Mar 142011

In Paris on Sundays, most stores are closed.  Aside from stores associated with cultural events, some bakeries (a must!) and an occasional pharmacy, shopping is out of the picture.  Sunday is the perfect day to enjoy the considerable number of museums, parks and the rest of the beautiful city.

During my travels today, I took a detour through the Avenue Montaigne, which has an incredible number of high end boutiques.  I thought it would be fun if we could both window-shop along this beautiful street together, so here is a gallery of a few for you to enjoy.  Under French law, you are obligated to click to enlarge for full enjoyment:


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Mar 122011

Wandering through the Marais today, I found myself in front of one of the L’Artisan Parfumeur stores.  L’Artisan Parfumeur was founded in Paris in 1976 by perfumer-chemist Jean Laporte.  Aside from casually sniffing and loving their scents, I’m not familiar with their line.  I’m very tempted to take one of their 3-hour classes as their main locations–do you think it is worth the time for the experience?

I’ve noticed that many parfumeurs are very thoughtful about finding ways for customers to experience the scent without getting their spritzer out (no, that’s not a euphamism).  Many place out long pre-sprayed paper testers.  It helps keep the air clear if you aren’t sure that you want to apply the scent, plus the pre-sprayed paper seems to have burned off that initial hit that happens with a fresh spray.  Here at L’Artisan, there are small candleholders stuffed with paper that has been scented with the bottle behind it.

If you wish to test those that interest you most, then go ahead and spray.  One thing I have learned–it’s best to ask before you spray.  I learned that little nugget from doing it wrong in the Serge Lutens boutique. Ooops!

Rows of candles.  If you are feeling diffident, you can buy mini versions for 15 euros each:

This set intrigued me–it was a set of five oils (on the left) and diffuser system (the box in the middle):

I left a little overwhelmed with all of the choices.  Do you have a favorite L’Artisan perfume or candle scent?  Do you think the 3-hour parfumeur class is worth pursuing?  Your comments appreciated.  For now, à bientôt!

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Mar 112011

It’s Paris, of course one of the best department stores has a gallery to celebrate the culture of fashion. What did we think they would do with that prime Paris floorspace….sell things? In true French style, Le Bon Marche realizes that it has a larger role in shaping this beautiful city.
Through March 26, Le Bon Marche is hosting a show featuring the work of Christian Dior.

The display is small but very satisfying.

Still iconic:

From the archives on display at Le Bon Marche:

And the softer grey suit:

On my way to the Dior display, I couldn’t help but wander through Le Bon Marche’s shoe department which has an epic and beautifully-edited selection.  First, I fell in love with these Sandro boots and they went on my “wish list” (395 euros):

Then I saw these butter-soft Repetto Zizi’s in 3 different colors (175 euros).  They have a whisper-thin, seriously flat sole and an elegance that I am unlikely to ever see again.  This Paris-wish-list could get full very fast:

Pastry du jour (this one’s for reader Lakshmi, who rightly insisted that I find these Pierre Herme macarons):

Some Dior photos are from and elsewhere, the others are mine.  Thanks to reader, Honor, who suggested that I explore the Dior exhibit at Le Bon Marche.

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Mar 102011

Thank you to all the lovely readers who’ve let me know that they enjoy my Paris posts.  I went for an afternoon stroll today through the mild 50-degree temperatures.  I brought a little camera with me.  Here are some pictures that I hope you enjoy.

Today is the last day of the Colette-Chanel Paris pop-up boutique on the Rue St. Honore, very close to Colette (in case you were wondering, Colette has an amazing edgy little fragrance section on the second floor).

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