Monday, 19 May 2014

Springtime in Paris

This spring, time is flying by even quicker than usual. While it definitely feels like it  was just last week that we were visiting Paris, since then we had: celebrated Easter, a visit from the mother in law, a week in Germany, lots of gardening, a countrywalk, the first BBQ of the year and and and.. What I hadn't done so far is writing a post about the trip, so here it is, short and with quite some delay.

Not a bad view to have...

On our first day we headed to

Tiny and design conscious shop, functional, lots of clean white lines doused in pink light. 
You can browse on your own and/or with assistance from the lovely SA. Unsurprisingly they have the whole range and M. and I did a lot of sniffing together. He bought his second Incense series bottle, this time the Zagorsk, and I came home with a Stephen Jones, which hadn't been on the card/list at all, but  felt right at the moment. The fragrance was a great companion for Paris in spring. Green and floral with hint of pollution. M. wears his Zagorsk often and with real gusto. Other than the Avignon which is more of a special occasion scent, this one "makes him feel properly dressed, whatever he is wearing".

French pharmacy window display

We also had a quick look at:
This mallish perfume shop, tucked away in a little side street at the South end of the Marais, has a good selection  including Laboratorio Olfattivo, Amouage, van Euersdorff, David Jorquin, Etat libre, MDCI, Phaedon, Jul&Mad, Kilian, Mark Buxton...
Had I been on my own I could have spent a nice hour in there, but my husbands' love for perfume only goes that far so I sniffed around a bit and promised myself to come back on a later date. Which I then didn't, so this lovely shop has to wait for another Paris visit.

Coffee table

Monday was the day of undisturbed perfume testing, and for this there is no place better in Paris than 

Deep in tourist wonderland that is the Louvre area, this shop is easiest my favourite place in Paris. All the perfumes, comfy sofas, coffee, lovely service, lots of space...if they had free wifi I would probably never leave. This time the shop was very quiet and I got all the help  I wanted. If you want to try the fragrances on your own they won't bother you at all, but you'll get very honest assistance. I had come with a list of things to try, mostly lines that are difficult to find in the UK, like nobile 1942, Mendittorosa and 2 houses new to Jovoy: Volnay and Parfumerie Moderne. 

I had high hopes for Parfumerie Moderne, despite the unimaginative name, but none of the three perfumes left a very lasting impression on me. Cuir X was nice enough, but felt like a mix between Mon Cuir and Cuir Ottoman and I would rate both of those higher. Volnay, on the other hand, had 5 scents on offer in very beautiful cristalle bottles. Yapana, a floriental and Objet Celeste, a chypre, were my favourites and one of them will certainly feature in a review very soon. I also spend lots of time with the nobile 1942 scents and you've already seen my love for that line. On the list was also a Heeley, not exactly difficult to get in London, but while in Paris...It was the L'Amandiere that had caught my attention for it's green almond notes. And worthy of attention it definitely was. On paper quite a head spinner, the almonds are really captured in their green skin phase with just a promise of a sweetness yet to come. Of all the perfumes I had tried, this was the one I wanted to work for me the most and it therefore got a lot of my skin space. The lovely SA offered a sample without me even asking and I have to say, I'm really grateful for that because I had been in spending mood and would have probably made a purchase there and then. Thankfully I didn't. L'Amandiere, despite being an extrait, had the life span of a geriatric gnat on me. Gone in half an hour. 

Jovoy are again doing the 5x5ml sample box which had been such a succsess at the end of last year. This time the selection (available only online) is much smaller, mostly newcomer lines and the decently priced ones like Histoire and Pd'Empire, but it's still a good idea to have a look. Unfortunately their website is a bit wonky and the link they provide doesn't work. It's easier if you do a search for black box on the site. The decants are €6 per 5ml splash bottle plus shipping (free inside France, handy if you have mules or going there for the summer holiday). There is also a so called red box, reserved for more expensive frags but that selection isn't great and at €12 rather overpriced, I find. Why they not just do 1 type of box with different prices per bottle is beyond me...

During my 5 day visit I also managed to go to Colette, De Filles a la Vanille, Marionnaud, Sephora and last but not least, Serge Lutens,  did lots of not perfume related things, ate and drank (mostly) well and had a great time. As one has when in Paris. 


  1. Wow, I am impressed at how much you packed in, especially with a 'regular non-fumehead' husband in tow. Did he nip off somewhere on the Monday to leave you to blitz the remaining scent destinations? Love your quirky photos too. And many thanks for procuring that ill-fated sample for me in Jovoy - it is appreciated!

    1. He had to go to some conference, that kept him fairly busy....)