Paris Springtime 2018

Hello Posse, Just got home from a fabulous three week sojourn in Paris Springtime 2018 with a short side trip to London (more next week). To say we had a good time is true and the most massive understatement. We met friends, made friends, found fabulous restaurants and cafes. We trawled the galleries, museums and most importantly PERFUME STORES!

Paris Springtime 2018

Paris Springtime Air BnB

I’ve never done Air BnB before. We found a fabulous apartment in the 5th floor roof of a building with an elevator to the floor below, so one very easy flight of steps. It had two real bedrooms and a third living room with futon (I took this room and loved it). Bathroom, Toilet and Kitchen were all separate with closable doors on even the kitchen for noise management. For the three of us the cost for accomodation was well under half what I pay at my favourite two hotels in Paris, worked out about AUD $55/night per person. Right in the heart of the Chatelet Les Halles (said: Chatelet lay Arl) food, fun and cheap fashion district we loved staying there.

Paris Springtime Weather

Sun was up at 5am and went down 10pm so days were long and balmy. The weather was disgustingly good. Only one day of rain and temps over the 60Fs every day up to the 90Fs on some. I haven’t been in a Paris Springtime since the 1990s and it was captivating.

Paris Springtime Sightseeing

We managed to do a LOT of walking and the Louvre was only 20 minutes easy walk up the river. Notre Dame, Pompidou Centre, the Marais and Chatelet Les Halles stations were less than 5 minutes walk.
The Metro and RER Rail are excellent and we got ourselves a weekly travel card that even took us to the Airport, Versailles and Fountainbleu Castle for 23 Euros a week.
We did a LOT of sightseeing because it was Anna-Maria and Scott’s first visit. Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Tuileries Gardens, Luxembourg Gardens, Palais Royal, the Marais, Place Vendome, walking the Seine, Versailles, Pont Neuf, Saint Germaine and more.
Galleries and museums. The Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, L’Orangerie, Musée Cernuski, Musee Jusquemart-Andre, Musee Luxembourg and more.
We went into every church we passed and lit candles for our friends and families.

Paris Springtime Food

Across from our Air BnB was a Creperie run by Gaush who for 2 Euro would make delicious sugar and lemon juice crepe.
Sometimes a Croissant or Pain au Chocolat with coffees.
Lunches on the go mainly.
Dinners were our big spend and often spent in company of friends who live in or are visiting Paris. So many that we knew popping in and out it was amazing. Our best find was MonJul in the Marais, well cooked, interesting food at good prices.
Perfumistas from 4 continents at Au Pied de Cochon, one of the longest running restaurants in the Les Halles area; fun, feasting, booze, chatter and revelry.
The Ritz Paris for High Tea with pastries, cakes & chocolates. Staff were amazing and didn’t care that we looked like three backpackers just in from from Peru or India. This is a Must Do.

Paris Springtime 2018

Paris Springtime Perfume

An Osmotheque class with the group, hosted by Patricia de Nicolai and a Serge Lutens Yellow Room Bell Jar Experience. Posts upcoming.
We were able to get to almost everywhere.
Galleries Lafayette, Printemps, Le Bon Marché (bought Eric Butterbough new one) were all seen and plundered.
Guerlain stores at 68 Champs Elysees (Shalimar tea) and Place Vendome likewise.
Stand alone stores: Serge Lutens (3 bell jars! Shhh), Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Penhaligon’s, L’Artisan, CHANEL, DIOR (Santal Noire, Sakura), IUNX (Splash Forte Travel Refills), Jovoy, Oriza L LeGrand (bought Soaps), Yves Rocher (Bath Gels galore), Liquides Parfums (Kasbah by 1969) and a slew I’ve forgotten.

So where is your next holiday taking you?
Portia xx

  • Tatiana says:

    What a fantastic trip! Thanks for sharing the highlights with us. Last time I was in Paris I was with Dear Husband so there was barely any sniffing at all and no shopping whatsoever. Stumbled upon a Cire Trudon shop and smelled the newly released scents, walked by Serge Lutens and waved and I had five minutes to pop into Jovoy while DH tapped his foot across the street.
    I love that Au Pied de Cochon is open 24/7 and had never been closed since they originally opened.
    Can’t wait to hear more about Santal Noire!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Tatiana,
      I think the secret to Paris with a Non Perfumista is making a window so each of you can pursue your interest for a couple of hours. Jin and I regularly diverge. It makes the afternoon so much more interesting when you have l;little mini adventure tales to tell each other and gives everyone a breather.
      Yeah, I’m excited to open Santal Noire and get some on my skin but am delaying the gratification. When all the bottles are open I feel like my holiday is REALLY over.
      Portia xx

  • Kate E. says:

    Look at you all having a wonderful time!!! It’s beautiful, thank you for sharing with us and I can’t wait to read your future posts!!!!

    • Portia says:

      Thanks KateE,
      It doesn’t get much more special that this. Sometimes I have to take a little minute and pinch myself that my life has been so amazing. This holiday is easily one of the highlights.
      Portia x

  • maggiecat says:

    I read this eagerly as I’ll be in Paris for the first time next month (I’m beyond excited!) The museums and churches will be a priority, and I’ll be with my husband who does not share my love of perfume (to put it mildly but otherwise an absolutely wonderful person) – but what must I absolutely see/do perfume-wise?

    • Portia says:

      Hey Maggiecat,
      HINT: Get the Museum Pass. It won’t get you into the special exhibitions or some of the private galleries/museums/attractions but you can queue jump at really popular sites like Louvre and Musee d’Orsay (I arrived at 30 minutes after opening and only had 3 families ahead of me at Louvre but the other line had hundreds.)
      In the Marais you’ll find Liquids Parfums (great niche selection), MFK, Penhaligon’s, L’Artisan and more that I can’t remember.
      Arrondissement #1 along the Tuileries and Louvre up to Place Vendome has Jovoy, IUNX, CHANEL, DIOR, Serge Lutens, Parfums Rosine, Guerlain and more.
      I’m not certain how long you guys are in Paris but surely there is some stuff your partner wants to do that might take about 3 hours? Why don’t you diverge for an afternoon and meet somewhere swish like The Ritz for French High Tea together. It’s under 70 euros each but so incredibly fabulous you won’t mind at all.
      Remember that in Paris most things don’t even open till 10 or 11am.
      I hope this helps.
      Portia xx

  • filomena813 says:

    It looks like a great trip. I wish I could go to Paris again. It has been years since I’ve been there.

    • Portia says:

      It’s well worth the visit. Most French are now willing to talk English and being the world’s #1 tourist destination city over the last few decades has really opened them up. You will notice a huge difference.
      Portia xx

  • DinaC says:

    Your beautiful photos and vivid descriptions take my breath away! So happy for you, and I’m really looking forward to hearing all the details in the weeks ahead. 🙂

  • Ingeborg says:

    You must have had so much fun! I’ll have to look up a few museums I’m not sure I have ever visited, always something to explore in Paris! Do tell us more about the fragrance sniffing, too.

    If there’s any Americans with Norwegian ancestry reading here: Have a fabulous seventeenth of May!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Ingeborg,
      We had a ball.
      If I lived the rest of my life in Paris with an unlimited budget I think there would still be museums, galleries and historical homes I’d miss. there’s just SO MUCH.
      I promise a fragrance sniffing post in the very near future.
      Portia xx

  • hczerwiec says:

    Dear god, this looks ahhhhmayyyyzing! What a glorious trip!

  • Musette says:

    Good Grief! It’s Six Degrees of Fabulousness! Is that the fabulous Margot K up there? Looks like y’all had TOO MUCH FUN! xoxo

    • Portia says:

      Hey there Musette,
      It is indeed Margo K! Isn’t she the best. What a clever nose and her knowledge of the industry is so good.
      We had exactly enough fun. He He He.
      Wish you could have been there too.
      Portia xx

  • Neva says:

    Wow, this is wonderful Portia! The visit to the Osmotheque and Patricia de Nicolai are the highlights from my point of view. I’m so jealous 😉 You all look great and the best photo is the one with the hoodie and the Eiffel Tower. I’m glad you enjoyed it so much.
    My next trip will be to The Hague visiting my longtime girlfriend. We’ll have 5 relaxed days just to catch up on things. I can’t wait!

    • Portia says:

      WOW! I have wanted to visit Den Hague Neva, that will be awe inspiring. How lucky you are to live in Europe. A hop, skip and jump from so much.
      Have a great time.
      Portia xx

  • Kathleen says:

    Thoroughly enjoyable post Portia! Thank you for taking the time to share many details of your time me in Paris. Sounds so wonderful! Looking forward to reading more about your fragrance purchases!

    • Portia says:

      Hey Kathleen,
      Glad you enjoyed it. Yes, I think there will be a few more holiday and frag purchase posts coming.
      Portia xx

  • March says:

    OMG I am SO JEALOUS!!!! That looks like a fabulous time! And look at all the perfumista friends!

    • Portia says:

      Hi March!
      Normally I ask people to eschew jealousy and go live but this is one of the most jealousy deserving holidays ever. Paris was in full bloom and there was a magic in the air after their dreadful winter. The state of the world seemed forgotten in Paris.
      So many perfume people just happened to converge at once, amazing.
      Portia xx

  • Francesca Belanger says:

    It was fantastic to be there, and to spend so much time with you, Portia; to see friends, to meet friends IRL for the first time, and to make altogether new friends. And lets not forget the Chinese perfume exhibit at the Musée Cernuski!

    • March says:

      Hey there, you! The second I saw this post I wondered, is that the same trip as Francesca’s?!!?

    • Portia says:

      Please let me know whenever you’re travelling Francesca and you’d like to spend a couple of days trawling the museums. Just hanging with you and your encyclopaedic knowledge of theatre and arts was awe inspiring, excellent to hear how something maybe have been influenced or influencer.
      Then to have wild bawdy outings with the sniff crew added in, overwhelmingly wonderful.
      Thanks for keeping a day just for me.
      Portia xx

  • Tara C says:

    Sounds like a great trip! Neela is looking well, I miss her, she is so warm and bubbly. I am jealous of your Dior Santal Noir, do tell us all about it! It sounds the most interesting out of all the new Dior Privée scents.

    • Portia says:

      Hey TaraC,
      Neela is wonderful, as always. What a superstar, and a scamp.
      Santal Noir is the one that REALLY caught my nose, I wore it for a day in London but haven’t opened my bottle yet to do a full review. Upcoming, I promise.
      Portia x

  • Tara says:

    So good I want to cry. Coming to Paris to be with you for the weekend is the one of the best last minute decisions I’ve ever made.

    Love you, Portia.

    • Portia says:

      Oh Yes Tara! What a fabulous surprise! I was totally chuffed to spend extra time with you. What fun we had.
      Portia x

    • cassieflower says:

      Gosh but that was obviously a”big day out” for you all. If I wasn’t so goddamn socially awkward and financially embarassed I would throw myself into the middle of your adventures.

      • Portia says:

        Hey Cassieflower,
        Being perfume nerds we are all a little socially awkward, some of us completely dysfunctional. As we are all aware of that it becomes easy to accept and fit in. Also, because we are frag addicts everybody is unflush. The question Perfume or Food is often asked.
        Portia xx

    • cassieflower says:

      Good for you on jumping in and having your day out. Sometimes you get an opportunity to do something that you were hmm and hawwing about and it turns out to be a good decision ?

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    I would love to go to Paris! Probably would get a couple bell jars since I have to stop at Serge Lutens. My next trip will be spending a couple days at Gettysburg.