paris: 11 posts

Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise Soap

If I had a vintage vanity table with a large mirror, I would decorate it with perfume bottles, makeup brushes and neat rows of lipstick and nail polish. I would fill the candy dishes with face powder pearls and top them with colorful Caron powder puffs. And I would be sure to keep at least one package of Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise soap in the drawer for that distinctive whiff of carnation scented retro glamour. Then nothing would stop me from feeling like a Hollywood starlet, the lack of other qualifications notwithstanding.

rg soap1

A girl can dream, right? While I have no space or practical use for a vanity table–my makeup application is usually a distinctly unglamorous, rushed affair conducted in the bathroom, the carnation part of my fantasy is something I insist on keeping. Oeillet Mignardise is a simple way of having it, and I usually stuff these soap bars in my linen closet and lingerie drawer, in addition to using them in the shower. If I had to use a single type of soap for the foreseeable future, Oeillet Mignardise would be it.

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In Love with the Fifties : Palais Galliera Exhibit

If Paris is your destination anytime between now and November 2, 2014, and if you love French fashion, visiting the Palais Galliera is a must. The exhibit focusing on fashion from 1947-57, expertly curated by Olivier Saillard, is a thrill for the senses–the colors, shapes, textures. Pierre Balmain, Madame Grès, Hermès, Jean Dessès, Paul Daunay, Carven, and of course, the king of couture Christian Dior are given plenty of space, and the gowns presented are splendid.

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As Suzy Menkes says in her Vogue article, Those Fabulous Fifties!, “Saillard also has an eye for tiny details. He displays the noble sculpted outfits from Cristóbal Balenciaga and the shapely, round-hip dresses of Jacques Fath. But there is also room for an un-labelled transparent plastic handbag, its top decorated with pink roses to match the decorative fresco on the museum’s ceiling.”

Besides gowns, you can admire lingerie, bikinis in Hawaiian patterns, hats, gloves and lots of other accessories. To get a taste of the exhibit, please take a look at Palais Galliera’s website.

The museum of fashion remains open only during its exhibits, due to the fragile nature of its collection.

Palais Galliera
Musée de la mode de la Ville de Paris
10 Avenue Pierre 1er de Serbie, Rue de Galliera, 75016 Paris, France
+33 1 56 52 86 00
www.palaisgalliera.paris.fr

Photograph via WWD

Bonus: Angela of Now Smell This writes about the exhibit and her explorations of Paris in August.

Guerlain Flavored Tea Collection

Until my friend and fellow perfume lover presented me with an early Christmas gift of Guerlain Shalimar and Habit Rouge teas, I had no idea that such a thing existed. I’m waiting till Christmas to open the box and try the tea, but I can’t resist taking whiffs from the tins and leafing through the booklet. The collection of fragrant teas matches several perfumes from Guerlain’s line, and it includes black and green tea varieties.  It was created by Constance Braud, the founder of Thés de Constance, and is exclusive to the Guerlain flagship store.

guerlain tea

Below are the excerpts from the brochure that accompanied my teas.

Shalimar

“A subtle blend of green and black teas from China and Sri Lanka, flavored with vanilla, bergamot, cinnamon, lavender, and natural aromas of cardamom. This tea recalls the rich and compelling character of the very first Oriental perfume.”

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What to Buy in Paris : French Pharmacy Finds

Perfume shops, chocolate stores, lingerie boutiques, pâtisseries… When I’m in Paris, I can’t resist any of them, especially since the fine-tuned French sense of design extends as much to the products as to the window displays. But I will tell you honestly that if I had to pick my favorite shopping ground, it would be a pharmacy. It’s a treasure trove of finds for anyone who loves scented products and skincare, or simply enjoys searching for affordable and interesting brands.

paris-invalidespharmacy1

Of course, pharmacies are not a Parisian phenomenon. If you travel in Europe, you will quickly notice stores with a neon green cross. Within two blocks of my apartment building in Brussels there are about 5 or 6 pharmacies. It’s more than a store where you get your medicine. It’s the place where you go to complain about your illnesses, the weather and the lack of government (although in my observation, Belgians don’t complain much about the latter; in fact, they can go for months without electing one). You can also buy skin and hair care products, perfume, soaps, vitamins, and an array of bizarre slimming supplements advertised by close ups of perfectly tanned behinds.

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Yves Saint Laurent Paris : Perfume Review

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There’s a twenty-year-old ad for Yves Saint Laurent Paris that says everything you need to know about this iconic fragrance.  In the ad, the model Lucie de la Falaise leans against a wall while holding a huge bouquet of light-pink roses.  Everything but the model’s face and the bottle of perfume is in gauzy soft focus, including in the background the Eiffel Tower.  De la Falaise looks otherworldly in this city of muted pinks and greens, serene, elegant, and very, very French.  Surely the City of Light is scented exactly like this, is it not?  Isn’t Paris a veritable rose macaroon, tinted pink as Yves Saint Laurent’s fantasy fragrance is?

Paris is an ebullient and romantic daydream of a scent that interlocks a fruity, jammy, and abstract rose with violets that smell the way candied violets look.  One spray and (nearly) all is revealed. This is not a perfume of special effects but one that opens big, stays big, and gives you a bit of sandalwood as a basenote souvenir.

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