Tuesday, 28 August 2012

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Home

Normal service is on the verge of being resumed. I hope you've all been well during my blogging break and that you've enjoyed the reviews that popped up during my absence. September is just a few days away, which means it's time for loins to be girded once again, although I mustn't allow this to detract from the joys of the holidays: it's been wonderful to have an opportunity to take stock of the last twelve months and consider the possibilities that the future might bring.

Naturally, my European travels with Madame Persolaise featured several perfume-related episodes, the first of which occurred on the ferry, when we'd barely left British shores. It involved a Sales Assistant informing a colleague - in what couldn't really be called a stage whisper - that she was determined to "shift as much Marc Jacobs and Chloe and Calvin Klein Euphoria as I can, so I can win tickets to see Lady Gaga." The next time you're accosted by a bottle-wielding employee, think of the cultural experiences you could be denying him or her by not making a purchase.

If time allows, I may post more detailed accounts of my scented wanderings, but for now, I should just report that Taizo in Cannes doesn't always smell like an open sewer (thank goodness) and that Bouteille and Tanagra remain two of the most welcoming perfumeries on the Côte d'Azur.

When I wasn't sniffing blotters or scoffing Nutella beignets, I tried to catch up with my reading. If there's one theme that united my choice of summer literature - from Tom Baker's poignantly haunted account of his childhood, to Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's brutal description of the Nigeria-Biafra war, via Fitzgerald's tale of doomed ambition, amongst several others memorable tomes - it's the age-old cliché that the only constant in life is change. Living in the moment and enjoying the blessings that each day brings are two skills that would certainly benefit from further development, as far as yours truly is concerned.

Speaking of memorable moments... a few days ago, during a chat with the staff at Antibes' superlative Charcuterie Lyonnais, we were asked what the weather's like "chez vous". When Madame Persolaise replied, "About 19 degrees," time stopped for a couple of seconds. One of the employees appeared to be gripped by immobility as her knife sliced through a roast chicken. Another froze as she handed some change to a customer. Even the normally unflappable patronne went rigid with shock whilst digging into a tray of gratin dauphinois. And then the three of them, in unison, let out a gasp of horror so loud and so intense, it was probably detected as some kind of air pressure fluctuation by the UK Met Office.

"Perhaps we should stop complaining about la chaleur!" someone quipped, prompting laughter all round.

It was a simple, unforced, entirely human incident... which I'm sure I'll recall and treasure as autumn approaches.

Advance warning: next week, I'll hold a draw for a signed copy of Jean-Claude Ellena's new book.



  1. I am so happy you had a lovely holiday and good to have you back. Waiting here in the states for relief from the parched summer and the onset of fall.Breaking out my winter scents although I confess I wear my heavier scents in the summer as well because few others do.
    I think heavy scents and oppresive weather can be arresting and interesting if subtly done.Looking forward to future posts and enjoying reading your former ones.

    1. Michelle, thank you. I think so-called winter scents can work extremely well in warmer months, so I'm pleased to hear that you've been wearing some heavy-hitters. Any particular favourites this summer?

    2. Hello to you from the states,

      I like Parfum Sacre for its rose and pepper. Aromatics Elixir for its timeless beauty and the lovably trashy and fabulous Rush. Patchouli 24 also suits the relentless heat we have experienced here in the states. I have recently discovered a niche perfume I adore, the unique and absolutely gorgeous Reglisse Noir, by 1000 Flowers. Not really heavy but so lovely with a black licorice note that doesn't overwhelm but blends with the other notes "white pepper, ozone, mint, shiso leaf, star anise, ginger, licorice, cocoa, patchouli, vanilla, vetiver, musk" to create a swoon worthy compostion. I also like Vol De Nuit, heavy and glamourous and such a contrast to the cheap shrill candy sweet scents that permeate many a cubicle here in the states!

      And in honor of my beloved New Orleans, now suffering yet another vicious storm, from Hove Perfumers on Chartes St. the deeply exotic Whirlwind and the aptly named Mantrap.So old fashioned and wonderful and reminds me of my glamourous mother and aunts who only bought their perfumes there. I will wear my New Orleans scents today in hopes of warding off the evils of Hurricane Issac from here in the midwest.

      Love to hear if you have any comments on Chandler Burrs Project for Opensky.

      My thoughts and best wishes to you my favorite fragrance blogger.


    3. Michelle, thanks very much indeed. I'm impressed by your list of scents, not least because of your inclusion of Patchouli 24 and Aromatic Elixir.


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