Tuesday, 9 August 2011

If It's Friday, This Must Be Grasse

Free Wifi hasn’t been as easy to find as I’d hoped, but I’m pleased to say that so far the holiday has gone very well (although I gather the situation in my beloved London isn't quite so happy). As ever, I’ve got so much to write and tell you about, that I’m sure I’ll never be able to cover it all when we return to Maison Persolaise, but I promise I’ll do my best.

One of the topics to which I may well devote a post is our recent visit to the International Perfumery Museum (MIP) in Grasse. For now, suffice it to say that although it’s well worth seeing, it isn’t nearly as comprehensive and insightful as it seems to think it is. A case in point: it devotes an entire screening room to depictions of perfume in the movies, but it doesn’t deem it necessary to mention the skills and achievements of history’s most accomplished perfumers. The overriding thought in my mind as I made my way through its many rooms was that last year's Perfume Diaries exhibition at Harrods really was wonderful. But like I said, perhaps I’ll return to this particular subject when our travels take us back across the Channel.

I’ll end today on a decidedly positive note: over the weekend, I managed to buy a small flacon of vintage Samsara and yes, everything you’ve read about its sandalwood drydown is true. The current version is distinctive and wearable, but there’s a synthetic quality to its base that’s hard to ignore. The few drops I purchased the other day conclude with an effect that’s effortlessly classy and rests much more comfortably with the jasmine heart.

I do hope August is being good to all of you. Please don’t forget that I’ve scheduled brand new reviews to pop up here every Friday… and if I can find some Wifi, I’ll post the odd message on Twitter.

That’s all for now,



  1. Glad you're enjoying your holiday, but you shouldn't be working!

    As I've already said to you via Twitter, I agree with you about the museum (even though I always make a pilgrimage every time we visit the South of France) I think it is somewhat underwhelming, which is both disappointing and surprising as it could be sensational. The shop is a huge let-down too, although I've picked up a few wonderful books there.

    I have to say that Samsara was the first Guerlain I truly loathed but I'm glad you've had the chance to try the original!

  2. Sorry, but when I hear the name Grasse and perfume, the names Joseph Rubino and Julian Rouas come to mind, and that's not good!! The whole scam about the Michael Jackson Fragrances sucks!! Please Read: http://jacksontributefragrances.blogspot.com

  3. Fiordiligi, I'd love an insight into the 'politics' behind the creation of the museum. Mentions of the big brands are conspicuous by their absence (unlike at the Harrods exhibition). I wonder if the major perfume houses decided not to support the venture for some reason.

  4. Anon, I'll have to check out your link when I get back home.

  5. My top tip for free Wifi while travelling is always McDonald's - and their coffee is good. (Though in Grasse, you might try the Hotel Mercure on the outskirts of town. They do a nice lunch too.)

    I think the museum needs to be more thoughtful about the audience it caters to. There's quite a spread of visitors, between the average tourists and people who are rather interested in perfume, then there are the bottle collectors, and then the perfumistas, frag hags, fume heads and other obsessives like us. :)

    Still, I think it's good to see a museum of perfume full stop.

  6. Wordbird, thanks very much for the Wifi tip. I did consider going to a McDonald's a few times just to check my email, but in the end, I couldn't quite bring myself to do it.

    I take your points about the Museum, and yes, I totally agree that I'd rather have it as it is than not have it at all.


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