As Faithful as I’ll Ever be? (Patty)

I took one perfume with me on my trip. It’s one I’ve been yapping about off and on for months, and that I keep putting on. Most of you can probably guess it, but I’ll give the person who guesses first what it is a sample of something else I’ll talk about – the Ann Gerard (see below).

This Monogamy-ish perfume just has something in it that makes me a little weak in the knees and has from the moment I sniffed it first in Paris – one year ago! And it is the one perfume that when I wear it, whenever someone gets close to me – which doesn’t happen as often as it should – what they say is – “God, you smell good.” Same weak in the knees, quiverish voice. Guess away!!! It has gotten so bad that I broken down and bought a 50 ml bought just for myself instead of raiding the TPC stock, which was beginning to embarrass me a lot. I mean, yeah, it’s just a spritz or two, but I just couldn’t keep doing it.

Paris was last week. I didn’t find anything new in the stores, but Denyse of Grain de Musc (sorry, I’m on my iPad and can’t figure out how to get a link going? Oh, wait, there it is, not exactly easy without a mouse now, is it?) invited me over, and we sniffed all sorts of new things. The one that’s gotten me all atwitter has been basically done for a while, but packaging for shipping is a problem. Bertrand Duchafour did it for Ann Gerard, who is a jeweler in Paris. It is called Pleine Lune, and it is a stunning iris. We smelled it after sniffing Denyse’s rare and dwindling stock of Iris Gris. They are not the same, this doesn’t have the peach notes in it and some other things, but the iris piece of it has a similar buttery quality that just melts into this soft velvety iris. No woods, no fruits, no earth, just orris butter. Well, other notes, too, but that’s the star of this, and it’s beautifully put together and fills a hole in the iris world.

I have no idea what the price point is on this or when it will land in the U.S., I believe as soon as the packaging for shipping is ironed out – hopefully soon?!?!? But it will get added to my all-star wall of iris scents, which include the long-lost and much-grieved Fath Iris Gris, Serge Lutens Iris Silver Mist, Parfum DelRae Mythique, Dior Homme, Van Cleef & Arpels Bois d’Iris, TDC Bois d’Iris, and a couple more.

Other discover in Paris, which someone here had mentioned in comments that they were obsessed with (Jarvis???) Saint de Saints rubber incense. OHF, what a great idea with the perfect scent, and you get like four sheets in the package, and it’s subtle, and someone at Malle is a genius. It’s not going to scent a whole room like the cute little red mechanique thing (we had a long discussion about the Gardenia room scent and how I’m dying to get it in a body lotion, hairspray, foot deodorizer, detergent, deodorant, shower gel and bosom heaving tuck-in pad), but sit it next to you on your desk or nightstand, and you will be happily Saint de Sainted. I’m not sure if it just works with this type of scent, but if they could infused that little red rubber incense pad with something else – say that gorgeous gardenia – I would buy a gross of them on credit and let God and Amex sort it out later.

My trip! For those of that were playing the home game of 30 days of meditation, I’ve had a break from it the last week – sleep problems, disrupted schedule, on the run. Oddly enough, as much as it is one of those justsitdownandoitandquitarguing things, I’ve missed it the last seven days. So I’m going to do a restart, and I’m trying to decide when – now or when I get home. I think I’ll try now, but do a restart if my plan gets quaffed in travel later this week. It gives me a time every day – at the end of the day – to just sit, and I’ve started to look forward to it. I don’t process anything, I try not to process even a thought, but to just be and let the world and all the detritus of the day swirl around in my head with no need or care to do anything with any of it. It’s letting go that requires nothing more than to not pay attention to any of those random things jump-started into existence by some firing neuron in your brain. It gives me the space to choose to let those dust motes float without energy beyond what sparked them. For someone as high-octane in the random thought department as I am, it’s a wonderful gift once a day.

I’m getting very attached to it. It’s still hard and requires discipline, and my discipline kinda goes out the window after the second glass of wine/prosecco/champagne/truffle/gelato, hence the break while I’ve been traveling.

So Paris was great – I hit my circuit of Serge, Louvre, Colette, Montale, Musee d’Orsay, Marriage Freres, Frederic Malle, Bon Marche (hat shopping!!!!!). I added Pierre Herme to it this time since the reviews on their macarons were over the top. One thing I’ve learned, 1-2 macarons are plenty.

Now I am in Firenze, Italy. I’ve blown through here before, but didn’t stop, and I can’t believe I’d have done anything like that if I’d known how great this city is. Tomorrow is the Accademia to see David and a lot of other Florentine art by Michealangelo, et al, and then Wednesday is the Uffizzi, which is one of the premiere art galleries in the world. Thurs is ??? Not sure. Santa Maria Novella for sure, then probably San Marco, and then I’ll see if I can also get across the river. Today was ravioli with black truffles, panna cotta with chocolate sauce drizzled on it, then a stop at Grom for some amazing gelato – pistachio and extra noir chocolate. It’s cold out, but I carried that little cup with me for an hour, savoring every delicious bite on my chattering teeth.

The next three days will also include gelato, just not sure from where. Should I sample around? Are there other places I should hit? perche no? gets a nod from a lot of the guidebooks. If anyone who has been here has a gelato place or a restaurant I need to visit, let me know! I did find a cute pair of boots, but they had just the one pair in the window, not in my size. WTF? We looked through the store for anything similar – again, one pair that was on the floor, that’s it. I guess my kg luggage problem isn’t going to get any worse at this rate.

Okay, so reminder, guess the perfume that I’m being as faithful to as it gets for me, and the first person to guess it will get a small sample of this Ann Gerard iris perfume that’s so gorgeous! But chime in with any Florence places/hints/tips/whatever too! I’ve got three more lovely days in this place, and I don’t want to miss anything!

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  • ksi?gowo?? wroc?aw says:

    Bardzo ciekawa strona, ten art te? niez?y…

  • vanessa says:

    If you are still in Italy, can you stock up on Farmacia Annunziata 15-something or other KAMA? : – )

    If I had to choose between that and Parmesan I would genuinely be hard pushed – not necessarily for the same applications, obviously…

  • Shelley says:

    Don’t have much to say or add…I figured it was NdT ;) …and I figure you’re having a swell time and have found plenty of fun places to explore. By now, you’re probably all tucked in for the night; sweet dreams.

    I myself will be drifting in thought on the Pleine Lune…Denyse waved it tantalizing in front of me last spring…now you do…ahhhh, iris… :)

  • florentina says:

    every minute that is…:)

  • florentina says:

    Hello Patty!

    If you have the time, there are 2 other perfume spots in Florence worth exploring: Lorenzo Villoresi boutique and the Dr. Vranges Antica Farmacia boutique! I was assuming you have been to Santa Maria Novella Farmacia before and I agree with March on I Profumi di Firenze… really worth seeing/smelling!

    Happy travels and enjoy eery minute!

    Florentina :)

  • Sandy says:

    I’m so jealous – wish I was in Italy too. Although we liked Perche No, we loved Bar Vivoli. It was a little harder to find, but well worth it (and we went back more than once). Happy travels!

  • maidenbliss says:

    My first thought was the Byredo since you raved about it some time ago.

    Gelato, leather, perfume, wine, Paris, Italy…your posts give me wanderlust. I can be your personal valet, no charge.
    Pleine Lune sounds gorgeous.
    Off to look at Ann Gerard.
    Enjoy it all for all of us.

  • mals86 says:

    Oooh, hat shopping! And I want a bosom-heaving tuck-in pad too, let us know if you find one…

    I was torn between guessing Nuit de Tubereuse and the Byredo Tulipe, but I see Tara was Johnny-on-the-spot.

  • Musette says:

    Patty –

    oh, Patty……I am so green with wanting to be there with you!

    Hope you had a chocolate sable when you were at Herme. It’s been too long for me to recommend anything Venetian but my favorite thing used to be go take the vap over to Lido and wander the streets, go to the Hotel des Bains…the Adriatic is absolutely breathtaking in non-summer times…
    …meanwhile, I’ll go back to redoing a quote form, looking at grey skies…and wondering what in the hell it is you get from Nuit de Tuberose 😕

    xoxoxo >-)

  • donanicola says:

    Oh Hell. Moon Leather? Or somesuch by BD? Lemming alert! I bought a 100ml bottle of Bosphore at the weekend to split with a dear friend and had to make myself wear something different today (Mona di Orio’s Carnation which is lovely with its slightly leathery feel)but tomorrow it’s back to the Bosphore! I don’t know about anyone else but I like soft leathers at this time of year. Anyway, hope you have a wonderful time in Florence, Patty.

  • March says:

    Okay, this is tonight, right? And you’re going tomorrow? I stayed maybe a ten minute walk from the Accademia, and halfway between was the I Profumi di Firenze boutique. Maybe you just don’t care, but I swear that a) those things were like 15euro there instead of what they charge here, and b) there were sooooooo many. And directly across the street from iPdF was this bakery-thing and so I scuttled back and forth between the two, sniffing and then drinking coffee and eating all the things dusted with powdered sugar. Worked for me! 😉

  • nbh says:

    I recently had some orange and cardamon gelato here in Washington, DC. It was wonderful–the food equivalent of wearing Theorema.

    By the way, would you please adopt me? Really, I’m not much trouble, and I will carry your bags in Europe.

  • Ann says:

    Patty, so great to hear about Paris and now on to Italy; thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful time exploring Florence!

  • Masha says:

    Here’s the link to Ann’s site, the perfume page in particular:

    Did they name it “Pleine Lune to mean “Full Moon” or “Bare-Bum”?? haha

    How does it compare to Bosphore, both seem to have a suede note.

  • Hey Patty! It was sooooo nice having you over, and I’m glad you loved Pleine Lune. This is the link to my review to fill in the blanks about notes and things:

    As far as I know the price point should be very reasonable for pure parfum.

    For gelati, I’m afraid I can’t make any recommendations… I’m sure you’ll find your way to the best. Enjoy!

    • Patty says:

      Thank you! I should have searched your site to see if you had the notes, but hurry and all.

      it slays me how we all smell different things. I get almost zero peach in this. Little bit at the beginning, but definitely not fruity. The leather feels more right, though my nose doesn’t really pick it out as leather, but more the velvet/smooth iris, but it makes sense that that is the leather part of this.

      Thanks again!!!!

  • Fiordiligi says:

    Glad you’re having a fabulous time Patty – but how could you not? That new iris scent sounds very intriguing!

    For gelato, yes, Vivoli is good, and try to eat at Cantinetta Antinori in Palazzo Antinori (on Via Tornabuoni) which has wonderful food and of course brilliant wine. Also if he isn’t being cleaned up for next season, you must see Donatello’s fantastic “Camp David” as my Other Half calls it (you know, the very fey one with a hat and long curls – absolutely gorgeous)in the Bargello.

    I really don’t know which scent you are wearing but I know you smell marvellous! xxx

    • Patty says:

      Oh, dear, I’m a bit worried about that brilliant wine part, but I never ignore a food/wine recommendation from you. I did find another place to visit tomorrow or today, pitta goal e cantina on the left bank here that’s supposed to have an awesome wine collection and limited but delicious menu!

  • aotearoa says:

    Hi Patty – today I received my Dior’s that I won – thank you!
    I guess kilian Pure Oud.
    Happy gelato hunting – what fun

    • Patty says:

      Oh, enjoy them! I’d love to hear what you think and what your favorites are, once you’ve spent time with them, or even if you wind up going meh like Marina did. 🙂

  • hongkongmom says:

    I don”t know what it is…but I definitely need something that will make me and that somebody else weak in the knees! Sounds like you have had a GREAT time in Paris
    Enjoy Italy….. :)

  • Shari says:

    Well, of course you must wander across the Ponte Vecchio and admire the glittering display cases of gold jewelry. And then have a Bellini at Harry’s Bar ( Last of all, the Leather School at the back of the Santa Croce Church in central Florence has exquisite high quality leather items for sale at all price points (

    Really and truly last of all, there is a shop on Via Tornabuoni (Florence’s answer to Rue Fbg St. Honore) that carries the Frederic Malle line in case there is something you must have. It is close to the lower numbered end and is very near a church, if I recall correctly.

    • Patty says:

      Perfect! Heading to the Oltrarno is probably tomorrow afternoon before the Uffizzi, and I think a Bellini at 9 a.m. is a great idea! Santa Croce as well is for tomorrow. Trying to figure out where the Bargello is going to fit in there. I may have to move a little faster than I am, but I’m on Italian time now, and days just sort of go by at a leisurely pace.

      I went into one perfume store on Tornabuoni, and they didn’t have FM. They had L’Artisan, Rosine, tons of others, but no FM. It sounds like it was in the right area, but maybe there are more than one?

      • Musette says:


        Patty, DON’T DO IT. STEP AWAY FROM THE SANTA CROCE!!! Otherwise you will fall in love with things! Like I did. You will come away laden with handbags……


        oh, go ahead. 😉 To paraphrase, “throw it on credit and let God and Amex sort it out” – I lived by that rule for many years ;))

        xo >-)

  • Nina Z says:

    Vivoli in Florence for gelato.

  • Datura5750 says:

    Oh I was going to say that too! I also bought a full bottle…

    • Patty says:

      I’m so easy. But not always cheap. I just needed some that I could spritz without guilt. How much I put on at this point may be unconscionable.

  • Tara says:

    L’Artian Nuit de Tubereuse?

    Your trip sounds amazing!!!

    • Patty says:

      ding ding ding ding!!! I knew it would be too easy. Click on Contact Us over on the left, send me your e-mail, and I’ll ship you some of this Ann Gerard deliciousness. You’ll love it!