For me, Paris will always be a city of smells. The flowers, the food, the freshly baked bread… and the unfortunate occasional whiff of piss from the paris metro. So you’ll understand why I’m
…Wearing: Solid fragrances from Diptyque. I first discovered Diptyque candles back in 2007 and have been a devoted follower for a long time and when I finally, finally stood amongst the splendour of its wonderful fragrances it was an awe inspiring experience. All of them, combined, and it was incredible!
Diptyque Boutique: Marais/Saint Germain/Printemps.
Reading: Vintage publications. On Miss Coppola’s advice I stopped by the Les Archives De La Presse to browse through their extensive and exhaustive collection of vintage magazines. Their titles date from 1920 to present day, and include such heavy weights as Journal des Demoiselles, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Excelsior, Jardins des Modes, Elle, l’Album du Figaro… and much much more. And the little side notes next to paintings at the Lourve. I can’t appreciate the art, but I do love the stories they tell about the people behind those beautiful pieces.
15 Rue des Archives; 011-33-1-42-72-63-93.
Watching: People and pidgeons. Sit by the fountain in Jardin des Tuileries and soak up the atmosphere and watch the fatso pidgeons totter around and the stick-thin supermodels and fashiontribe strut from tent to tent looking oh so faboosh! The paris pidgeons are fatter than your average bird (well fed by the tourists), and the models and fashiontypes skinnier than most. It must be torture for the fashion nation to watch those pidgeons gorge themselves on carbs.
Try to make it there during PARIS FASHION WEEK!! Tents at the tuileries, models everywhere and a potential spotting of Taylor Tomasi!!?! The vibe is incredible, I didn’t know it when we booked the trip, it was a pure stroke of luck that my birthday (and spring break) fell right by it!
Eating: Any kind of french fare because the food is always good. Always. The bread is fresher, the wine is headier, the sauces are richer, the meats more tender, the flavours are stronger. What can I say? The French know food.
Paying homage at the mothership: no, not hermés (I’m gonna wait for that elusive mega humongous bonus and instead of buying myself an exclusive country club membership, a new car, a condo or a luxurious holiday somewhere, I’m going to break the bank on one damned bag)… the other mother: L’aduree! (equally decadent, not quite as painful)
Actually, have a Macaron wherever you find them – they will not disappoint.
Toting: the Zagat guide to Paris so that I can stop anywhere along the way for a quick bite or a cappuccino.
Trotting: around in Repetto’s many variations of the beautiful ballet flat. The company still produces handmade slippers and pointe shoes for professional ballerinas, so you know their brand is built upon good foundations.
22 Rue Paix, 75002 Paris
Lusting: after all the cool things in Colette. In honour of Barbie’s 50th birthday, Colette and Karl (Lagerfeld) decided to throw her a party at the Colette store, we happened to pop by when it was in full swing (first day of the parade). 2880.00 Euros for a pink-printed barbie-inspired trunk by Goyard. The thing’s about 12 inches long, that’s a lot of greenbacks per inch. Monstrous, but also amazing to see.
213 Rue Saint-Honore, 75001 Paris
Loving: Long, languid walks in the evening down cobble stone streets, past all the magnificent old monuments bathed in a soft evening glow. This has got to be my favourite picture of the trip. Also loving the lovely lovely Lanvin – I didn’t try anything but it was wonderful to browse! Thank you Mr Elbaz, you are truly genius!
Fresh flowers. Step into a flower shop/florist somewhere, you won’t have a problem finding one, they cling to every available corner. Buy a stalk, buy a bouquet or simply stick your nose in a bunch, flowers are somehow far more delightful in Paris, the fragrance will overwhelm you.
Odds & Ends: Paris puces. Old-school cameras (my little Leica got to meet its great grand-daddy, now isn’t that just a blast from the past), furniture lovingly restored (did you wonder where I got the whole romantic-girly-gilt-and-lace theme from?), old novels, vintage stamps (we went a little crazy over the dinosaur-themed ones, they were always a favourite), ratty postcards (a couple for me for scrap booking purposes), vintage wood-framed tennis rackets for the tennis enthusiast, the daily cartoons from the newspapers and lovely old glass perfume bottles!
What I bring (back): Mariage Frères for tea and candles. The perfect combination! Things to consume and to smell! Just the way I like it – sights and sounds might be most people’s favourite senses, but for me, oh! The smells and tastes of something – they’re unforgettable. If I could find a way to package scents and flavours and convey them across the internet I would (a) die happy, (b) die a very very rich lady.