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Day 8 of the advent calendar

This is day of our advent calendar and your next chance to win a Cologne du Maghreb by leaving a comment (any comment will work).

Before we dig into my trip to Paris and perfumery and a serious post: The solution to yesterday's conundrum. A. Of course :-) Although, trust me, it was cold in Paris and a soup would have been a good idea. Sephora sees me rarely these days, and only for a short time to affirm my expectations.

On another side note: Here's a thought on heavy carrot doses in perfumery...

But let's go back to Paris: Paris was great as always and as the weather was sort of nasty we had the perfect excuse to go and hunt the "magasines" for all sorts of stuff, like jogging shoes, shirts and other stuff. Actually, one of the best places to go shopping for food is the "Grand épicerie du Bon Marchée". Wow. And wow! I enjoy this place so much.

So we went shopping and skipped most of the sightseeing as we come to Paris somewhat regularly. What we did not shop in the Magasines, however, and this is the sad part of being in Paris: Perfume.  Of all the major metropolitan cities in Europe, Paris has the smallest VARIETY of brands. There are a few niche brands in the magasines, but a lot of the international and FRENCH variety of small brands is missing. A sad, sad story also for a lot of small French houses.

And , to make things worse, there is no niche shop like you find it in other European cities.

There are a few boutiques, and I recommend visiting those. Like Les Parfums de Rosine, or Serge Lutens temple right next to it in the Garden of the Palais Royal.

There are probably several reasons why this is like it is. The magasines completely dominate their shop in a shop market ecology and the conditions for sales under their roof are miserable to say the least. No room for experiments there. Then there is Sephora (and others)  that seems to  leave unfertile land for small brands in its neighborhood. Maybe there is just no need for niche in Paris? Although the super friendly lady at Les Parfums de Rosines told me how often she hear clients wishing for more variety.

Thus, coming back to the magasines: It was actually quite  odd how some of the larger brands presented themselves. Not much chic left.  Even good old French brands. A lady was standing there in Printemps, praising some absolutes that went into something and flowers and more and all via microphone and loud while a guy was spraying down whatever came close to him on two legs. It felt like in an amusement park, equally artificial and strange, as I feel that perfumes need silence and some sort of tranquility.

Thus, we decided to visit Les Parfums de Rosines, where you are treated like a prince, and Serge Lutens oasis of peace, in dim light, 100% elegant and chic, very French and reminding us what perfume and Paris is all about.

I love Paris.

Thus, any comment is good enough to enter today's draw.