Today I spent the morning painting my fingernails and listening to Iolanthe, and then I hopped on the bus to meet Hallie for lunch.
Our afternoon included (but was not limited to) the following activities, only one of which fits into my “particularly French” category of last-nine-days activities. Can you guess which one?
A. a hot dog lunch at Dog’s Café near Châtelet?
B. a sweaty trek to that place on Rue Sainte Anne for bubble tea?
C. an hour spent sampling perfume at Galéries Lafayette?
If you guessed C, you’d be right–although admittedly, both the hot dogs, which needed to be eaten with a knife and fork (like French hamburgers), and the sweaty trek have elements of the French about them.
Perfume really is particularly French, even if not all of the brands are. A few weeks ago I actually went to the Fragonard perfume museum near the Palais Garnier, which is free and only takes about twenty minutes to go through before you can proceed to the Fragonard store and buy things. I bought a little pot of scented goo in Fleur d’Oranger (orange blossom), a sort of super-concentrated perfume that can be applied in tiny quantities and to specific locations.
But despite my love for all things orange blossom, it wasn’t quite right. I feel, as I approach the end of my first quarter-century, that I ought to have a perfume, even if just for special occasions. I’ve never been quite sure about how to go about finding the right scent; I always think it would be cool to have one specially mixed for me, like Vivi did in Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood on her sixteenth birthday. But I think the next best thing is to go with a friend, try things on, and then let your friend smell your wrists.
The one I’m wearing right now is called Body, by Burberry. Which of course is not French in the slightest, but as one of my Buxton friends has declared me “a capital English girl,” I figure it’s appropriate.
We accumulated a ton of little cardboard sticks with scents on them. I’ve thrown them all out except for the Tom Ford Neroli Portofino, because I like the smell and it will keep my purse smelling nice, and also because the salesman was adorable. We were just sniffing around when the guy behind the counter engaged us in conversation and insisted we try all of the Very Serious perfumes. I told him I was looking for something “plus léger,” lighter, and immediately he swooped around and took down the Neroli Portofino, which I believe happens to be orange blossom (not to mention très, très cher), and sprayed it on a little card for me. I’m always more inclined to buy things when people are nice and helpful, so it’s a good thing it wasn’t a cheap perfume.
So that’s my perfume story. Tomorrow for T-8, Heather, Jake, John and I are getting up bright and early and heading to Châteaudun, where there is apparently a very cool market, and thence to Chartres, to see the cathedral and Old City.
Oof, this Burberry is starting to give me a headache. Maybe time to wash it off…