Versailles, Chinese Tourists, and the Short Goodbye

XXIst Century Versailles from the palace website

XXIst Century Versailles from the palace website

Ah, Versailles! All the French kings from Louis the XIII th onward seem to have loved it.  Louis had a little hunting lodge there and his son decided to enlarge the hunting lodge until they got… Versailles.

It would be nice to think of the process as organic, similar to that of expanding flowers in water, but the evolution was actually long drawn out, involving casts of thousands. Very impressive are the results: a huge, golden palace radiating avenues like rays of the sun, and these days radiating half mile long lines of Chinese tourists waiting patiently to visit  this monument to the glory of France, and in the mean time trailing selfie sticks while posing in front.

As a piece of absurdity on a very grand scale, you can hardly improve upon the palace, and since these days the gilding has been re-done, the blinding bling is enough to attract a good deal of out of town custom.  But what do I know?  This time out, I never even went inside.  My whole reason for visiting Versailles was to donate two rare old bottles of perfume to the Osmotheque Continue reading

Twelve Smells of Christmas – Day Six: Beginning to Smell a lot like Christmas

Two of my fellow bloggers, Meg at Parfumieren and Michael at Top to Bottom  both posted about that old Christmas classic Nuit de Noel recently. You can see that they had fairly different opinions about the venerable standard, the favorite perfume of Ayn Rand by the way, and it got me musing about the Christmas fragrance itself, the designated driver of oh so many Holiday fetes down the decades.  Do old Christmas fragrances really get you where you want to be?

Let me start by saying that there are definite misses in this category.  Winter Delice was certainly one.  At best a candle (but really, I’d chose an old Rigaud candle over it) you had to wonder what Guerlain were thinking?  Winter Delice was the slow motion crash of vanilla into evergreen, like something they should screen for perfumers in Perfume ED as a cautionary lesson.  WD constituted a very rare collision for Guerlain with its unusually good driving record, and one of the few times that their standard vanilla trailer did not hitch itself obediently to a perfume’s rear hook-up. Continue reading