Guerlain with a Side of Serge

I take it all back – the French are hateful.  They made me eat all sorts of things in Paris.  I was walking ten hours a day and I still managed to gain four pounds.  It was outrageous – when I wasn’t downing duck pate and crepes and wine by the carafe, I was following my Pastry Porn google map all over central Paris (Mulot, Herme, Fauchon, Aoki, Carton, Laduree, etc.).  This leads to soul-searching questions like: is this caramel éclair from Fauchon, which tastes very slightly of salt, really worth the $8 I just paid?  (Why, yes.  Yes, it is.)  I tried to restrain myself to just three desserts a day, plus all the regular eating.  The only really bad meal we had was the most expensive, at Alain Ducasse’s Aux Lyonnais.  Seemed like a combination of lack of managerial oversight and maybe a little cocaine problem, I can’t be sure.  Angie and I laughed our asses off – I can’t think of a more pathetic meal I’ve had – and as that was the low point of the trip, I’ve got no complaints.  A city in which every third store seems to be shoes, perfume or something fabulous to eat can’t be all bad.

A visit to the Mothership was required – the Guerlain mothership on the Champs-Elysees.  My First Time.  You know what?  It’s not even that the store is so gorgeous, which it is.  The service is perfect.  They’re all over the place — ready, willing and able to assist as necessary, but if you want to hang out in there for two hours and sniff on your own – well, go right ahead.  All I had to do when I had a question was look up and meet a pair of eyes.  And there are tester strips everywhere.  Knock yourself out.

(Note right here – my handwriting during this visit was terrible – must have been the sugar rush.  Apologies for French and other misspellings.)

Downstairs they were displaying the Eau de Shalimar Edition Charms, which according to the charming SA is basically Shalimar Light (EDT and EDP) in the cutest bottle.  For a Guerlain fangirl I’ve never been able to cozy up to Shalimar.  This Eau didn’t smell quite as lemon-Pledge as I remembered from my Light tester a year or two ago.  It’s not my favorite.  Shalimar is … well, it’s a thing, isn’t it?  I respect it, even if I don’t want it.  I don’t really see the point of Shalimar Light.  Also (quelle surprise!) the SA says that Idylle is the big seller among the younger gals who come in.

Browsing the men’s stuff (this was also true at Sephora) … honestly, why can’t every man around me be wearing Habit Rouge (that leather bottle!), one of the colognes, or L’Instant Pour Homme?  Can I just whine for two seconds about the heinous tragedy that is the lack of attention paid to L’Instant Pour Homme, a stunningly attractive anisic-spicy thing which I think gets ignored because it’s tainted by the L’Instant name?  Wah wah wah.  Or …. let’s get everyone to wear Derby!!!  Mmmmm.

Giggled at the Elixirs Charnels – example: Boise Torride – a sexy perfume for a subtly androgynous woman. Uh … ooookay.   Also, memo to design/production – those super-tall bottles with the atomizers?  Suck.  The atomizers are fussy, they break, and they don’t form a tight seal, letting air into the bottles and contributing to evaporation and spoilage.  Other than that, they’re great.

It was fun trying so many of the scents in extrait, and I did a browse (they’re arranged quasi-chronologically?) of some of the less-loved and less known among perfumistas.  Champs-Elysees, not so much, but I kind of warmed up to Jardins de Bagatelle, a big, heady 80’s style aldehydic floral.  Also, what is wrong with me that I have never paid any attention to Chamade?  It must be the green bit at the top that first put me off, but the spicy drydown is glorious.  No, don’t tell me about the rose in there, la la la I can’t hear you.

They also had a special display for the new Aqua Allegoria Flora Nymphea – that was interesting.  (I’m not wild about the bottle re-dos.)  The set right now also includes Mandarine Basilic and the hilariously named and delicious Herba Fresca, and two others.  Nymphea seems like a departure for that particular line – it´s a more complex, orchestrated scent than what I think of for the AAs, which is often built around simple two-note compositions.  The longer I smelled it (a floral-y musk?  Musky floral?) the more I thought of Idylle.  It’s kind of Idylle Fleur d’Ete.  Since I bought a bottle of Idylle, that’s not a huge criticism, but it doesn’t have the often herbaceous/citrus crispness I’ve come to expect from the AAs.

They have four candles for 50 euro each.  Tahitian (tropical), and Indes (sandalwood) weren’t especially interesting.  However, Hiver en Russie was stunning – “hot tea from a samovar blends with the scent of wax.”  Also, myrrh and incense.  I’ll take one of those, please.  Boudoir Venetien was makeup, rice powder, silk and flowers – a bit like Annick Goutal’s Le Sac de Ma Mere, only where the AG is homey and nostalgic and comforting, Boudoir is bigger somehow – an expanse of old room with wood and peeling paint and grandeur.

I smelled Eau de Lit, their “glove, hankie and bedsheet” spray, which I of course sprayed on my skin, and nothing swelled up or dropped off.  (Also, I think this was originally marketed as a regular EDT?) It got me thinking.   I’d smelled Serge Lutens’ new Eau several times by then – it’s all over Paris – in an attempt to understand what the heck the man was after with that one.  And I guess I do understand – he was aiming for the smell of fresh ironing, a really clean, non-perfumey smell that wasn’t a cologne.  It smells vaguely like a Laundromat to me.  I can’t help but wonder whether it’s because I’m an American – and thus bathed relentlessly, every day, in every public venue, with “clean laundry” smells – those white musk and supermarket-soap-aisle aromas.  Yes, Serge’s Eau is probably the quietest, classiest, most elegant Laundromat I’ve ever been in, but I still don’t want to wear it.  I’d take Eau de Lit instead, thanks very much.  I still have the feather (!) I sprayed in the store.  It conjures up both a very clean linen closet and a sense of air – as if the sheets had been hung out to line-dry in the sun instead of starched and ironed?  Extremely subtle and very pretty, 125ml for 62 euros. (Nose: Francis Kurkdjian, aka Mr. Clean Laundry, notes of coriander, vanilla, star anise, sage, neroli, bergamot and white musk.)

And then, of course, before I left, was the question – what to soak myself in?  A difficult choice.  LiuVol de NuitVega?  In the end I went with Sous le Vent in all its herbal-chypre glory.  And then I headed off to Fauchon for that salted-caramel éclair.

PS.  Here’s a link to Angela’s last post on our trip, which also contains links to her previous Paris posts.  Say that three times fast.

  • Tante Kat says:

    Soaked in Sous le Vent and then a Cholate eclair? Mercy, how did you live to tell of it? I’d have died of sublime!

  • Scent HIve says:

    I loves me some L’Instant Pour Homme. Why can’t this one be ubiquitous instead of the Abercrombie stuff?

  • AnnieA says:

    Every time there’s a NST Monday “suggest a perfume” post for a guy, I always want to add, “Try L’Instant Pour Homme!” no matter what notes the guy actually likes.

    I firmly believe the world would be a better(-smelling) place if all men just tried it even once. I had a friend sniff it at Holts, and she immediately bought it. When I asked whether she wanted her husband to try a sample first, she said, “Oh, he’ll be wearing it” — and he is.

  • Rappleyea says:

    Between the eclairs (never had a caramel one, but the regular chocolate ones are my favorite) and the trip to the Mother Ship, I am ever so jealous. And funny you should mention Sous Le Vent as B-G is having a gift card event (like I need an excuse) and I was wondering if I needed a bottle of that…

    Great post and I can’t wait to read more in your inimitable style!

  • carter says:

    But will this suffice? It’s from Bouchon, which is Thomas Keller’s (French Laundry, Per Se) bakery. They also have the best macarons in town

  • violetnoir says:

    Ah…the Guerlain flagship store. Perfection!

    Which restaurant did you like best, March?


    • March says:

      We went to this place called La Mere Agitee — the agitated mother, a word-play on the angry sea – did you see Angie’s post? It wasn’t just the food, which was very good, but the atmosphere was incredible — like being in the middle of a play, in a good way. 😡

  • Robin says:

    Is it utterly sick that if I could have just one item mentioned in your post it would be that caramel eclair?

  • Mals86 says:

    Ahhhh, the Mothership that is Guerlain.

    Loved hearing about Paris from both you and Angela (isn’t it interesting what will strike two different people about the same experience?); hope someday I’ll get to visit Paris myself.

    Chamade is so… symphonic that I can barely hear the rose in there, rose ho that I am. It absolutely blooms. And I don’t think it’s one that you have to have in vintage to appreciate, which is wonderful. I’m thinkin’ I need that Hiver en Russie candle, too.

    • March says:

      Aha!!! So it’s NOT my imagination!!! I read the notes and hands over ears la la la on the rose, but it IS symphonic, great description. And that drydown!!!! And I’ll take your word, maybe someone would argue, but I thought the current EDP would suit me just fine! @};-

      That candle was so nice. We don’t burn candles because of the kids and my inattention, but I wanted one very much.

      • Rappleyea says:

        I’ll agree with Mals that they haven’t ruined Chamade with reformulations, although I’ve read some people complaining about the top. I’ve tried both, and am quite happy with my new-ish bottles.

  • donanicola says:

    Hahhaaa I’m not sure if it was the “Guerlianade” sniffed in a few of those perfumes or the fact that it was baking in that beautiful boutique but directly we had made our purchases we headed over the Champs Elysees to Laduree for tea and macaroons! Where I came over all English at the tardy service…….Anyway, I couldn’t agree more with you about the SAs there and wherever we went in Paris, just charming. Love Sous le Vent and Chamade and discovered Derby – LOVE at first sniff. Did you smell those metal cannisters with I don’t know what fabric in them impregnated with one or other of the extraits? Chamade was stunning but so was Samsara. I was so taken with the Samsara that I sprayed some edp on a strip but was disappointed. That L’Eau of Serge’s manages to make Clair de Musc smell slightly dirty…….

    • March says:

      You know, I did the in and out at Laduree (although I hear the tea room is lovely) but I wanted someplace quieter. Aren’t Laduree’s colors marvelous, though?

      I did sniff the canisters! And I like that so much because: there’s the drydown. There’s where you’re going. Samsara tends to block other smells for me (weird) so I didn’t smell it there, but that Chamade! And isn’t Derby great? I have a very small vintage bottle … I didn’t know they still made it. I was worried because of the IFRA regs, but it smelled fine to me. And yes, L’Eau does make Clair de Musc a powerhouse.

  • Fernando says:

    You have made me puffed up… I look at the perfume shelf, and see Habit Rouge, Derby, and L’Instant pour Homme. Even the HR with the leather around the bottle. The only other Guerlain is the Vetiver. Clearly you have great taste! 🙂

    I would love to visit the mother ship someday. Failing that, your account was fun to read.

    • March says:

      Oh! Don’t you smell marvelous! And we’ll have more in another post but, really, when I look at that selection, I selfishly think, why should any man be allowed to wear anything else? [-( Totally unfair I admit, as I wear trash all the time. /:)

      Derby I didn’t even know you could still get, so that made me particularly happy.

      • Fernando says:

        Derby (and several of the other “Paris only” Guerlains) can be found in some Saks stores. I bought mine in Boca Raton. (The lady started saying “and we have some of the ones that were normally sold only in Paris…” Me: “You have Derby?! You’ve just made a sale.”)

        I think you can also get it from the Saks web site, through something called the “Guerlain Trunk Sale”.

        Don’t we all sometimes want something different? Today my wife suggested I wear 1740 from Histoires de Parfums. I still don’t know whether I like it. She doesn’t either, but she said she liked it today…

        • March says:

          I had NO IDEA about the US Derby (that sounds weird — well, you know what I mean.) And thanks for posting that info.

          Hey, you should definitely go with the fragrance your wife likes. 😉 And at least she’s not suggesting Light Blue Pour Homme, right?

        • Ann N. says:

          I’ve seen several of the Paris-only scents also at my Neiman Marcus, here in Atlanta. A good many bottles are out on display but I’ve also seen the SAs digging in the drawers for testers of other things for people. It’s all I can do not to shout, “Just a minute, ladies! Just pull all those bottles out on the counter and let us see what glorious goods you’re hiding back there!”

  • Shelley says:

    Ah. Ahhhhhhh.

    Thanks for the recounting…it’s not just the vicarious adventure, of course, but the fun of hearing it in your voice. The Mothership, eh? I grew up in the land of Sun Ra and his Arkestra…now I have a funny image of a funk band playing among the bottles in Guerlain… @-) ;))

    I’ve been loving Chamade for … hmm, was it last fall I scored a beautiful bottle? … can’t quite remember. MUCH happiness with that, and, oh rarity, edp also a happy place, as is current formulation. (Vintage is fab, mind you.) However, I have yet to put nose to Sous le Vent. I want to. I believe I am ready.

    Maybe we can exchange hankies?

    • March says:

      We could def. exchange hankies. Sous le Vent is a classic chypre, and I think you’d like it. Chamade I’m just ashamed of myself, what was wrong with me? Yep, the current EDP iteration smelled just dandy to me…

      I’ve been calling Guerlain the mothership forever, no good reason. I just love Guerlain so much, it’s the one store I’ve always wanted to visit.

      • Shelley says:

        Oh, I totally get the mothership thing. And you can bet your bippie that if I get myself to Paris, there Will Be A Visit. (That would be the “mom’s non-negotiables” voice.) Others may come with, or not, as they please. In fact, if they’d rather not, I’d rather they didn’t.

        As for my own wacky association, that’s just me before I’ve had enough tea. It was kind of funny, the vision…kind of cross George Clinton with a stereotype vintage Star Trek Noble Alien Race via Egypt costume, and you’ve got Sun Ra. Bringin’ down da house. Of Guerlain. {Shakes head at self; realizes is probably all alone chuckling in her corner. Drinks more tea.}

        • March says:

          Well, my hopes and prayers are that you get to see the store for yourself. And definitely, we’ve learned that it’s more fun to do it solo than with a reluctant companion. If you do go, be sure to spend a few minutes in the giant Sephora (about which I’ll be blogging) next door!

  • Louise says:

    I’m sad to not have been able to attend the Flagship with you, but agree whole-heartedly with your love of Sous le Vent. For a long time, I had difficulty with the Guerlain “Weather” Scents-and confused SlV and Apres L’Ondee-both lovely, and quite different l-)

    Your pastry consumption is to be revered ^:)^

    I did OK in the sweets department, too, and am still finishing a couple of Mulot mini-chocs. Yum. I really loved the shared Tarte Tatin and Creme Brulee we snarfed one evening…:@)

    Can’t wait to hug you, tiny extra tummy or no 😡

  • Jemimagold says:

    I think IUNX Eau Blanche is the definitive, perfect clean laundry fragrance which outclasses L’Eau by Serge. Did you get a chance to to try that on your trip?

    • March says:

      The IUNXen will be in another post… 😉 Eau Blanche I used to consider a total waste of time but I liked it this time. I wish they came in smaller bottles.

  • Ann N. says:

    Thanks for a great post, March!! I know for sure that I would have been a mouth-wide-open, “wide-eyed” tourist upon visiting the Guerlain Mothership, and I’m not even a Guerlain fangirl! I would be in awe just from the sheer beauty and the great history of the place.
    I can wear many of their newer offerings but the classics don’t seem to agree with me, at least in EDT form, which is all I seem to be able to find to try. Were all the big guns (Shalimar, Jicky, Mitsouko, etc.) available there to be tested in extrait form? Perhaps that’s the ticket for me — go to Paris and try everything in extrait and the magic will happen! 🙂

    • March says:

      To be honest I didn’t try all the classics in extrait, mostly because I didn’t need to 🙂 but I do think they’re all there and represented. From personal experience I can say that the EDT versions from even 15 – 20 years ago are light years better than the EDTs now. With the exception of Jicky EDT (its own animal), I’m always telling people they haven’t tried Guerlain unless they’ve at least tried the EDPs. Granted, the extrait versions aren’t everywhere, but I do think they’re at, say, Bergdorf in NYC. Although don’t let me discourage you from Paris!

  • DinaC says:

    Many years ago, I had written off the entire house of Guerlain because I never liked Shalimar, and I assumed that everything else would just be more of the same. Shame on me! It was when I read the first Perfumes, The Guide that I found out about Mitsouko and tried Guerlain again. Love! Nowadays, I like and love several of their scents.

    Less than a month ago when we were in Fake France at Epcot, I spent some time at the Guerlain boutique sniffing. I tried the Chamade extrait for the first time and adored it. I’ve been lemming a bottle ever since. My other favorites are Mitsouko, Vol de Nuit, Vetiver pour Elle, Vetiver, and Apres L’Ondee.

    So interesting about the Laundromat smell from the new Eau by Serge. I bought Thierry Mugler’s cologne for my son, and LT compares it to the smell of hot steam from an iron…another one of those clean laundry scents. 😕

    • March says:

      They have some great fragrances at Fake France, I hear. Isn’t that funny? Distribution of perfume baffles me… and I did remember that about Mugler, the “hot steam” idea. The Mugler, which I like very much, still smells more “cologne”-ish to me than the Serge Eau.

  • karin says:

    Ooooh…wonderful! Eating and drinking through Paris. Yum. I’m on Herme’s email list. Can’t get macarons here, so I just have to imagine them. :((

    Marina over at Perfume Smellin’ Things is not a Shalimar fan either, but then she tried the parfum, and was smitten. I keep thinking I’ll have that experience, but haven’t gotten my hands on it yet. Other formulations – no thanks!

    • March says:

      Macarons are the one really good, authentic thing i can get here in DC, interestingly enough, from a pastry shop. Everything else I have to enjoy in France! /:)

      Shalimar in extrait is less … difficult to me than the others, but there’s a pull between the sweetness of the vanilla and the citrus bits that I admire more than like.

  • Silviafunkly says:

    Isn’t that Guerlain shop just fabulous? Was our first time too, we were hyperventilating as we climbed up the gold mosaic staircase to the first floor. And totally agree with you on the lovely staff, attentive and not one bit bothered by the little (or big) squeels of delight we seemed to let out at regular intervals, I was expecting a lot of raised eye brows. Besides us, there was another local perfume nut, so guess they must be used to our breed.

    The SA confirmed that Attrape-Coeur is going to be discontinued. They were out of stock then but were due to get more and promised to let us know when. Could it be the last batch macerating somewhere? :((

    And what is a couple of pounds between friends ?

    • March says:

      Again, maybe it’s my twee American-ness, but why should the staff be anything other than happy with our enthusiasms, you know? I mean, as long as we’re not breaking anything? It must be better than eyerolling and curled lips, yes? They were very well staffed for a busy day but only came over when I needed them.

      Oh, those pounds were well worth it. 😡

    • karin says:

      OK…I know this thread is WAY old, but I’ve just discovered Attrape-Coeur and am wondering how I can possibly get my hands on a bottle! Any news on new stock at Guerlain???

      • March says:

        I have lost track of A-C. Playing “can you get this LE Guerlain any more” is one of our favorite games. Are you a member of Makeup Alley? (MUA). You can ask the question and probably someone will answer.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Aaah, so glad you loved the Mothership, which I visited in Jan for my birthday. Whatever Guerlain is doing/has done to its venerable fragrances, the boutique is a wonderful place, is it not?

    Chamade was my first love at Guerlain (the assistant told me sternly that at 21 I was too young to wear Shalimar!) and I still adore it very, very many years later.

    Shame about the Ducasse meal. We ate at his restaurant in the Plaza Athenee a few years ago and it was breath-taking (even more so when we got the bill).

    • March says:

      The boutique was wonderful … I was prepared for either too much or too little service, but I think in general the French get it just right, at least in Paris. I like being helped. And I am smiling about your Shalimar story…

      Aux Lyonnais was mostly about bad service and somewhat about indifferent food … coasting on their rep, obviously. We spent an hour trying to leave, laughing about it. I finally got up and went all American on them, but in a polite way, to get the bill.

  • Joe says:

    Ahhhhhhhhhh. The Mothership indeed. I’m swooning at the thought.

    Seriously, I’d just stand there with my mouth open for the first forty minutes.

    I suppose I need to try L’Instant p H now. However, Habit Rouge is really a powdery 8-x on me. How do you feel about my beloved Coriolan?

    And you know, I haven’t been able to cozy up to Shalimar either. But I keep trying. You probably missed the news that my latest love is Chant d’Arômes. NEED.

    • Joe says:

      Oh, and I think I breezed right by your mention of Eau Serge. I like the fact that you thought it was classy, elegant Laundromat, but for me: 8-x 8-x 8-x

      Serious: I want to do the Pepsi Challenge with that one on a panel of perfumistas. Hijinks will ensue.

      • March says:

        Did you get a nasty sour thing? Like, bad musk? Some of those “fresh” or “clean” musks can smell strangely sour. Eau was quite light and inoffensive on me, anyway. But a waste of a space in the line, IMO.

        Oh, please try L’I PH!!! And unlike many of the others, it’s actually at many retail stores in the men’s section (our Nordstrom has it.) I think it’s massively pleasant and smooth.

      • March says:

        Corolian is gorgeous, btw. I have a teeny sample I hoard.

  • aotearoa says:

    Welcome back March – how I enjoyed reading this. Just had a big day of exams and this was like eating an eclair without the calories. A trip away from your routine is so good for the soul.
    I wore satal blanc for the exam day and it was all comforting goodness (it’s cool autumn here).
    Ah, but to drown myself in sous les vent in Paris in spring…..

    • March says:

      Santal Blanc sounds like a perfect scent for exam day … and have no fear, I absorbed all the calories for you. The Ultimate Sacrifice. 😉

  • Heidi says:

    ahaha, oh that’s lovely. The subtly androgynous woman. I don’t even know what to think! Was that a translation issue?

    I was at a perfume shop today that knows me well. The gentleman behind the counter pulled out all kinds of stuff he thought I might buy, and one was a Guerlain Champs Elysee flanker called Too Much. He was like “Here! You want this?” I guess he thought “Guerlain! She’ll buy it!” because I bought off all his ’80s bottles of Shalimar. But no. It was not for me.

    Also, I am completely jealous of all the lovely pastries you must have eaten. SIGH!

    • March says:

      Nah, all their copy’s like that. :d Great reading, though.

      Heheh Too Much, you didn’t bite, I take it? That stuff is indeed Too Much.

      I am a total pastry whore. Really, all local travel research concerns things like: regional dessert specialties.

      • carter says:

        I am still tasting every cheesecake in town hunting down the ONE that meets your demanding specifications. So please don’t tell me about your crummy four pounds, because I am likely to have a coronary on your behalf =; Poor little meeeee.

        • March says:

          Carter! The work you do for us! 😡

          Also, there’s this cheesecake-looking thing in Paris called “gateau de fromage blanc” or somesuch. Wonderful. Not sweet, much less dense (although it looks like a high-and-dry NY slice.) Great with your afternoon coffee. Texturally, somewhere between cheesecake and poundcake? Also the slabs are huge, and designed to be split between two, but … well … :”>

  • Jared says:

    Oh good, you chose Sous le Vent! Maybe you can answer this question for me. I was just writing on NST that I liked SlV a lot (and preferred it over Chanel’s Pour Monsieur), but as I just have a sample to dab, I don’t get much sillage and it becomes skin-scenty kind of quickly. Did you spray, and if so, did you get a bit more action out of it? I think it comes in those dab-only bottles? :-w

    Also, note to self. When visiting March, wear either my Habit Rouge or L’Instant. (But it’ll probably be Jicky. Warning. I hope it’s not lemon pledge with skank for you.)

    • Divalano says:

      Jealous that you get to visit March.

      Hmmm wait.

      Also jealous that March gets to visit you.

      Can you smell yet or is it still just brief bubbles of scent?

    • March says:

      Definitely sprayed. Can you dump your sample into an atomizer and spray it? To be honest, I get a squidge of that pickle-juice at the top, but then it’s a pretty pronounced, big-boned chypre, nothing subtle about it. How they’re doing the “oakmoss” after IFRA I have no idea, and I suppose if I smelled it next to an old bottle I’d frown, but it’s still better than 95% of what’s on the shelves anywhere else, you know?

      I adore Jicky. I’m pretty sure I own every concentration made. It’s not especially animalic on me, but maybe I’m just deluding myself. I like to layer the parfum with the EdT.

  • Divalano says:

    I want one of those caramels, missy. Give here! And that Hiver en Russie candle while you’re at it. Sounds like a perfect evening to me.

    You … didn’t soak yourself in Vega? Le sigh.

  • maidenbliss says:

    Hmmm, interesting. At this very moment I’m wearing Vol de Nuit, just mentioned to someone yesterday that I must have Derby, swilling Argentinian Funky Llama Shiraz (no apologies from me), wishing I had so much as a croissant, let alone some fancy French pastry. And the ‘glorious’ Chamade–lalala I do hear you, dear rose. One more thing to desire, along with the Hiver en Russie candle and the leather bottle of Habit Rouge. Sniff sniff. I need a hanky. Preferably doused with a sensual earthy woodsy amber sandalwood.

  • Scott says:

    March: I totally agree with your comments about l’Instant pour Homme. I have the extreme version, which is absolute heaven, lasts all day, and has a gorgeous slow progression that holds my interest through lunch and late afternoon. The best treatment of anise, second only to Yohji Homme. The patchouli in l’Instant is opulent and lush (and I’m not usually a patch fan).

    I am envious of your sensory orgy in Paris!

  • carter says:

    I have given up on wishing that all men would wear Habit Rouge so I’ve decided to just wear it my own damn self as often as possible and be done with it.

    Before Fauchon closed their NYC shop I used to go in there on a regular basis and get myself a pain au chocolat and walk around the streets of the Upper East Side with buttery flakes all over the front of my blouse. One bite and that lighter-than-air, almost unbearably delicious pastry would shatter into a million tiny fragments, only to reveal the bittersweet heart beating at its core. Aaaggghhh, heaven! I loved how they would answer the telephone “Bonjour, Fauchon!” and the pink-pink-pinkness of the place. And at Christmas, the marrons glaces.

    Oh, damn! I love you March, but you have just made me miserable. Fauchon, and now Takashimya, and a big-screen TV in the Oak Bar. I need a drink, but never again at the Plaza.

    • Musette says:


      In the OAK BAR?


      xoxo >-)

      • carter says:

        For reals.

        • Joe says:

          What the….????? @-)

          Did the renovation of the Palm Court include a do-it-yourself frozen yogurt bar too?

        • March says:

          Going in the Plaza at the last Sniffa was one of the most depressing “renovation” experiences I’ve ever had. It could have been a Homewood Suites in there.

          • carter says:

            Yes, Eloise has definitely left the building =((

          • March says:

            Really, though, Carter. REALLY. It felt … vaguely criminal to me, what they’d done.

          • carter says:

            Agreed. At night you look up into the windows of the beautiful old hotel and they’re all dark, because now that it’s a “residence” building, the apartments are all owned by out-of-town investors and there’s no one home. It really just makes me want to lie down and sob.

    • March says:

      Hah!!! That was me, sitting in the Jardins de Luxembourg, popping open my pastry box and of course inevitably wearing some of it down the front of my shirt …. I had no idea they had a store in NYC. That must have been great.

  • Tiara says:

    My head is spinning! Impressed that your nose held up and your notes made enough sense to share.

    And now I realize I really need to experience more of the Guerlain line.

    • March says:

      Um, yes you do!!! I love Guerlain. Not every single scent, mind you, but a lot of the classics. I’m a Guerlain girl through and through.

  • Musette says:


    My nose would’ve fallen right off my face in ecstasy!

    Extraits for Everybody!

    xo >-)