Paris and the plummeting pound

Matt and I had a romantic weekend get away in early December – beautiful hotel on the Ile St Louis in Paris, foul weather, and lots of, well, nothing. We ate well, slept well (except for the first night when a rutting couple howled like the eponymous monkeys, intermittently from midnight until 6, due no doubt to the supposed levels of athletic ecstasy to which each was taking the other – as an aside, we were convinced we saw them the following late morning, bleary-eyed and clearly recently ‘attached’ – an older Lothario and a ditsy blonde. His ‘bonjour’ said Gitanes and ‘I know, I can still make em feel my loving is like no other lovers’ lovin’. We moved rooms), drank well, and meandered through our familiar parts of Paris in the way we usually do – the 3rd and 4th arrondisements (more chic – or more BCBG, in a gay way – and more polished year on year), bits of the centre, some further east. We made one trip up to Printemps and a brief excursion to the left bank, and I forced Matt into a couple of perfumeries to sniff stuff. But there was no Guerlain, no Caron, and only a quick pitstop at the Salons Shiseido (more time walking around it than in the store).

Cos, I know it’s blasphemy, but Paris is about more than perfume, people.

For us, that weekend, it was about being together, elsewhere.And for the first time, we personally felt the impact of the financial crisis, and without knowing it, this probably reigned in my potential for spending. The city was so expensive, with the  pound now worth only slightly more than one euro. I don’t watch the pennies when I’m on holiday, and I had enough euros in my pocket from exhanging money earlier in the year, but even so… Goodness me. Now I understand how Americans felt when the pound was floating high at a $2 rate – days long gone, even with an interewst rate floating just above 0%…So I bought no perfume. A little tea from a couple of well-known places, a candle from Diptyque (a Paris habit of mine) which turned out to be more expensive than buying it in London, and some foodie stuff. That’s all. I’ve told you I’m not right keen on shopping, haven’t I?

So, that’s all I have to write. The year’s almost over, and two days of meetings and hectic work concerns have fried my brain. We go away for Christmas on Saturday, and I have a lot of cleaning, tidying, packing, present-wrapping  and sundry other stuff to do. Though I’m less present in comments and posts than I used to be, this place is still one of light and love for me, and I thank Patty and March for letting me be a part of it, even if half my posts and guff and guffle.Love to you all, and merry Christmas if you celebrate, and happy holidays even if you don’t.

One last task before I leave you – suggest a seasonal scent I can slip in my suitcase on saturday morning, and why I should take that one. It’ll help end my usual dithering on the matter, I hope. xxx

  • dinazad says:

    So nice to have you here again!

    For a Christmassy fragrance, I’d second AA Winter Delice (as far as I’m concerned, the notes are Christmas tree, snow, cold outside, Christmas baking, warmth inside and a smidgen of tangerine). Or suggest Andy Tauer’s Incense Rose, which strikes the perfect note between festive and joyous.

  • mollypenny says:

    Nobody has suggested Lee wear the new Burger King meat cologne? Hee Hee. Seriously, have you all heard about this? Hilarious. That takes gourmand to a new level!

    • Pikake says:

      I can’t even begin to wrap my head around this one. Although it would bring me back to the days of riding my bike on hot summer days to BK for some fries and a burger when it first opened when I was in 7th grade. That was the major event that year.

      But….I think I’ll forgo that memory experience and stick with Jean Nate if I ever have the desire to cull that one.

  • Natalie says:

    Forget the frags, just bring CHEESE! Love love LOVE Wallace & Gromit (and it’s a good thing, too, since my three-year-old wants to watch them over and over and over, and he occasionally asks to be called “Gromit” instead of his actual name). I heard a rumor today that there are new W&G shorts airing in the U.K.; is this true?

    But if you’d rather not smell like a hunk of Wensleydale, I’ll second the Ambre Russe suggestion — go pretend you’re a drunken czar (just watch out for the Rasputins).

    • Shelley says:

      Yay!! More Gommit fans…

      Hey…what about a nice Wensleydale ‘fume? Then I could have a good freaky one for Patty’s inquiry earlier this week…

  • Billy D says:

    Might I suggest: Ambre Narguile (obviously) and Tobacco Vanille? Both are so warm and snuggly with a slight but not saccharine sweetness…I also don’t find either of them too “foody,” which is a good thing after the glut of foody scents I seem to have been craving in early Fall.

    Ok, two more: Fumerie Turque and…Straight to Heaven (give it another try!)

  • Tara says:

    Ah, Paris. Even without shopping, Paris is always a thrill, just to be there.

    I’d take some Ambre Russe to warm you up and keep you feeling sweet and happy for the holidays.

  • Shelley says:

    Hello, Lee…
    Nobody yet has mentioned one of my favorite dynamic duos, Wallace & Grommit…so allow me to say how fun it was to find them at the top of your post. Is your puppy starting to evidence any Grommit-like cleverness? Patience? (I won’t ask if puppy’s owner is like Wallace at all…except for the cheese fandom…)

    This is my first holiday season as a full-on whammied perfume fan, so I’m definitely exploring my options. Which, based on evidence to date, are going to lead to varied and subject to change decisions anyway. But…have been stashing a samp of Nuit de Noel, and will break it out this week. (Have also been harboring a lovely swab from a vintage bottle…curious to see what the modern atomizer yields.) Otherwise, maybe I’ll hit “purchase” on the CB Gingerbread (now available on the website), adding vanilla &/or orange layers if it seems necessary.

  • violetnoir says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and Matt, too, darling!

    For some reason, Anne Pliska comes to mind for the Holidays, maybe because I was wearing the last time I took my best friend and her daughter to see The Nutcracker.

    Be well…Hugs!

  • Pikake says:

    Hi Lee,
    I’m new here, but wanted to share my favorite holiday scent with you. (Seems apropos since you are in Paris). AG’s Eau de Camille always reminds me of Christmas, which may seem a little odd I know. But I discovered it during that time many years ago, and first wore it around Christmas, so it takes me to the holidays immediately.

    Intuitively this seems more like a summer fragrance with the honeysuckle, but for me the grass and ivy and its woody base are the shining stars of this fragrance. So it’s a really bright and festive winter fragrance for me.

  • sybil says:

    Oh, glad Paris was fun! (as if you could hang w/ your sweetie in such a place and not have at least a little enjoyment, whether or not you got spendy!) And one night of the caterwaulers made for a good anecdote. Nothing wasted, right? Have excellent travels, and were it me, I’d tuck in a bit of Fendi Theorema, because it’s comforting and milky and orange-spicy. Or Vetiver Oriental, because it generally makes me feel calm and controlled. Enjoy yourself!

  • helenviolette says:

    Hello dear one and Merry Christmas to you and Matt! I will suggest: SL Chene or perhaps the dutiful Tea for Two. I think it would be wonderful to go to Paris and buy nothing…while I am a sucker for picking up a curio in a city to remember the trip, the notion of buying nothing is very romantic- all you get is the memory.

  • Divalano says:

    Good morning, good morning. I’m having trouble focusing on your post because of the lovely snow floating by my window. I’m hoping we get the promised storm, that my bf will get back from work to be here with me while it’s at its peak. I will scent myself with Cuir Beluga, fill the apt with cooking smells, feed us well, and then take us out for a walk in the whiteness.
    However. Lovely to see your post 🙂 Scents for Xmas travel … I keep thinking SL Cedre because I love it in the dead cold of winter. But I’d also take something more celebratory … Ambre Narguile, perhaps. Or Note Vanilee.

    Have a wonderful holiday!

  • Patty says:

    I have a little dollar to euro converter on my compuer desktop, just to keep track and make sure I don’t have any ugly surprises when we go to Paris in January. It’s still better than the ugly exchange rate we had in June, but when it started ticking up yesterday, I panicked. It ticked back down today as I think everyoen realized, um, there is no money have in the world right now.

    Christmas for me, if it’s here, Le Labo Poivre or Caron Poivre or Coupe de Fouet. If it’s there, maybe you can take your little vial of Gaiac with you! ; That’s my best recommendation.

    Merry Christmas, my friend, to both you and Matt! xoxo

  • March says:

    Giggling about Paris being more than about perfume. Yes, I hear you. And even without the spending power, it’s a gift just to be there walking around, as you know.

    And yes. That’s how I felt visiting London at $2 a pound. But I’d never really known it any different, so probably less painful. I ate a lot of sandwich-y things, and turned tea into my evening meal. 😡

  • Louise says:

    Always lovely to find you here in the morning. All your posts, perfumed or not, bring me a big grin

    Ah, the loudly amorous neighbors. Reminds me of my college dorm days /:)

    Spending is getting curtailed, by necessity, in this household…too many earlier splurges,too few interesting perfume temptations, several planned vacations (Boston, here we come! :)), holiday gift shopping, etc. And the reality that I will have a year or more of flat-line salary, unlike our Congress 🙁

    And now to scent you…some MdO Carnation as a cuddle-up waft, a touch of Dzhogha because you can, and some Poivre on Christmas, because you will simply smell marvelous 😡

  • GalileosDaughter says:


    Christmas travel is always so stressful, I suggest that you splurge a little. Wear some Santal de Mysore in the best of health and happiness!

  • Anne says:

    I have spent hours worrying about about the same travel issue. Decants, baby, decants…. Coup de Fouet, Amber et Diamant Noir, Tamarind Paprika, 5 O’Clock Gingembre, OJ Woman, La Myrrhe, Bois Oriental, Musc Nomade, YSL Y. That about covers it.

    Silvia, I have sent a letter to Santa for the Party also. Love it!


  • Silvia says:

    Agree with you that with UK shops being slow to re-adjust prices, a lot of European imported goods are cheaper in London than where they originate from, a brief window of arbitrage shopping opportunity that will no doubt soon close next year, but it’s hard to part from cash now, with jobs going left right and centre of me. Anyway, enough doom & gloom in the papers, no need to be depressing here.
    Leaving for home on Sunday, in my suitcase I’ll have some Olibanum (my new love)and Mitsouko Parfum. Hoping to find a bottle of Jubilation 25 or The Party under my tree, but most of all crave for the warmth of my family.
    Have a wonderful X-mas !

  • Musette says:

    Blasphemer that I am, I have to say that buying things has lost its lustre for me these past few years. Part of it is due to a major move and lifestyle change but also, when you have lost not one but TWO $400+ handbags and a pair of sinfully expensive embroidered boots in a move – yet the loss isn’t even a dent in your ‘stuff’….well, it’s time to step back and reassess. (and the handbags and boots are no doubt around here somewhere, in a tote, in the storage room – see what I mean?)

    I am finding new, quiet ways to get a groove on. I spent several minutes yesterday watching two frisky mares duke it out in a snowy paddock. Oddly enough, I got the same rush from that as I do from a Birkin bag! Michty me!

    My choice for you? L’eau de Hiver. It suits my mood just now and perhaps might suit yours.

    You and Matt have a wonderful holiday. Bruno sends Gracie a fat, sloppy puppy kiss!


  • Wordbird says:

    The beauty of the online perfume community is that even when you’re pretty broke you can still swap little vials of glorious smells with your fellow perfume fiends. I forsee good times ahead for vial suppliers during this credit crunch.

    I’d suggest AA Winter Delice for its piney, gingerbready Christmasness. Or maybe the rich and fruity over-the-topness of Ambre Narguile. Neither of those make you want to kick up your heels in glee? What about the boozy spices of Idole de Lubin?

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Oh, how I feel your pain. We are going to the South of France for Christmas and I am psyching myself up for a euro that equals the pound. So painful and no shopping will be done, but I’m sure we will have a wonderful time anyway.

    I assume you went to the wonderful Mariage Freres for tea; that is almost as good as (and in some ways quite similar to) perfume shopping. Merry Christmas!

  • tmp00 says:

    Hotel Costes?

    In any case perhaps when the world falls apart we sniffers can gather in one corner of the globe and form a commune. I can both cook and compost. Just saying..:d