A trip to Guerlain
|Guerlain has a restaurant. A RESTAURANT.|
One of the places that was on my list was Caron. One of the really old perfume houses, it's never really shouted about itself (too aristocratic for that). Many of Caron's fragrances are still sold as 'urn scents', so you go to the retailer - that's Fortnum and Mason here in the UK - buy a bottle, and it's filled with perfume from a huge crystal urn by an assistant. Needless to say, it's not something you'll find on every high street, and even the scents that are sold ready-bottled aren't widely available. (I buy most of mine from Les Senteurs, though AllBeauty recently had some Carons at discount prices so I stocked up. If there's a perfume you like, I recommend checking AllBeauty to see if you can get it for less.) Anyway, we tried twice to go to the Musée d'Orsay. The first day it was closed because of a strike, so we went back the day after and it was still closed because of a strike, so we decided to bimble up to Caron instead as I'd put the address in my phone. And the shop was gone! There was a sign on it saying they were reopening around the corner, so we went to that location and it wasn't complete yet. Bah.
|The Champs-Elysees is actually pretty grotty, but Guerlain is a gem|
|Inside the Guerlain flagship store|
In the end I didn't get any perfume at all in Guerlain. As well as Mitsouko I've got L'Heure Bleu and Shalimar at home, so I've got three of the greats already. The other scents on display were all lovely, but didn't really make my heart sing, and nice-but-not-amazing isn't really good enough to get a space on my crowded perfume shelf. I'd hoped they might have some of the company's classics stashed away, but alas! It was not the case.
So, we went down to the restaurant...
the restaurant's website. Instead of being a la carte it was a fixed-price menu, and a lot of the dishes were more substantial than we'd expected, but as the price was lower than we'd anticipated and the meal more filling, that was a world of win, really. My standout dish was lamb spiced with cumin - I'd expected something curry-like, but somehow it wasn't, it was sharper and less heavily spiced than a curry - while Mr Robot's favourite was a dessert called La Petite Robe Noire (the little black dress), named after one of Guerlain's most recent perfumes. The berries and cherry of the perfume translate easily into pudding form! And the bergamot marshmallows they gave us with our after-dinner tea were beautiful. It's traditional to have coffee after a meal, I know, but Guerlain makes teas based on a few scents, so we simply had to try a couple of those.
I'd recommend the restaurant if you're in Paris and want to eat somewhere fancy early in the evening (the shop closes at 8). If you don't have wine, or take the by-the-glass option (we guzzled a bottle, of course), it's actually really affordable for somewhere so posh, being 50 Euros a head for three courses, preceeded by canapes and with those sweeties afterwards.
Oh, and Goody? I did this just for you, so you could be there in spirit!
|Sorry about the goofy grin but I thought I'd better be quick in case we got slung out!|
All photos copyright PP Gettins.