Tuesday, July 29, 2008

An American Blogger In Paris: Serge Lutens at the Salons du Palais-Royal Shiseido

Stepping into the Salons du Palais-Royal is a perfumista's rite of passage. Just like facing the mysterious scented cloths at the JAR boutique, learning to identify civet and buying your first vintage Guerlain on eBay.

I had a case of the stomach butterflies, even though there was no more chance I'd run into Monsieur Lutens or his prophet, Christopher Sheldrake, than bumping into the Prince of Wales next time I'm in London. Just the idea of being at perfume ground zero and being able to sniff the coveted scents (and buy a bell jar or two) was enough.

The Salon hides away from the main street, at an inner courtyard of the Palais-Royal. It's a bit hard to find without exact internet directions, but we came prepared and entered the quiet, dimly-lit boutique. There was only one SA on hand at first, and when a few other customers showed up, he was frantically ringing a small bell(!) to summon more help.

I was pretty focused on the things I wanted to smell and try on my skin and on the Blond's. I hoped to get a first whiff of the two new scents (Serge Noire and El Attarine), but it was too early for that and testers weren't yet available. There were enough other things to keep me from being disappointed, though.

Our sales assistant was kind and pleasant, even if not overly friendly. We chatted about the Bois series: it's a lot of fun to sniff them one after another, detect the similarities and the differences and to see how they all relate to the original Feminitè du Bois.

You're not allowed to take pictures inside, otherwise I'd subject you to endless sniffing and fawning photos, titled from "The Adoration of the Juice" to "Group portrait with a bell jar". You'll have to take my word: It was lovely. We spent enough time there playing and letting the scents we tried develop a little on skin. The Blond fell for Cuir Mauresque and I tamed the two notorious beasts, Musc Koublai Khan and Borneo 1834 (reviews coming).

Happy and equipped with our Precious, we were ready to face the next task: Finding a vegetarian lunch.

Photo credit: Mine. The first one was taken through the window, hence the glare.


  1. Love your photos!! I hope one day to enjoy this perfume lover's rite of passage, too. Thanks for sharing.

  2. sooo happy for you and yet sooo jealous!

  3. btw- did you read the post at Basenotes that Miel de Bois might be about to be discontinued?

  4. Do I win the psychics prize for asking YESTERDAY when you would be visiting Serge Lutens ?!

  5. Suzanne- I hope you get to visit the Salon one day soon. It's a great experience.

  6. Tom- Maybe next time you'll join us for some mayhem and cake... Or we'll just take Manhattan by storm.

  7. Barbara- You definitely win. I was giggling, since this post was already half written!


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