Saturday 16 April 2011


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
(last mentioned here and here)
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
and this:

I didn't know whether to rire or cri.
She'd had my number all along.


  1. 'A sliver of a woman".... wonderful!

    I would rire over those freebies, if I were you. And look up what the cost of buying them would have been....

  2. They sprinkle free samples about here in Holland , as well . Funnily enough I , too , always seem to get the ones For Mature Complexions .
    The assistants though are usually less slivery , given the local hearty consumption of sate sauce , chips with mayonnaise and cheese .

  3. Rachel I just did, here
    £110 !!!

  4. I love 'intense magnolia concentrate'. Sounds like slapping on a coat of Dulux to hide the wrinkles?
    I'd certainly want Success Age Splendid for £110!
    Do let us know if it works.
    Do you remember Galeries Lafayette on Regent Street? That always seemed so posh I expected to be turfed out on my ear.

  5. Deep action day care

    Is this some kind of miracle cure? (and it's also good for the skin!:)

    "Sliver of a woman" You should bottle that slogan. It sounds expensive!