I have never felt brave enough
(or beautiful enough) to enter a store such as
the glittering Guerlain emporium in Paris
but lately I have been on a mission
to rekindle olfactory memories
and as I was in Paris,
just en passant, and as I have a blog to feed now
I was fearless.
I went in.
No sirens sounded.
Nobody seized me by the arm and escorted me back to the pavement.
I didn't even see a little moue of disapproval
flicker across anybody's face.
I was thrilled to spot Mouchoir de Monsieur,
but what I hadn't realised was that the main object of my search,
Shalimar, was their flagship perfume,
and this was its spiritual home,
the Maison Guerlain on the Champs Elysées.
Wall to wall Shalimar.
The air was heady with it;
bergamot, tonka bean, iris and vanilla.
One of our number made a small purchase
(we had not been persuaded to buy the largest bottle
which the assistant tried to insist was plus interessant)
and after a short wait at the desk in the Ruban d'Or with its
350,000 golden mosaic tiles, a sliver of a woman
smilingly trotted over with a beribboned bag.
It wasn't until we got home that I discovered that she had
very thoughtfully included two tiny samples of Shalimar
I didn't know whether to rire or cri.
She'd had my number all along.