This is not a perfume review.
So, I guess le chat is out of le sac, oui? (Ma French, it is merde, non? Oui?) It’s true – I’m leaving for Paris next week with Angela of Now Smell This, along with another friend who wants her name left out of my blog shenanigans.
It was all pretty spur-of-the-moment and involved some funny coincidences (I’d contacted Angela about something else), but I also credit the Big Cheese for the trip. It has been – how you say – a difficult winter. Snowmageddon (Parts 1, 2 and 3) pretty much did me in, along with some other stuff, none of which is bad enough that I even feel I have a right to complain.
And I didn’t complain, precisely. But the Cheese was asking – nay, begging – me to go somewhere. Really, his emails direct to my inbox (remember, we share an office) are hilarious – subject lines for anywhere from London to Berlin and beyond. Check out this deal!! Look at these great hotels!! He’d have gotten me a ticket, preferably a one-way ticket, to anywhere on the face of the earth.
I’m not sure exactly what tipped him off that I needed to get away. Finding me sitting in my closet, sobbing into my hands when I was supposed to be putting my shoes on, might have given him an inkling. Also he may have detected that his wife, a modest drinker, had taken to opening her second bottle of chardonnay before bedtime … I mean, that can’t be good, right? Your wife shrugs her shoulders when you ask, but what happened to the case of wine I just bought? Dude, I drank it. Please go dig the Toyota out of the f*ing snow and get me some more.
So anyway the three of us – Angie, “Jane le Doe,” and I – are renting an apartment off Blvd. Montparnasse near the Luxembourg Gardens, and yeah, go ahead and hate me. I’ve been google-mapping every patisserie, chocolatier and boulangerie in the ‘hood. Angie is making the List o’ Fine Dining. (I’ve requested: no organ meats, things that crawl, or animals featured in charmingly illustrated English storybooks.) My guess is we will do some variation on Denyse’s Perfume Tours (here’s a handy link to Right Bank and Left Bank) and of course we’re getting together with her as well.
So, there will be perfume, and plenty of it, but I already have my Paris perfume, as you know – Mandragore, which I bought one bitterly cold January day at the Annick Goutal store on Place Saint-Sulpice and which, by default, thus became the scent of Paris to me. I’m sure I’ll come home with something else as well.
In the meantime I used the pressure of the upcoming trip as the impetus I needed to grit my teeth and finally face the carnage that the snows wrought on my garden. Many trees and shrubs emerged surprisingly unscathed, just a few broken branches here and there. Other plants – like my laurel – were crushed but I pruned them hard and they’ll look fine by next year. The roses, though… oh, the roses. The astonishing weight and volume of those snows (we had 6’5″ snowdrifts against our back fence at one point) destroyed my trellis roses. Destroyed them. I had them climbing my back porch waaaay over my head. The snow tore down the roses affixed to the porch and snapped the trellises themselves in half; the canes bent and broke two feet from the ground … my beautiful, fragrant Summer Wine. My Darlow’s Enigma. Of course, they will grow back. They will. Maybe they’ll be happier, with a fresh start like that. But I lost several years of growth. It’s done now, though. They’re tidied up. And I smiled as I pruned them in the rain last week, all the spring rain we’ve been having, because I could see those damn things already putting out their new leaves. I’m going to Paris and putting out some new leaves of my own.
Musette showed me this Paris street fashion site, often the looks are high/low, or totally affordable (a lot of local students)…
I actually printed these pages out so I could torture my daughters – dessert porn!
Everyone probably reads this already.