A Visit to Jo Malone boutique in Paris – Rue Saint Honoré

Last Saturday I popped in to the flagship Jo Malone store in Paris for a hand and arm massage as well as a bit of retail therapy. Situated on the luxury shopping street of Rue Saint Honoré, the store enjoys a prime piece of real estate directly opposite the trendy Colette store.

Like all Jo Malone boutiques, the store was bright, airy, exceptionally clean and smelled heavenly.

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Gorgeous, minimaliste decor

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Wish my collection looked like this!

The quintessential British brand has become a luxe cult favorite. Oprah reportedly adores their bath oils, while Kate Middleton ensured that Jo Malone candles burned their sweet smell in Westminster Abbey for her wedding to Prince William. Princess Kate apparently loves the brand so much; she handed out Jo Malone party favors at her baby shower!

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Gorgeous collaboration with Michael Angove

Seeing as Jo Malone now sell five categories of fragrances, I arrived at the store with a list –an actual printed list – of scents I was interested in. The lovely store assistant, Celine, was ever professional and took the time explain the key notes of each fragrance and the concept behind their creation.

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Jo Malone’s London Rain Collection

It was very difficult to narrow down the extensive list of choices, but in the end I was left with two very different scents. We decided to use one scent on each arm during the massage… supposedly to help with my final decision.

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

The Tasting Bar

Celine started by a warm towel wipe followed by a gentle lathering of Nectarine Blossom and Honey hand and body wash. For my left arm I chose the Blue Agava and Cacao body cream followed by a generous spritz of the fragrance. On the other arm I went with the classic English Pear and Freesia body cream, again followed by a spritzing of the same scent.

The massage was meant to help me decide on my favorite of the two, but in the end, unable to choose one over the other, I purchased both! (Reviews coming shorty!)

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

I could not resist!

Wrapping purchases at the Jo Malone store is a joy in itself. Each item is lovingly nestled on black tissue paper, placed in a luxurious Jo Malone cream and black signature box tied with an elegant ribbon. The stylist will then liberally spray another sheet of tissue paper in your chosen scent and place this inside a thick, creamy Jo Malone paper bag, again finished off with their signature black ribbon. It’s very hard to resist a purchase when the packaging is this special!

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

Dreamy Wrapping

Jo Malone Paris Saint HonoreJo Malone is renowned for their Art of Fragrance Combining or ‘layering’, which helps one create their own bespoke scent by liberally mixing and matching any of their fragrances. This concept was very new to me and I was quite intrigued by it. So before I left, Celine gave me a crash course in Fragrance Combining.

I must admit, I have stumbled onto two solid winners:

Blue Agava and Cacao layered with Rose Water and Vanilla

and

English Pear and Freesia layered with Wild Bluebell.

Jo Malone Paris Saint Honore

My collection is growing!

I absolutely loved these combinations, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the Wild Bluebell fragrance at my next visit.

For a complimentary hand and arm massage and the aid of a professional Fragrance stylist to walk you through the art of fragrance combining, visit the Jo Malone boutique on Rue Saint Honoré.

326 Rue Saint Honoré, 75001 Paris 01 47 03 01 66

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The Louvre Museum Express Tour

Navigating Paris’ most famous museum may be a bit overwhelming, even for the most avid museum enthusiast.

The Louvre houses over 35,000 pieces of art, displayed across an area that covers 60,600 square meters. Add to the fact that the museum receives around 10 million visitors each year, it’s easy to understand why navigating the Louvre’s treasures can be more than a little daunting.

Louvre Express Tour Paris

(Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Blieusong)

Whether you’re looking for a basic introduction to the museum, or stopping by on a whirlwind tour of the city, an ‘Express Tour’ might be just what you’re looking for, especially if time and interest may not allow for a full-fledged visit.

For my friends and family who come to visit in Paris, I often take them on a short tour of the museum incorporating the Louvre’s three famous ladies: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Greek statue of Venus de Milo, and the winged Nike of Samothrace.

Mona Lisa:

The eyebrow-less, enigmatic subject of Italian master Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous and recognizable works of art is often the beeline towards which most visitors to the Louvre will dash. Perhaps the first and most obvious cry form their lips will be “It’s so small!”

Mona Lisa Louvre Express Tour ParisThe Mona Lisa can be found in the Denon wing of the Louvre’s first floor.

Venus de Milo:

Also known as the Aphrodite of Milos, as it is said to be a depiction of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty. No one really knows when or how here arms were amputated but this just leads to the enigma of the statue.

Venus de Milo Louvre Express Tour ParisLocated on the ground floor of the Denon wing, along with two of my favorite pieces: Michelangelo’s Dying Slave and Canova’s depiction of Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss.

Nike of Samothrace:

Another famous Greek goddess graces the halls of the Louvre, this time Nike, the goddess of victory. It is apt then, that this beautiful statue is referred to as the ‘Winged Victory of Samothrace’.

Victory Nike of Samothrace Louvre Express Tour Paris

Occupying its prime spot on the landing of the central Daru staircase in the Louvre, it is quite hard to miss this masterpiece, even on the shortest of visits.

Victory Nike of Samothrace Louvre Express Tour Paris

 

Whilst many tour operators can offer you this short guided visit, the Louvre map (handed to you when your purchase your ticket) will suffice for a self-guided tour, as these three important works of art are well signed.

Hopefully your visit to Paris will allow the opportunity to visit this wonderful museum in detail, but if not, catching a glimpse of these beauties should leave you feeling culturally satisfied.

PS: Tour not complete without prerequisite tourist picture: ‘touching’ the point of the Louvre pyramid 😉

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A New Direction

The title of this post might make you think ‘Glee’ or even those 1D boys…but I assure you, it’s none of that.

So… this blog has been a little quiet lately and to my loyal readers, I apologize for that. Having a full time job and various life happenings (like a big cross continental move soon) will do that to even the most dedicated bloggers!

Anyway, in an effort to keep my joy of writing… and my sanity, I’ve decided to move the direction of this blog a wee bit: I plan to introduce a few more lifestyle posts in the future.

Whilst travel and reviews of hotels, restaurants and spas will remain my first love and the focus of this blog, I feel it a pity that I’ve lived in this fascinating city of Paris for more than five years now, and have not shared much about the life and happenings in the City of Lights.

So without further ado, look out for new lifestyle posts including museums, exhibitions, luxe products and such…but I promise, no recipes. NOT EVER!

The heavy cost of Love

Paris is literally being weighed down by Love !

Last week, a portion of the city’s famous love-lock bridge, the Pont des Arts collapsed under the weight of the multitude of love-locks attached to the railings along the bridge. The collapsed portion has been removed, and for safety reasons, has been temporarily replaced by a piece of wood.

Paris Pont des Arts love lock bridge collapses

The collapsed section of rail on the Pont des Arts (source: nbcnews.com)

The city council has been at a loss about what to do with the increasing number of love-locks attached to the numerous bridges of Paris, starting from the Notre Dame region, all the way down to the Louvre. Parisians themselves, have come to dislike the practice, claiming it makes the bridges unsafe.

I for one, have to wonder about the gazillion keys on the Seine riverbed, rusting away, leeching chemicals into the water. But apparently not worried enough, as Mr Wolf and I have already staked our claim to a piece of railing on the Pont des Arts.

pont des arts love locks  Paris

The bridge’s rails have amassed thousands of love-locks (Source: aol.com)

If you’re unfamiliar with the urban legend behind the love-locks… here it is: In order to ensure a lasting love, a couple inscribes their names/initials onto a lock and fastens it to the bridge’s rail. Then, together they throw the key into the River Seine. It has been said that as long as the lock remains fastened – its keys lost forever in the depths of the Seine- they are forever ‘locked’ in love, never to be parted.

pont des arts love locks 2

For ever. And ever. And ever. (Source: washington.cbslocal.com)

Makes me wonder about the thousands of locks that were removed and disposed of from the portion of the bridge that collapsed last week. Broken hearts around the world???