I hopped on the Eurostar to Paris last week (as you do) for a spot of lunch and a potter round the shops. Unusually for Paris it was boiling hot and didn’t rain once (in October!) so I got to drink tea and soak up the ambiance of the Marais in the sunshine. I didn’t get to the Serge Lutens Boutique at the Palais Royale unfortunately, but after reading the article in the FT Weekend Magazine I headed over to the Frederic Malle Boutique to immerse myself in the fragrances of such great artists as Dominique Ropion and Michel Roudnitska. Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle

I spent a glorious hour chatting to the sales assistant (although that title does not do her justice) about perfume in general, the fragrance industry and our days working for IFF – it turned out she was a fragrance evaluator in the Paris office a few years after I had left the company. In the end I settled for a bottle of Musc Ravageur an oriental with more than a slight nod to Shalimar and not a flower in sight. There is a bit of a strange initial note on my skin that I’m not entirely happy with (slightly old fashioned herbal lavender) but it settles down quite quickly into a soft but grown up (i.e not confectionary) powdery vanilla. I could go on but Purfume Shrine has an excellent review so go there for more.

As for Paris, well we ended up missing the last train back and had to stay the night – but thats another story!

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