Landing in France…

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.

planet Frankfurt airport 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 p1010041.jpgtiny 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.

Musee D’OrsayOver 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.

Galerie de Paleontologie- bonesOn 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 . 

on rue des dames- cheap and nice (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!

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Jessica Buchanan

Canadian independent perfumer, designer, and entrepreneur.

4 thoughts on “Landing in France…”

  1. Darling, is it difficult travelling alone with a HUGE suitcase? Are you lonely? Have you found the place where you will take classes in Grasse? Is it crowded everywhere? Are you keeping you eyes out for a suitable man for me? I am so sorry you fell ill. Love, Susanna

  2. Hello Jessica!
    I was just in Nelson for ten days (finally met the Bodh-star) and learned of your exciting adventure. I wish you a time full of encounters and discoveries. Enjoy the food, enjoy the wine, the lavender fields.
    Pierre and I are one week away from another departure. This time to Bali. More volcanoes on the horizon in the next year.
    Will visit your blog a.s.a.p.
    Happy trails, J+P xox

  3. Hi Jess,
    I have been thinking about you alot, wishing you well on your adventure. It is so great that I’ll be able to keep in touch with what is happening with you. I loved the vision of you perched on your porch above the square observing and absorbing your new environment. Have you started your classes? What are the people of the town like, can you get a sense without speaking the same language? All is well here in Nelson, cold and wintery. School is great and life is just full enough without being too full. Take Care. Write whenever you need to, good or bad.
    Love you lots, Cindy

  4. how’s the food in grasse?glad to hear you’ve settled in a funky neighbourhood.i’ve never felt as unsafe anywhere in the world as i have in the west end of vancouver.i understand your feeling of being aware but not afraid.nonetheless,please do take care.hope to see you soon,arthur seems to be adjusting allright,though minou still hisses at him she has conceded the upstairs.he goes out occassionally to hunt mice around the compost,but never stays out for and kisses,b

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