiar with everything, but let me know if you have any questions or need special recommendations.

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  12. Lavinia- I had a wonderful time and already regret the stuff I didn't buy. That's what next time is for ;)

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  13. Lady Jane- I'm delighted to hear that. I visited many boutiques and played with lots of perfumes, but Guerlain was probably the best in terms of pure fun.

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  14. I've been reading back through your blog these last few days and while so much of it has been thoroughly enjoyable and vicariously pleasurable, this post left me with my jaw on the floor. I want to thank you for blogging about the wonderful things in the world I might never have the joy of seeing myself. Thanks for all the hard work and time you put into this blog. And oh my gosh, Guerlain. My heart can't take it.

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