So here I am….finally, after a couple of years of mulling it over. I’ve packed up my life, left Canada behind and arrived in France to follow my passion and study perfumery. The road to get here has been a roller coaster ride of fear, doubt, excitement, and lots of other deeply challenging emotional and mental and physical highs and lows, with some spiritual development (I hope) thrown in for good measure.
I landed in Paris on the 20th of January with one small and one very large and very overweight suitcase (believe me, it’s cheaper to have 2 huge ones that are lighter, than one that needs two people to lift it…) and as result, opted for the taxi into the city. I bargained with the driver, (being Saturday) and we settled on the price of 50 euros to get me to the door of the Hotel Eldorado on the Rue des Dames. We pulled onto the tiny little street, one car wide, and I was deposited in the tiny reception area. (my suitcase barely fit). With great efficiency, I was then taken to my tiny room at the very back of the hotel and that was that. I had arrived. I sat down on the bed and let it all sink in. The flight, the very wierd Frankfurt airport, all the hard work and sleepless nights, and the determination that it took to pursue this venture. I was exhausted and scared and excited and completely overwhelmed by a feeling of the unknown and, of being alone. But I was in Paris, I’d arrived, and that was all that really mattered. Of course, at this point, I had no idea what that even meant! I may as well have landed on Mars.
Over the next few days, I would master the Metro by getting completely lost a few times, discover the glorious Musee D’Orsay, happen across an Annik Goutal boutique (heaven), and visit the beautiful Serge Luten boutique in the Salon Du Palais Royale. I also visited the incredible gardens of the Jardins des Plantes, the Galerie de Mineralogie (for giant crystals ) and the great Galerie de Paleontologie.
On my last evening I took a taxi to the Creed store and attempted to smell each of their perfumes. I ended up with early onset olfactory fatigue and had to desperately inhale their quite stale coffee beans in order to get through before closing time. I settled on Royal English Leather, which, unfortunately is way too strong for me, and is now for sale. (write me)
I was shooed out at closing and after getting lost one more time in the Metro, retreated to my hotel for one last night of sleep. Sleep, I might add, that was punctuated about every five minutes by the subterranean rumblings of the Metro itself .
(note: I had to move 2 blocks up to the so-called Style Hotel for the last two nights of my time in the city. I recommend this little place with its clean, simple and bright spacious rooms, old wood furniture and reasonable rates. As for the sound of the Metro, somehow its muffled basenote vibrations became soothing).
.The morning of the 26th, I caught a taxi at 5:45am to the Gare du Nord station, enroute to my real destination- Grasse!