Infusions — Paris and Prada

This was, I think, my fifth trip to Paris.  I was in eighth grade the first time I went, one of the many kids from our middle school’s French and Spanish classes (I was taking Spanish) slogging through those two countries over spring break.  What I remember of that trip: four francs to a dollar, more or less; the crepes (and the fact that they hurled your change at you); and that I could get served alcohol at a bar, so I spent evenings consuming things like White Russians and Grasshoppers and then throwing them up later, thereby giving me a lifelong aversion to nasty, sweet liqueur drinks.  I also remember our group tour going to a generally off-limits part of Notre Dame cathedral where if you stepped another fifteen feet the wrong direction you’d fall several stories to the ground — no guardrail.  My interpretation was that the French assumed that if you were stupid enough to walk over there, well … (insert Gallic shrug here.)  I didn’t disapprove.  I wonder if you can go up there now.

I am no faux Parisienne, no Francophile.  I don’t know what it is that has brought me back again and again to this city.  It is familiar (the Metro, the Left Bank, the walk along the Seine, the Palais Royal and the Luxembourg gardens, etc.) and yet pleasingly foreign.  I have just enough extremely basic French that I can get by and not offend (e.g., bonjour, excuse me please sir/madam/miss, thank you, pardon, yes, good-bye) but I don’t speak French, and so I can tune out most of the spoken language around me.  I can wangle a pastry any time I want to, but otherwise I can disengage and wander.  I am happy in Paris.  Ten days in Paris was just the ticket.  In case you are wondering.  In case I freaked you out a little with my Snowmageddon/drinking/I-need-a-vacation post, about which I am a little … embarrassed.  But hey — this blog is part social experiment for me, as you surely know.

A commenter on Angela’s first post about our Paris trip on Now Smell This was amused by the adorably wide-eyed enthusiasm of Americans abroad, and — hey, I’ve had worse truths said about me.   I did not detect any massive offense or disdain by the French at my obvious delight, or at my expressions of appreciation for what I have been served or shown or told.  In fact, I would say that overall the French people I met in Paris have been nothing but helpful and accommodating, and appreciative of my basic (if amusing) efforts to learn and use new words and admire my surroundings, whatever they were at the moment – from the man selling the artisanal honeys to the beauty of the overblown roses spilling their petals on the zinc tabletop one rainy morning.

My next few posts will probably be Paris posts, and each post should have a specific perfume section.  As I didn’t blog from Paris (or even take a computer) I’d rather organize my thoughts this way than one huge, sequential laundry list of here’s-what-I-smelled.  If the personal bits bore you, you should be able to scan until you get to the perfume bits.  Bon appetit.

I got to smell the two new Prada Infusion scents – Tubereuse (which was on the ladies’ side of Sephora) and Vetiver, which was on the men’s, although certainly I wouldn’t let that hold you back.

The first of the series, Prada Infusion d’Iris, was a scent that grew on me over quite a long time, probably more than a year, as I came to appreciate its subtlety and its surprising longevity.  (Prada Infusion d’Homme is so similar to the original Infusion d’Iris to my nose that I am missing its point, but it’s supposed to be a tad more woods/incense.  My personal theory is that the marketing machine was worried that a man wouldn’t buy a scent with “Iris” in its name, no matter how unisex it looked and smelled.)

Infusion de Fleur d’Oranger was (literally) a bitter disappointment – I love orange scents, whether they’re blossom or fruit, and Oranger is a strangely sharp, sour soapy, unpleasant little thing on me.  I also think it was supposed to be a limited edition, which was just fine by me, and I don’t see it on the shelves much over here, but it was all over Paris.   While I’m blathering, their L’Eau Ambree from last fall, in the short, rectangular, original Prada bottle, is so sheer it would fit nicely into this line.

I tried the Prada Infusion de Tubereuse first (twice, actually, because I had trouble getting my hands on a Vetiver tester.)  I wish our image function were working on here, but you can google them – it’s the standard Infusion bottle, but it’s got a little abstract decorative detail down the side – pink and gray for Tuberose, green and gray for Vetiver – with matching caps and a little dangling silver tag, and I think they’re really nicely done – a little more playful then the original bottle, maybe, but still restrained and chic.

And that, unfortunately, is the nicest thing I can think of to say about Infusion de Tubereuse. Given the concept, I was prepared for sheer and subtle.  But I wasn’t expecting anything quite so … generic.  It could be almost any vague combination of florals – not too sweet, not fruity, not interesting.  I got the same impression on my skin as I did on the paper strip, so out of curiosity I soaked the sleeve of my wool coat with it – four healthy sprays – and after an hour it was essentially gone.  The notes I have are tuberose, petitgrain and blood orange, and I’ll take their word for it.   Other than “floral” with some citrus I wouldn’t have had a clue – not even “white flowers.”   Folks who don’t care much for Infusion d’Iris would probably shrug their shoulders and say, well, what do you expect? But if you can smell it, the original Infusion d’Iris is a great addition to a fragrance wardrobe, and I don’t have anything else quite like it.  Tubereuse I’ll be taking a pass on.

And so it was with a heavy heart that I sprayed on Vetiver (it took me visits to two Sephoras and a Marionnaud to find a tester) and … well … honestly?

It was great.

Now, before you start drooling on your keyboard, let’s have a reality check – Onda this is not.  It’s one of the Infusions, yes?  And so it has a similar lightness, and if you’re underwhelmed by Infusion d’Iris, maybe you’d feel the same about this.  Notes are vetiver, tarragon, Madagascan pepper and purple ginger, and that sums it up nicely.

I put on Givenchy Vetyver from Les Mythiques on the other hand, and the contrast was interesting.  The Givenchy is at once rootier and more elegant; it smells like, well, Givenchy – a dressier fragrance calling for a nice, starched shirt.  The Prada Vetiver reminds me a bit of that Lubin Vetiver reissue which I was wild for and which I wish I still had a sample of – it’s cheerful and peppery and citrusy and a bit effervescent, that gin cocktail effect, although remember we are talking subtle.   The vetiver stays green, sheer and cologne-like, designed to refresh rather than to challenge (although there’s nothing “fresh” or watery in the scent.)   And for those in on the joke, the punchline is much like the Prada Infusion d’Iris — it is extraordinarily tenacious. While Givenchy Vetyver, ever the gentleman, departed after several hours, the Prada joined me in the shower, lasted through several handwashings, spent the night, and was still there in the morning, all smiles.  I had no objection whatsoever.  If you like your vetiver on the light side, and/or you were remotely charmed by any of the others in this series, you might want to give this one a whirl.

Special thanks to my partners in crime, Louise and Angela from Now Smell This, with whom I shared an apartment on the Blvd. Montparnasse (a view of the Eiffel Tower!), some amazing meals, excellent walks, vulgar jokes, and quite a few belly laughs.  Also thanks to Ange for graciously allowing us to use her laptop to check our emails when we discovered a dearth of internet cafes in our area (WiFi and smaller, cheaper laptops are taking their toll, even in the student neighborhoods.)   Finally, ladies – I blame both of you for the necklace you forced me to buy, which has already garnered compliments.  Let’s do it again, maybe in Portland this summer…

  • nozknoz says:

    Welcome back, March! I look forward to hearing more about your trip and, yes, if there is anything I love as much as perfume it is special jewelry, so I join violetnoir in hoping to see a photo of the Paris necklace, too.

    Believe it or not, there was a weekend while you all were in Paris when the sun was SO bright (no shade at all yet) and Washington was so packed with tour buses filled with hordes of manic children and everyone pouring in to see cherry blossoms – it was such a total ZOO that I had an attach of curmudgeonitis and actually experienced Snowmageddon nostalgia! I longed to crawl back into my cozy winter den, spray on an impenetrable force-field of Coze, and watch snow fall in silence. I know, that’s just weird. :(|)

    • March says:

      I’ll try to get a photo of the necklace up somewhere (Facebook?) since the imaging isn’t working on here … :-w

      I know, you get that overrun with tourists thing here. But I always try to be helpful — they’re often utterly lost, and I don’t think in general that the locals rushing to work are very helpful or friendly. But I know what you mean about the crowds at the cherry blossoms!

  • violetnoir says:

    Girl, we missed you and Louise, and are so happy you are back.

    But, I am also so, so happy that you had such a great time together! I can’t wait to hear more about your Parisian adventures, and even see a photo of that necklace you were “forced” to purchase.

    Love and hugs to you both!

  • Kate says:

    Welcome home. Care for some Claritin for the pollen? In Amsterdam’s huge dept store on Dam Sq tried to test the Prada Vetiver and the SA looked at me like I asked if I could test a jockstrap! She wouldn’t hand it over! But tested in in Duty Free and smelled nothing. Oh well.

    Melissa is right: the L’Artisan Nuit Tuberose is freakin’ fantastic! I and own no L’Artisans. Will stalk Melissa when hers arrives!

    • March says:

      That’s hilarious. Like the way they’re always pointing out to me that I’m wandering around in the men’s dept. Because, you know … God forbid. #:-s

      The Tubereuse is darn tasty — we sampled it via Denyse, but apparently testers just appeared all over Paris the second we left!

  • mary says:

    Welcome back, and thanks for the reviews. I’m looking forward to reading about all your experiences. I didn’t see the “wide-eyed” comments, but I have to say, Paris is one of the great cities of the world. I have been twice, the last time more than 15 years ago. The architecture alone is worth looking at wide-eyed. French culture is incredibly rich and vibrant, and definitely worth experiencing by visiting the French capitol–and the French will of course acknowledge that there is a level of Parisian culture which influences the international community. Like all great cities, Paris has a share of poorer neighborhoods and people who are struggling. Living in San Francisco in the 80’s and 90’s, I got to the point where the poverty and despair of the many homeless people completely took over my perceptions, and I no longer understood why people would want to visit SF. But they do come from all over the world, to look at the views, to experience California. I suppose people in police or social work would go touring great cities to see how other communities manage the social problems which come along with urban environments, but I generally go on vacation to renew myself with new experiences and to learn about other cultures. Which is to say, to wander around wide-eyed with childlike excitement and enthusiasm. :)>-

    • March says:

      I did a lot of reading about the immigrants and the cites (sorry, I don’t have the proper accents) outside on the periphery. It was quite interesting. And depending on the destination, tourists are inevitably going to brush up against a certain amount of realities that are difficult for Americans to comprehend (parts of Africa and India come to mind here.) When I’m at the end of my life, I hope not to have any regrets in the travel department in terms of things I missed.

  • Lee says:

    Sounds like it was fun x fabulous. And such wonderful company.

    I’m more your apartment kinda guy than hotel. Much nicer.

    And I’ll be the goggle-eyed one at just about anything, I reckon.

  • karin says:

    Loved reading Angela’s posts on NST – and now we get to hear from you, March! So much fun to live vicariously through y’all. I hope to get to Paris in September, but finances will have to perk up after our tax bill (ugh).

    I didn’t care for Infusion d’Iris, and haven’t tried any of the others. I’m curious about the Vetiver, though. And with talk of Paris + Vetiver, I’m also curious about Guerlain’s pour femme version, which LT mentions is only available at CDG duty free? True? What’s it like?

    • March says:

      Let’s see … not sure whether ONLY CdG duty free … sounds a little extreme to me, it’s hard for me to believe it’s not at Paris Sephora, the stores are huge (will be blogging on them.) But I didn’t look for it.

      About Guerlain Femme vetiver (of course you can get it at the Guerlain store on Champs-Elysees, and I’d assume the other Guerlain stores in the city as well, there are several) — I can only give you my personal opinion, which is that I much prefer the Homme version, which is that glorious, straight-up vetiver cologne. The Vetiver Pour Elle is much more … complex? (like, crossed with Mouchoir de Monsieur) and has an unfortunate dill-pickle note on my skin that I don’t care for at all. But that’s just one woman’s opinion — YMMV.

    • AnnieA says:

      I bought Vetiver Pour Elle in Montreal, thinking I was just going to sniff it briefly. It’s very summery and soft and slightly old-fashioned without feeling dated.

      Address and phone:

      Guerlain Canada‎
      1350 avenue Greene, Westmount, QC H3Z 2B1
      (514) 933-6114‎

      Thw SAs spoke English, were very helpful, and I believe they said they did telephone orders.

    • karin says:

      Hey…thanks everyone for the Vetiver Pour Elle info! I’m not even sure I know what vetiver smells like. I have Rive Gauche (one of my all time favs), and I know there’s some in that, and I also have a sample of Tauer’s Vetiver Dance. Other than that, I’m lost. I suppose I was intrigued after I read the Perfumes the Guide description of the Guerlain pour elle version. I’ll have to get my hands on that Prada as well. Thanks, March!

  • Musette says:

    YAY! You’re BACK!< :-p Can't wait to hear ALL about it. YAY! That you had a great time! Yay! On wide-eyed. What Shelley Said. There is wonder all around us. Heck, you can be wide-eyed in Peoria, for goodness sake! Seriously - there is this road called Grandview Drive with a breathtaking view of the Illinois River - I've been down it at least 50 times in the past 3 years and it still amazes and enchants me. Of course, Paris is way better, imo. but still.. YAY! on macarons, even though I don't like 'em myself. Did you sable at all? YAY! on Vetiver. I love that stuff - best thing EVAH for a scorchin' hot day. Way better than citrus - and I love citrus. Just YAY! <:-p xoxo >-)

    • March says:

      I did sable. I sabled …. shall I whisper into your shell-like ear? My favorite dessert was called something Canelle, which is cinnamon, from Gerard Mulot. It’s two sables sandwiching some sort of cinnamon-flavored cream, with fruit stuck to the top. I made moaning noises when I ate it, to the point that people would look at me oddly.

      You don’t LIKE macarons? 😮 Like … any of them? Salted caramel? Salted caramel macarons are o:-)

      • Musette says:

        Honey, I have been telling myself I hate macarons for nearly 20 years, to great effect.

        Please don’t spoil it. I’m porkrindicant enough as it is. :”>

        (to be honest, I could wipe out Pierre H’s entire display of macarons chocolat in about 20 minutes. Between those and the chocolate sables, of which I could probably snarf down 40 at a time 😮 I would drop to the floor, bloated beyond all recognition, and have to be rolled down the rue to some abbatoir for slaughter.

        Too, too grim.

        So I don’t like ’em. Ever.

        xo >-)

  • Robin R. says:

    P.S. I could easily drive down to Portland from Vancouver . . .

  • Robin R. says:

    Nice to have you back on familiar turf, M, and looking forward to your serial decoding of back-of-map scribbles.

    Love the late discovery of the Eiffel Tower. Love the idea of “pastry whoring.” Makes me want to have a big crispy croissant chocolat by my elbow right now.

    I liked Infusion de Tarragon (!) very much and can see wearing the hell out of it in the summer. A sheer vetiver: almost a contradiction in terms, and a good ‘un.

    Oh, and I loved your Snowmaggedon ramblings and do hope you continue in that vein when the (low-ish) spirit moves you. You know, we can relate.

    P.S. Please hurry with the memoirs of Gay Paree, because we’re just a-tingling to hear about your scent adventures and are dying to living vicariously. 😡

    • March says:

      Well, there will be more on Wednesday, assuming I can decipher my handwriting. Really, I’m looking at some of these strips and thinking, wth? “Light pointless”? Hm. 😕 I need to talk about Guerlain, French Sephora, PdN, SL and a buncho other stuff…

      Maybe THAT’S why I loved it so much. I love the smell of tarragon.

      I am a huge pastry whore. I had downtown Paris google mapped out, no lie. The people at Gerard Mulot knew me by sight.

  • Angela says:

    I’m glad you’re home safe and happy! Let’s definitely do it again in Portland. I bet we could shake out a big party here.

    • March says:

      I’m adding a new category to the blog called Blame Angela. It’s going to take me a few days to work off the extra poundage…. which I’d only add back on in Portland. <:-p

    • Gretchen says:

      No excuses for me if I can’t make it up the coast to Portland! (Perhaps I’d better cross my fingers when I say that. . .)

  • Melissa says:

    Welcome back! I read the comment on NST by the reader who found it humorous (and “rather” endearing) that Americans have romanticized ideas of European cities, or something to that effect. Well, I have a hard time seeing you and your traveling companions as wide-eyed American doofuses, stumbling confusedly about Paris. Just sayin’. Really, just how many people did you annoy with the stupid tourist schtick? Tsk, tsk.

    Okay, now that I have that out of my system…I think that it is wonderful that we can see the beauty in any city, country or place that we have or have not visited in the past. I continue to find wonders in New York and I go there 3-4 times a year, just as I did when I was a child. Last week, my son and I traveled to Boston and Western MA. Great trip, with both old and new places to explore. And call me a “romantic”, but a trip into my home city of DC on a beautiful spring day is still a pleasure. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

    • March says:

      Yeah, not sure what that dig was about …. and it’s not like tourists don’t come to this country with all sorts of odd ideas (and in general a lack of understanding how far apart various cities are, although people talked about that in the NST post. Those comments were hugely entertaining, btw.)

      New York is definitely a similar city — always something to see and do, and of course for us it’s so easy to get to! I hope to get to Portland OR for the first time this summer, maybe we’ll round up some of the Portland folks there at the PErfume House….

      • Ann N. says:

        Amen to that, March and Melissa, I’m right there with you on the “wide-eyed” thing. Call me naive, but I, too, believe there’s beauty to be found everywhere in the world, and everyone experiences that differently. I hope that I never get so jaded that I can’t find a place to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous, or become smug when others are visibly moved by its beauty.

  • MJ says:

    Oooh, you stayed in an apartment…. I SO want to go back and do that. A lit blogger I read went a few months ago and got a studio by Sacre Coeur, and I love the idea of having a home base in which to relax, nap when overwhelmed, make your own breakfast or late cups of tea. I’m trying to remember the name of the service she used…. English language, for Americans mostly, ‘something something Paris.’ Haven in Paris?

    • March says:

      The home base was excellent — Angie even cooked, on one of those teeny stove-things. It was a blast. And it is nice to have a fridge and not *have* to go out for every meal, given the exchange rate and the quality of the dine-in produce available 🙂 I’ve only stayed in hotels there, and it was a fun change. Angie used a sabbatical apartment service? Not sure that’s the right expression.

  • Shelley says:

    Welcome back, March. You know how they say about good vacations that they should bring you joy while you are there…and then the return home should be happy, too? That’s kind of how your absence was. It was good to know you were off adventuring…but it is good now to have you back. 😡

    Oh, pshaw on “silly” wide-eyed-ness. However many times I appear on this planet, this me is only going to remember this time. My only regret is those awkward late teen/early adult years when it was important to be perceived as cool. Now I am cool. 😉 Cool enough to nearly walk into an open delivery shaft on the streets of New York…I may or may not have been looking up, but seriously, who stares at the sidewalk when visiting a place? How was I to know I was going to plunge into a pile of produce? The running joke was that THAT was what is a “tourist trap.” ;;)

    I recently refound the love for Infusion d’Iris. {Dang…I’m always typing “irish” whenever I try to enter “iris”…} You’ve piqued my interest in the Vetiver…a note which used to be a huge challenge for me, but which I have learned to appreciate in a few iterations. (Tauer’s Vetiver Dance was actually one that helped me find the way.)

    • March says:

      Hah — love “tourist trap”! And as someone who has walked into more than her share of signs and light poles on the sidewalk (insert whistling guy here) I feel your pain. Glad you didn’t take the tumble!

      Eh. We’re cool enough not to worry so much about what other people think. It’s our essential coolness. 😉

      If you’ve refound the IdI love, maybe you’ll like Vetiver!

  • maidenbliss says:

    Wish I could have been in your pocket while you dined, smelled and wandered. Looking forward to reading all about your adventures, especially food/perfume. Vicarious is better than nothing, right?

    • March says:

      The food! More foodie adventures for me this time, because I had willing dining companions and Angie is something of a foodie (in an enthusiastic, rather than snobby, way). So stay tuned! :)>-

  • donanicola says:

    So glad you had a great time in Paree, March! It would be hard not to given the food/shoe/perfume porn on show but still, you are right, it is the place to forget what can make you feel jaded. I think that Silvia and I had privately wondered if we had built up the trip and were in for disappointment but those worries were groundless. Of course it helped that we had some of the best company in Denyse and the opp to sample the gorgeous Nuit de Tubereuse.

    • March says:

      Denyse is great, isn’t she? And I think people will be thrilled with the Tubereuse, which will get here eventually. And again, I don’t hold it against anyone for whom Paris just doesn’t “do it” — maybe it’s a different city, or the countryside. But that pleasurable feeling of the unfamiliar is a great way to reconnect with yourself.

    • And you ladies were the best company too! After March, Angela and Louise’s visit, and then yours, I felt really spoiled!

  • Aubrey says:

    Oh, I loved this post! You sound relaxed, and I like the personal-plus-perfume posts. So please keep it up.

    Sort of off topic, but you mentioned that you sprayed the perfume on your wool sweater. I have an old stretchy sweater from the early 90s that “keeps” perfume really, really well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t say what the material is. I’m wondering what the best fabrics are for spraying perfume on? Any ideas? I’m considering making my own cross-stitch or embroidered handkerchiefs to spray perfume on, but I’m not sure that the fabric will hold the fragrance.

    Any recs on fabrics for scented handkerchiefs? Or the best material for sweaters if you want to spray perfume on them?

    • March says:

      Thanks — I made all these insane notes on the backs of maps to various pastry shops :”> and I’ve got to wangle them into actual posts. But it’s fun to have some context.

      Regarding the fabric — I don’t know! 😕 I’m sure there are people who would say don’t put it on fabric at all … and of course some people are careful not to get things on fabric that has to be dry-cleaned. Some folks really object to having that fragrance “residue” on their clothes, even of things they like. Since I am not one of those folks 🙂 I’m just careful with unfamiliar fragrances on things that can’t be laundered. My personal experience is that wool seems to hold scents best — better than cotton hankies or tee shirts. My wool coats and sweaters stay scented forever. The nice thing about hankies is you can launder them as needed. Cotton hankies I deploy year-round this way in my purse (I get vintage ones on eBay, or from sweet Musette, who knows I like them.) They may need refreshing but they hold scent quite well, and it’s lovely to have a cologne-y one in the summer. Hope this helps.

      • Olfacta says:

        Vintage cigarette cases are good for keeping hankies in as they 1. keep the fragrance in and 2. keep the grunge out. (How do handbags get so grungy on the inside anyway?) And they’re amusing. I got an aluminum Soviet-era one celebrating Sputnik for 20 bucks on fleabay. Another thing to collect, uh-huh.

  • Ann N. says:

    Seconding everyone else, welcome back, March! Very happy that you had a wonderful trip, and can’t wait to hear more of your Parisian adventures.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Welcome back, and so glad to hear you had a great time. I always love going to Paris and of course it is so much easier for me being in London, but I miss the days of 10F to the £…..rather than (almost)parity with the Euro which is a killer.

    I haven’t tried any of these infusion thingies which sound more like chi-chi drinks, but glad the vetiver was a hit.

    I look forward to hearing more about the trip!

    • March says:

      Ah, the London-Paris trip … that sounds pretty fantastic. Maybe I’ll hit both next time … 😡 … I was there in London at our worst (?) – roughly $2USD to the pound. I think we’re doing better in that department now… I got very creative with my dining options!

  • DinaC says:

    Welcome back, March! So glad that you had a refreshing trip, and I’m looking forward to reading more about your adventures in Paris — whether perfume-related or other. 🙂

    I like vetiver quite a bit, especially during hot, humid DC summers. My fav so far is the Guerlain Vetiver Pour Elle. I like the Prada Infusion d’Iris quite a lot, so maybe I’d like this one too. I’ll have to search it out. I sniffed the Prada Ambre within the last month and found it really anemic.

    It’s good to have you back! :d

    • March says:

      VPE is a great scent, and I wish it were stocked at Sephora like the Guerlain Vetiver (I think it used to be) but I suppose I should just fall down on my knees that Sephora stocks the Guerlain, right?

      The Prada Ambree, I think the first time or two I smelled it was at the end of a sniffing expedition and could not smell a thing. Given a chance on its own, it was more satisfactory, but still not something I wanted a decant of.

  • Silviafunkly says:

    meant to say Donanicola and I took the trip…

  • Silviafunkly says:

    Hi March, sounds like we missed one another by a day or two !

    Donanicola finally took our much fabled Paris trip last Friday and Saturday.

    I am still on a high, big smile plastered all over my face. And although I am not American and it was not my first visit, I am grateful that I can still experience things with child-like amazement.

    On the tuberose front, I can’t wait to get my hands on a FB of that enchanting Nuit de Tubereuse (thanks again Denyse)…

    :)>-

    • March says:

      Oh, glad you enjoyed your trip! And when we stop being able to experience things with child-like amazement, it’s a sad day, yes?

      I guess the Tubereuse testers are all over L’A Paris now — won’t get here until summer, though, I don’t think.

  • Rappleyea says:

    A great big welcome back! You were sorely missed.

    I shuddered and then laughed that you sprayed FOUR spritzes of anything with tuberose in the name on the sleeve of a wool coat! If that had been me, I’m sure I would have had to end up burning the coat, no matter how light the fragrance purported to be!

    Is purple ginger the new pink pepper??

    And finally, compassionate human being that I am, I had already forgotten the Snowmageddon post, so I don’t think you need to worry/apologize about it.

  • I keep intending to try that Infusion de Tubéreuse, and ending up giving the wrist real estate to other more compelling stuff… Of course, it *does* seem a little wimpy compared to — nudge, nudge, wink, wink — the fabulously strange new L’Artisan…

  • Eric says:

    Thanks for the Vetiver love, I really like it, bought it immediately, and think its a wonderful addition to my vetiver collection…

  • Robin says:

    Oh, and meant to say: I also thought the vetiver was miles better than the tuberose, but still, did not feel the need to own it so I guess in the end I did not love it all that much. Have been trying to decide if I’d like it better if they’d called it Infusion de Tarragon. I do think names can bring on disappointment.

  • Brian says:

    I just smelled the Prada Vetiver about an hour ago – I don’t have a ton of reference, but *love* Guerlain’s Vetiver and quite like Vetiver Dance by Tauer but they are very different takes on it.

    I have to say the Prada reminded me vaguely of Guerlain’s Vetiver, minus the Guerlainade of course. There was a bottle of Tom Ford Grey Vetiver next to it too – that was much more medicinal (not in a bad way) and nothing at all like the other three.

    So, Prada seems like a slightly softer version of Guerlain’s Vetiver in my mind.

    • March says:

      The Prada and Guerlain are definitely comparable in that “mannerly” way — although of course the Guerlain is …. Guerlain-ish 😉 and the Prada has the musky-infinity base shared with IdI. The Tom Fords I keep trying and failing to love. The Prada as a softer Guerlain seems about right in terms of smell, I agree, although I have to mention that Prada lasting power, which (if it happens on your skin) really is phenomenal.

  • Robin says:

    Welcome home!

    So, so glad it was a great trip! I am trying not to be *too* jealous. When are you going to tell us what perfume you bought? Surely you bought some perfume?

    And nobody has told me about the macarons. Surely some macarons were consumed?

    • March says:

      Eh, come on, R — you know any “buy” report from me is destined to be a disappointment! I’m more a Delicious Sample Queen…

      to answer your macaron question — of all the obscene Pastry Whoring I did, I mostly skipped the macarons. Because after some sampling there I can say definitively that Praline, right here, makes macarons worthy of Paris, the one thing I can get locally. So come visit again and we’ll go.

  • Tiara says:

    How nice to pop in and find you back, March! So glad you enjoyed returning to Paris. I have been there but once and it was a wild, short trip that started with a harrowing ride to the hotel in which we cut off an ambulance and ended with an equally harrowing ride to the airport in which we almost ran over a man with a baguette on the sidewalk, came within inches of hitting a woman in a crosswalk who was bending over to pick up her dog, and our driver getting into an argument with a man in the cab next to us. The time in between was mainly business related and not much fun.

    Loved the comparison between the Prada and Givenchy vetivers and both sound interesting. Think I’ll try a side by side myself. Thanks for the info–look forward to hearing more.

    • March says:

      You know …. I had to let go, mentally, of the 5am terror trip to CdG the last time (I was traveling solo) on one of those transport vans where the crazy, angry driver literally threw a woman out of the van in the middle of nowhere, with her luggage, because she complained about something, then drove that van at death speed to the airport. I was so frightened.

      I am not the Queen of Vetiver, so I like those more “manageable” vetivers, thanks very much — Lubin, Givenchy, Guerlain, and this one.

  • sweetlife says:

    Welcome back, March, you were missed!

    I’ve never been to Paris at all. This seems like a huge omission, especially since I am now officially food, perfume and art obsessed. Soon, soon, I hope… Anyway, go on, be as wide-eyed as you can be for as long as you can be. If anyone one laughs at you it’s just ’cause they’re jealous.

    Looking forward to the next installments and SO glad to hear you are feeling renewed.:x

    • March says:

      I have a soft spot in my head for enthusiasms. Life is too short to live it jaded, although I can put on a good act when necessary. And it doesn’t have to be Paris — heck, Paris does nothing for lots of folks. But prowling foreign (or domestic) cities with interesting architecture, food, surprises … it’s heaven!

      STILL feeling renewed, even after two days of laundry and “where are my soccer cleats I need in 10 minutes” and field trip forms and etc.!

  • Louise says:

    Oh, you’re home :d/ I’ve missed you and Angie so….somehow it’s not quite the same here going to work and eating granola bars, not quite as fine as living with you two rascals in Paris.

    Do-over, please? 😡

    I must smell the Vetiver-it sounds great for our hot DC days, which arrived while you were away.

    Let’s go spritzing and pastry eating, yes?

    @};[email protected]};[email protected]};-

    • March says:

      How much fun was that?! And did you see our humor moment?!?! That last night, A and I are reading the notes in the guest-book, and they’re all mentioning the lovely view of the Eiffel Tower, all lit up at night etc., and we’re like, WHAT?!? So we swung my bedroom windows open, stuck our heads out, and looked left. Yep. There it was!

      :d 😕

      Do over def. And I can hook you up with some macarons… I have your socks, do you have my MAC kohl liner? 😉

      • Louise says:

        Macarons-oui! I’ll take the sox, though they may be Angie’s. And would the eyeliner be “Photogravure”? I somehow thought I’d bought 2-it’s only slightly used 8-|

        Dang! Eiffel Tower, you say? So that was that funny building I saw in the mornings :d/

        • March says:

          Didn’t we buy it on the same day? It’s def. a kohl one, that sounds right, it was grayish black and you recommended it!

          Okay, now I am SKEEVED OUT, these better be YOUR socks, I did them with my laundry, Angie said they weren’t hers!!! Teeny gray and maroon stripes?

          Yep, doll. Eiffel Tower to your left. Remind me to tell you the story of the Algerian Independence Day story with the building-cleaning dudes.

          • March says:

            Uh, and by “the same day,” I meant, together, with your recommendation? You liked photogravure…. I was learning to waterline, oui?

          • Louise says:

            Yes, it was a Blame Louise moment with the eyeliner…and I do think those are my socks…thanks! Let’s do the exchange over macarons, strong coffee, and a splash of gossip 😡

          • March says:

            Okey dokey, you’re on!

          • Louise says:

            Oh, and shall I describe in detail the lingerie that I believe is yours that I found amidst my chaste underthings? ;))=)):-j

          • March says:

            Hah. It could only be hideous. Anything remotely sexy couldn’t be mine…