The other day, two new things in two of my favorite categories.
One: Gentian liqueur.
Two: Ninfeo Mio perfume.
Within a block of each other.
Sprayed the Ninfeo Mio first, in a tiny cute shop tucked away on a street leading from the Metro stop to the D'Orsay museum. Could have predicted enjoying Goutal's version of a "bracing" opening--refreshing, but not so much a hard slap as the quick schmack! followed by the 'not really painful but you can tell something violent led to' relief of cold water splashed on hot pavement. The bergamot is part of that. A lemony bergamot that is quickly pulled back by some dryness, dryness which doesn't remove the citrus, but makes it behave differently. The kind of thing DH calls "peppery." (Sharp generally = "peppery" in his book, especially if bergamot is involved.) Quite pleasing, if you go in for that sort of thing. And I do.
Later, it transitions into a smooth herby gently sweet something. Which I want to experience again. And plan to. And perhaps will describe better then. But meanwhile, I was distracted by...
...gentiane. On a cafe menu. I've been enjoying this business of the public aperitif; back home, I'm like some lady in her dotage, sneaking a nip of the sherry when cooking. You see, nobody "does" aperitifs in my local circles. I'm working on changing that...but for now, if I'm enjoying an apertif, it's generally just me and my gardening companion The 70 Pound Dog, sitting out on the patio, staring at the plants and trying to conjecture what I can cook in 30 minutes or less that will seem like it was something I gave serious consideration for part of the day. (The old days of no time to stop to breathe seem to have their most serious vestiges in my cooking habits...)
Here, my spouse joins me, and we join others, and there's a whole shelf of things to choose from. Not always gentiane, however, so I took my chance. And it was bitter herbal tonically good. Fabulous color, too...not the hyper fluorescence of absinthe, but something that the good forest might have conjured.
Those herbs? I fancied I found them in the drydown of Ninfeo Mio. Tucked away among a layer of gentle floral.
This is one corner of Paris I'll be able to enjoy in my grotto, whether I am alone or with company. Give me a ring if you're in the neighborhood; I'll set you up. A slap on the wrist and a sharp in the glass.
If you don't like 'em, you can always swap for Shalimar and a vanilla creme soda.