This installment of Smelling In Paris is brought to you by the Blond. As my sniffing companion he's always subjected to new perfumes (on my wrists and on his), weird samples that pop up everywhere and the unavoidable sales associate who tries to lure him into the fresh and citrus side and gets utterly confused when he asks for something with more character. Here's Paris According To The Husband:
Paris was fabulous as Gaia has been reporting here over the last few weeks. I'm adding my humble notes and observations on two of my favorite topics: perfume and food.
Dear perfume boutique owners, please invest in a good central air conditioning unit. The weather in September can and did range from the pretty chilly to the blistery hot in a matter of days. I just could not stand a stuffy, suffocating shop where as you walk in the smell is overwhelming. Even great perfume as in the Esteban boutique in the Marais, when not allowed to leave the room gets annoying. In several shops along our tour I just had to step out to breathe. Not to mention that with so many competing fragrances in a room you can't smell yourself.
Service was friendly in most shops with a notable exception at the Caron boutique where we got thoroughly ignored until I tried to venture up the stairway to the second floor and was shouted down from their apparently private area. Now I really have to wonder what is going on up there...
I'm officially ready for the post Oud era. I have nothing against this fine note but it is over. Done. Move on.
It was a little disappointing not to find any really local artisanal or small niche lines we have never encountered before other than Bois Richeux 1178 at the MPG boutique which was a nice surprise. IUNX boutique was also great, even if we left empty-handed. I would have liked and expected to see and smell more such things and less ultra-commercialized Annick Goutal. The ubiquitous Guerlain can literally be found on every street corner like Starbucks in Seattle.
It's been 3 years since our last visit to Paris but it seems like the number of Patisseries has doubled. Unfortunately, it does not seem like all newcomers keep the same quality and tradition you'd expect. some of the confections in fancy looking shops tasted as if they came from an NYC street cart. There are now multiple signs in the windows of patisseries to indicate that they are the real thing. some claim that their good are prepared and baked on premise, all claim to be artisanal. My rule eventually came to "find a really good one and stick with it". If anyone has better signs to distinguish the real deal from the pretenders I'd love to hear.
I wrote last time about eating vegetarian in Paris. Still not any easier in the land of foie gras and escargot . Thank god for vegetarian couscous.
Photo of the husband outside of Caron by me, of course.