Hi Posse, I’m following on from last weeks Paris Springtime 2018 post. As there were over a dozen perfumistas congregated in Paris on the same weekend I organised for us to do a class at The Osmotheque on the Friday and a special Bell Jar Showcase upstairs in the Yellow Room at Palais Royale Serge Lutens on the Saturday. I had previously done Versailles Palace and the Osmotheque with my buddy Michael and knew the crew would love it. That time we had Jean Kerleo as our host and it was stellar. Jin and I had also done the Serge Lutens Yellow Room Bell Jar Experience at the Palais Royal store with my friend Elvire hosting us. This is more a showcase than a lesson but still very interesting and fun.
The Osmotheque Class + Serge Lutens Palais Royal Yellow Room
A smaller crew of us decided to go see the Versailles Palace before we went to the Osmotheque. The train strike affected us a little bit. We also had trouble getting everyones tickets sorted and finding each other. So an hour later than hoped we finally got underway. Michael and I had the genius idea of visiting the gardens first and coming back to do the palace tour quickly after. We took the Choo Choo Train down to the Petit and Grand Trianons and had a beautiful sunny adventure. Unfortunately, once you do the gardens you cannot get back into the palace. Michael and I were so tortured that we’d made everyone do the gardens and then we had to leave to do our class. It was a very sorry crew heading out.
The Osmotheque Class
Once at the Osmotheque we met the rest of the crew. Nine of us in total were on site to do the class. Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather when our teacher turned out to be Patricia de Nicolai! Seriously, how freaking amazing is that? She was so friendly and charming. I immediately fell under her spell and the rest of the crew were equally in awe.
Patricia has a fun and entertaining history of fragrance and materials lecture. It is broad ranging, covers history, perfumers, houses, perfumery, science, marketing, distribution and fashion. At every step in the timeline there is a fragrance or raw material to sniff and many of them are original or recreations from long lost formulas refound. From original Fougere Royal, Coty Chypre and Jicky to Iris Gris, real musk tincture from the 1950s and real oakmoss, Some things we sniffed can be smelled almost nowhere else on earth.
We got super involved and asked so many questions and had too much to sniff. We went well overtime and Patricia had to get the last 20 minutes of lecture into 5 minutes so she could kick us out. Having done so she did have a few photos with us all.
Seriously, I cannot impress on you enough how amazing this was. You too can do this lecture if you are in Paris with a few friends. Even two people can do it. 2-6 people are €150 each, 6-10 people €100 each. Email [email protected] to find out more.
Palace of Versailles
The Osmotheque class finished. I knew we had just enough time to get the guys back to Versailles Palace and into the Hall of Mirrors before it closed for the day. We jumped in a couple of Ubers and sped there, making it within 15 minutes of front doors closing. PHEW! Got to see all the good stuff and take some shots. I’ll never forget being there with these guys.
Serge Lutens Palais Royal Yellow Room
I booked the class for 10am and there were some VERY bleary perfumistas arriving at the Palais Royal gardens, some could not even pull themselves out of bed. A Whiskey bar evening with Michael had decimated them. Tasting and talking till all hours of the morning took its toll.
There had been an influx of extra perfumistas overnight who couldn’t get the Friday off work. They travelled in the evening to be with us from the UK and Europe. Twelve able bodies from 4 continents all came together for this fun adventure.
The Yellow Room is up a spiral staircase in the centre of the store. The purple downstairs is so oppressive I find it hard to function. Upstairs the yellow is lighter and friendlier. Two large arched windows dominate one wall and let in some light.
Rather than a learning experience this is more of a fun sales pitch and we were taken through twelve of the more challenging bell jars and then had time to sniff the rest of the collection. Shopping was the next order of the day and I don’t mind telling you I went a bit crazy. My purchases included La Myrrh, Chene and Chypre Rouge. I had given myself a two bottle limit but what the hell.
If there are 6 or more of you in Paris this adventure is free but you are expected to shop afterwards. They do have two staff take you through the fragrances, supply cakes & coffees and you get to see the fabled Yellow Room. We all had to mule bell jars for friends as well so the Serge Lutens shop did very nicely out of us that morning. Go to Serge Lutens if you’d like to ask about it.
So which adventure sounds best to you?
Would you do one or both?