What we did in Paris… in less than 48 hours


When I planned a three-day … well, I won’t even call it a trip – stopover in Paris I knew it would be not enough even to scratch the surface of everything that this city has to offer to a tourist, a perfumista or a foodie (who I am not but just saying). But when French air traffic controllers’ strike gave me a chance to meet Birgit and Sandra in Vienna at the same time it ensured I would have to revise whatever modest plans I might have had initially for Paris.

From Paris With Love

The lady who rented us the apartment was a little strange: she refused to talk to me on the phone claiming that “I do not see the need to call me. You have all the necessary information, and I am an honest and respectable 61-year French.” Persuasive, right? But I went ahead and signed the contract.

I’m not sure how we would have got into the apartment if it weren’t for Vanessa of Bonkers about Perfume who came to Paris on a train earlier (the last-minute change of plans because of the above-mentioned strike) and offered to meet us at the apartment. She was entertaining the landlady and not letting her leave for some important errand while our taxi driver first maneuvered through the Friday traffic and then tried to figure out how to get to the required point on the one-way street (I refused to do it on feet with suitcases!).

After we got in and the landlady left Vanessa and I discussed for a while if the woman could be 60+. We both agreed that even for a Parisian who doesn’t age the same as us, mere mortals, the woman to whom we just paid money for the stay looked suspiciously young… My vSO and I agreed that we weren’t sure what would upset us more – having paid to an impostor or acknowledging that the woman we saw was actually 61.


They say: Be careful what you wish for. I’d add: be careful what you do not wish for.

While we were planning our itinerary for the rest of the day, I mentioned that I didn’t really need to go to either Guerlain or Serge Lutens stores since I were up to date with the most current offerings and didn’t plan of buying anything there. But since I was in Paris it was just plainly wrong not to take a look at those legendary places…

You can read more about the events that followed that day in Vanessa’s post (the link above) but from me here are two pictures of the famous stores taken from the outside.

Guerlain store in Paris

Serge Lutens store in Paris

Vanessa was such a great company that I didn’t want to let her go. But after the last excuse – helping us to book a taxi drive to the airport for the departure day – we had to say good-byes hoping to meet again one day.

The second (and the only full) day in Paris we spent alternating walking the streets and eating/drinking. In about eleven hours we covered a lot including an incredibly pleasant meeting with Neela Vermeire of Neela Vermeire Creations and the second in two days trip to Jovoy to finish the methodical sniffing Vanessa and I had to halt the day before because of the store closing and to purchase my vacation perfume.

Neela proved to be to the every last bit as nice as all interviews with and stories about her portrait her. I was glad she found time to meet with me despite her busy schedule. Now I look forward to testing the newest perfumes from the line – Mohur Esprit de Parfum and Ashoka – samples of which Neela was kind to bring for me.


It seems that my vSO enjoyed all the perfume-related interruptions during this trip. Or at least he was a good sport – and I’m grateful to him for that.

Oh, and if you were wondering what perfume I bought to remind me about this – my first – trip to Paris, I’ll tell you without asking you to guess: Bombay Bling! by Neela Vermeire Creations. As I said in my story about three perfumes from the line, “It is a full-bottle worth perfume for me.”

Rusty and Bombay Bling


Images: my own


47 thoughts on “What we did in Paris… in less than 48 hours

  1. Love the quote from the landlady – that was such an odd little saga!

    I had a blast with you and your vSO – he was indeed the very best of sports to let us chatter on about perfume matters a fair bit of the time.

    Even though your visit was curtailed, it is great that you met Neela, and what a fitting choice of ‘holiday bottle’. Looks like Rusty approves. And it seems you managed to pack in a lot of sightseeing on the Saturday, though as you say, there is never enough time for everything. So here’s hoping we can do it again some day!


    • We’ll definitely do it again (and it doesn’t have to be Paris ;) ).

      Thank you for your help with everything, this story including: I was on a look-out for it while I was woking on mine knowing that I can count on your account of events.


  2. Rusty seems quite happy to have you back!
    What a lovely time you had in Paris, despite the short stay you managed a lot. Great choice of holiday perfume!!!
    Vanessa is one of the loveliest people ever, isn’t she?
    I dream of a Perfumista World Conference where we’d all meet, V knowing almost everybody already would be the perfect World Perfumista Conference President. :)


  3. Lovely! The saga of the landlady’s age is absolutely hilarious. I love how your vSO thought it may actually be more upsetting to acknowledge that a 61 yr old could look that phenomenal. Heh. Les Parisiennes, nothing like them anywhere!

    How wonderful, too, that you meet up with Neela Vermeire and I think it’s quite fitting that you got Bombay Bling as your holiday perfume. I know how much you love it. Now you can think of Neela herself and your little time in Paris when you wear it. :) So glad you’re back, my dear! I bet Rusty was even happier, or did he hold a grudge for you being away for so long?


    • I only wish I could switch those two events – first buy the perfume and then meet Neela and let her sign my bottle :)

      Rusty wasn’t upset at all! Since the guy we hired to live with him took such a great care of Rusty, I’m not sure he really noticed we were traveling for almost 3 weeks ;)


  4. Vanessa is wonderful company, it’s great you managed to meet up in Paris. I’m glad you weren’t bothered about Guerlain because I would gutted if it was shut when I visited.

    Bombay Bling! was a perfect choice for your perfume memento. I associate you with that perfume already and it’s a happy perfume to remind you of hhappy memories, not least meeting Neela herself.

    Much respect for your v.SO!


    • Thank you, Tara, I’ll tell him :)

      I’m also very happy with my perfume choice. There is something ver gratifying in buying a perfume at a store (though Jovoy could have been a little more generous with samples: I think I wouldn’t have got any (!) if I hadn’t asked for two specific).


  5. sorry I just missed you, yes Vanessa is a great gift in Paris especially, her French is astounding, and her dry wit in English is a delight. Neela is so gracious and lovely. Perfume in Paris is an end in itself.


  6. I had a very good feeling when reading Vanessa’s earlier post that her next installment would feature a meet-up with you! I’ll be off first thing to go read it!

    It’s wonderful to hear that you got to meet her (and Neela Vermeire), and it sounds like, overall, your time in Paris was well spent! I wonder if your Paris landlady would mind if I gave her a ring to find out what Parisian spa treatments she’s using?

    Oh wait, I just opened Vanessa’s post and can totally understand why she doesn’t have time to talk on the phone … hot date and all. :D


    • Unless you speak French don’t even think of calling her! ;)

      Meeting-people-wise it was a great trip. Oh, and I’m not sure if it’s clear but there’s linden blossom on each of the three cards – from Ukraine, Vienna and Paris.


  7. Hi perfume twin! Glad you enjoyed the short stay in Paris. I envy you for all those trips while I stay at home and struggle if there are any other cosmetic brands that can take me for an internship for a month or so.
    And how funny, today I got the package from Neela with samples of concentrated Mohur and Ashoka. She also included a mini of Bombay Bling as she knew it is my favourite from the first three. She’s so lovely and generous


  8. What a wonderful new addition to the collection! Rusty seems to be happy you’re home, as well as approve of your choice.

    Although it was short, it sounds like you made the best of your short time in Paris — strange landlady aside! What a wonderful opportunity to meet with Neela Vermeire. She sounds lovely in person.

    I adore Bombay Bling and hope to one day call a full bottle my own too! Good score!


    • Thank you, Daisy. I’m very happy with my choice. And the bottle looks very nice in RL.

      Rusty was glad to see us, as to the perfume it was very difficult to keep him sitting long enough for me to take a picture – he kept walking around,sniffing, playing with the ribbon, etc.


  9. Sounds like a wonderful trip! And the encounter with that land lady sounds hilarious (both from yours and Vanessa’s accounts..lol). We returned from a short trip to NYC a couple weeks back and I wore my sample of Bombay Bling most of the days there..I am surprised but it might just be my favorite from the line (though I like Mohur a lot too)..I expected to like Trayee or Mohur the most but I enjoy wearing BB the most.


  10. Welcome back, Undina. What great fun you had!

    As to Bombay Bling, if Rusty approves, I approve. In honor of your return, I am wearing Bombay Bling as SOTD today!

    I will have to check out this landlady of yours when I get a chance.

    P.S. Rusty is unbelievably ccute!


  11. Hadn’t noticed that there was linden in all three postcards but now that you mention it… Wonderful trip you had, and I’m with Birgit, a world wide perfumista conference would be a blast!


    • Thank you, Joan. One day I will visit them. Though, I think, were they open I wouldn’t have been able to take those pictures – with all the people, SAs, etc.


  12. I very much enjoyed reading about your trip, both here and at Vanessas. Paris is such a special city, the atmosphere, the people, everything, there is just no place like it. Makes me happy just thinking about it :) And congratulations of your bottle of Bombay Bling, I dont buy bottles THAT often for myself (certain posts on my blog might point to the contrary, but really), but it´s always good to get a holiday bottle to remember your holiday by :)


    • Thank you, Sigrun.
      I’m slowing down with my bottles acquisions (well, I hope I am :) ) but, as you said, it’s nice to have a bottle to associate with a pleasant holiday or event.


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