Kelly Mickens, JG Black Book of Travel's new Director of Industry Relations in the Northeast, has a veritable treasure trove of travel recollections. In anticipation of an upcoming visit from our friends at Hotel Fouquet's Barrière in Paris, Kelly dove into some Parisian sense memories for us...
I’ll never forget a day I spent in Paris back in August 2007. After a hearty Parisian breakfast of croissants, my travel companions and I went to the flagship Le Printemps department store, a grand magasin (literally “big store”) offering top labels in fashion, beauty and jewelry. We did a walking and tasting tour of about twenty gourmet stands – sampling bite after delectable bite – until we were stuffed. Then our local guide led us up to Déli-Cieux on the 9th floor. Despite already bursting at the seams, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch, soaking in the panoramic views of the city (see left).We soon found ourselves waddling out of Le Printemps with a free afternoon stretching ahead of us. Someone mentioned trekking to a really cute perfume shop he’d been shown by a friend on a past trip. His warning, “It’s completely out of the way,” didn’t deter me, especially after a morning of indulgence. We started out on the rue Saint-Honoré, usually bustling with shoppers. We slowly realized all the stores were closed and began to grow nervous as our walk took us farther and farther from our comfortable hotel room without any reassurance that the shop would be open. Luckily enough, winding our way through Le Marais (think a neighborhood similar to Chelsea in Manhattan) resulted in triumph. E’tat Libre d'Orange (pictured right) was open!
E’tat Libre d’Orange, a kitschy perfume shop and bookstore, is run by a brother-sister duo, and we were met by the sister with tiny dog in tow. She sat us down at a desk and spread out a myriad of vials for us to try. As she revealed the name of each scent (all of which they create themselves) we realized the cheekiness we’d stumbled into. Trying a spritz of “Fat Electrician“or “Don’t Get Me Wrong Baby” will bring out the giggles in just about anyone.
After browsing the bookshelves, I left with a parcel and the satisfaction of knowing the next time someone asked what perfume I was wearing, my response would be completely unexpected: “Oh, thank you, I’m wearing Jasmine and Cigarettes.” Indeed.
- If you’re looking for E’tat Libre d’Orange products stateside, check out Henri Bendel in New York City, or Lucky Scent in Los Angeles.
- E’tat Libre d'Orange’s website is entertaining, but be forewarned, the site is not PG-rated.
Photo credits: Exterior and interior shots of the store are from E’tat Libre d'Orange.