Anne-Marie Sniffing in Paris 2015

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Post by Anne-Marie

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Hi All

Last month I spent about a week in Paris on a work trip, all expenses paid. This is NOT the sort of thing that normally happens to me, and right up until I boarded the plane I was expecting the dream to evaporate. But no, I got there, and had a fabulous – albeit hurried – trip to the City of Light.

Centre Georges Pompidou Alfie Ianni Paris FlickrPhoto Stolen Flickr

The Pompidou Centre. Sadly, I did not have time to venture inside.

Anne-Marie Sniffing in Paris 2015

I was with a colleague and we were traveling and in meetings nearly all the time. We had very little time for sightseeing and shopping, but, well, it’s amazing what can be achieved with a bit determination!

Paris Rue_des_archives WikiMediaPhoto Stolen WikiMedia

We were staying at Les Halles and working in the Marais. This made it easy for me to get to my most longed-for shopping destination – a Nicolai boutique. Nicolai Parfumeur Createur was one of the first niche brands I fell in love with but never for an instant did I believe that I would step over the threshold of one of its Parisian boutiques. Well, I did, and it was as delightful as I had always dreamed. Purchases? 30 mls each of Fig-Tea, Weekend in Normandy, and some Vetyver soap.

parfums de Nicolai Rue des ArchivesPhoto Stolen GoogleMaps

I must admit a grand fail though. I walked right past the Serge Lutens boutique in the Palais Royal and I was too scared to walk in. Okay, time to confess that I’m not a fan of the brand and never have been. I can’t afford one of its darned bell jars even if I wanted one. The shop exterior creeped me out. And I had a meeting at the Australian embassy later in the afternoon and could I turn up there reeking of Moroccan souks and stewed fruit? No. Just no.

But I stopped at the Parfums de Rosine boutique and was nearly – but not quite – charmed into purchasing Une Zeste de Rose. After that I was quite content with a cup of mint tea and a slice of cake in a café opposite Uncle Serge’s little shop. Tea and cake in the Palais Royal and strolling through the gardens were the highlights of the trip.

Rose garden at the Palais Royal, ParisPhoto Stolen WikiCommons

As for perfume sniffed on the street, I smelled a lot. Most of it I could not identify but I’m certain I got a whiff of Narciso Rodriguez for Her, and twice I smelled Terre d’Hermès quite distinctly. Once was as I was queuing for coffee at Gard du Nord, and once in the hotel lift at my hotel.

The Sephora store in the Marais was nothing grand, but I had fun exploring Yves Rocher (the brand is not sold in Australia), and picked up a bottle of Oriental Shower Oil – so decadent! Perfume shopping concluded with a Cartier mini set bought duty free on the way home.

How about you? Do you have Parisian sniffing adventures to share?

Until next time, have fragrant fun!
Anne-Marie xx

(Ed: Sadly Anne-Marie’s photos were in a form I was unable to translate to WordPress so I had to add some stock shots)

8 comments on “Anne-Marie Sniffing in Paris 2015

  1. australianperfumejunkies says:

    Hey there Anne-Marie,
    Welcome home. What a trip! How lucky are you?
    I love that Parfums de Nicolai store and spent a very happy half hour or so in there. At the time I already owned everything in the range that I wanted but it was heavenly to wander around the store and just breathe in the fragrant ambiance.
    I think it’s only a couple of blocks to the Etat Libre d’Orange flagship store, another great stop in Paris.
    I’m totally with you on the Serge Lutens store. My first time in there I quickly bought everything I needed to bring back to Oz for other people and then ran away.
    Portia xx

    • annemariec says:

      Oh good, I’m not the only one to find the whole Lutens thing a bit overwhelming! Next time, if there is a next time, I’ll try ELDO. Would love to get to a Goutal boutique one day too.

  2. Esperanza says:

    Really Nice to read your Parisian perfume adventure, Anne Marie. I visited THE Nicolai store as Well this year, same one as you did in THE Marais as I love their home fragrances and bought a Kathmandu diffuser and some scented candles. What surprised me was THE not so kind SA. But this might be due to THE cool Parisian attitude. Later on I went to THE small perfume shop Marie Antoinette, which was my best perfume buying experience ever, you can read about it in THE link underneath. Enjoy your Parisian fragrances ! Love THE Yves Rocher Hammam series their shower oil is wonderful !
    Esperanza recently posted…How to create a scent memoryMy Profile

  3. annemariec says:

    That’s a pity about your experience at Nicolai, but it was obviously redeemed at Marie Antoinette – I must try to get there if I ever get the chance. I had expected cool Parisian attitude but didn’t get it anywhere. A shopping highlight was the sweet shop Mazet, in the Rue des Archives. I bought many of my foodie gifts there and the young male SA was a dish. And indeed he was bearing a dish too, of lovely pralines, which he offered to everyone who came in the store.

  4. poodle says:

    I’ve never been to Paris but I enjoy reading about other peoples trips there. I don’t think it’s a fail to not have gone into the Lutens boutique. If you’re not a fan of the line then there’s not much point in wasting time in the shop especially when you don’t have much time to spare.

    • annemariec says:

      I dithered at the door, telling myself that I may never get another chance. But you really need to carve out proper time for an experience like Lutens, not drop in on the way to somewhere else. And I really did enjoy tea and cake and watching people drifting about in the sunshine. 🙂

  5. ElizabethC says:

    Agreed that Serge perfumes are definitely NOT ones that you should try on before an important meeting! I have been attacked by the cumin in a few of them.

    However, I do adore many of them and sent my hubby into the Lutens store when he was in Paris without me. The staff was very nice to a total perfume novice. When they had a problem processing his credit card, they threw in a bunch of samples (very nice for me!!!).

    • annemariec says:

      Oh that’s a win-win! Lutens samples are like gold! Yes, I went to the meeting with the remnants of Un Zeste de Rose non my arm, and no-one could be offended by that.

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