So many things are right. I am above the 45th parallel in the summer, I am staying in place for nearly two weeks so that I can soak up as much as I can of a new experience without falling prey to or imposing some sort of tourist whirlwind on the proceedings. I am, for only the second time in my life, learning how my body responds to jet lag. I am hyper aware of budget, just like when I traveled as a near-student; I am equally cognizant of when I toss it to the gutter as the locals sometimes do with their trash. I am savoring every bite of fabulous food. I am enjoying every sip of aperitif and every moment of light refracted through the atmosphere during the magic hours that suspend themselves over us at the start and especially end of each day.
A couple of things are desafinado. I never learned this language. I am doing my level best to gain traction as I go, because I would feel so much better if I had at least a rudimentary working ability to communicate. Sometimes,
lamento que yo no pudiera hablar el español.
De temps en temps, je regrette que je ne puisse pas glisser en espagnol.
I wish I could slip into Spanish. Just to show that I am not a self-centered American who doesn't care about bothering to learn any other languages. (Or an American who was never given the opportunity, or whose "opportunity" was two lame years of a mock high school requirement. Oh, wait...that was me...it was college where I learned. Anyway...)
...things are conversationally desafinado. And, the other thing that is slightly out of tune...I have not yet run to the shrine, the altar, the Mecca, the whateveryoucallit. Three days, and no visit to an olfactory temple.
Yes. I am in Paris, and I have only pressed my nose to the glass of a Guerlain outpost on the day when all shops are closed.
I don't think that it's the age of the internets and swappage and sharing that has led me to this, a potential sacrilege among the devout, a potential revocation of any perfumista card I might have laid claim to. My lack of homage is not a result of abundant sniff opportunity. It has more to do with the dual realities of my broader life--interest in many things, and the logistics of sharing this experience with other folks who have their own agendas (and from whom it is more difficult to separate).
I am here for the whole enchilada...erm, the whole tortiere. There have been fresh baguettes and croissants, pastis on the sidewalk, meanderings down boulevards, expeditions up constructions of wrought iron, boats on the Seine. There will be exhibits, and mansion museums, and parks, and more food and more walking.
And yes, I am sure, there will be perfume. Parfum. But there is time. First I wish to inhabit.
Meanwhile, let it be known that TDC de Sens et Bois is lovely on a moderate summer day in its upright posture gently cutting way, and Parfums de Rosine Poussiere de Rose is somehow sweeter. Perhaps the barest hint of that which might be skank? No, not really.