One Thousand Scents

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Je suis de retour

Which is French for "I have returned."

This morning as I got back from the gym, I was transfixed by the smell in the parking lot: wet, not quite humid but the wetness that follows a warm spring rain, laced with new greenery and of course the intoxication of lilacs. I had worried that I would miss them, that my trip would take me back home just as they had finished their decomposition--it would not have been a tragedy, because they were blooming in Edinburgh a few weeks ago when I was there--but the lilac blossoms were just barely past their peak when we arrived home on Friday night, and this morning there was some rot but still enough living blooms to saturate the air with perfume, and for that I am grateful.

We got bumped from our flight, or rather a representative from the airline talked us into giving up our flight for another the next day. Pros: we received £50 in cash for meals, almost $1000 in travel vouchers, and a free hotel stay (an extremely nice one at Gatwick Airport, the Sofitel), in addition to which our flight the next day would land us in Moncton (where we live) instead of Halifax. Cons: the next day was very long, stretching from fiveish in the morning (because we can never sleep the night before a flight), though a draining seven-and-a-half-hour flight to Toronto, where we endured a hideously jet-lagged five-plus hour wait at the airport for the next flight, finally arriving home at 11:40 p.m. local time, 3:40 a.m. brain time.

But at least I got to shop at the Gatwick Duty-Free!

I didn't make the same mistake I made last time, of assuming that I had bought enough scents and therefore of leaving the shop without anything. (I still regret not having bought that Eau Sauvage Cuir Fraicheur two and a half years ago.) And so I got myself:

A set of Guerlain Aqua Allegoria miniatures, quite cleverly composed of the first two scents, Herba Fresca and Pampelune, and the latest two, Flora Nymphea and Bouquet No. 1 (a travel exclusive, available nowhere but at duty-free shops). I mostly bought it for the first two, which I used to own and which I miss, plus I was curious about the Bouquet No. 1. (The minis are all 7.5 mL, each in its own undeniably beautiful box, but each box is in all honesty big enough to hold all four bottles, so it's kind of deceptive. But I knew what I was getting.)

A set of Kenzo miniatures, "Kenzo Kaleidoscope", containing Amour, Flower, Jungle Elephant, Parfum d'Ete, and L'Eau Par Kenzo, in a smart little box that opens like a book.

A gorgeous black faux-leather storage box containing 10-mL minis of Dior Homme and Dior Homme Sport, Eau Sauvage (which should be in every man's wardrobe and which shamefully was not in mine), and Fahrenheit and Fahrenheit 32. I already have a full bottle of the last, but I'm sure I can palm the mini off on someone.

There was a lot of other stuff I wanted, almost all of it miniatures: a set of 20-mL bottles of the D&G tarot scents (the first five in the series, anyway), various Mugler sets I couldn't justify at all, as if that's ever stopped me before, some really spectacular Dior and Chanel and Guerlain sets, and no doubt a whole lot of other things I can't remember right that I deeply wanted at the time. But after having bought four (!) Lutens scents and some other non-olfactory stuff (yeah, I know, really?), I was getting perilously close to my $750 limit for the trip, so I had to stop. But there will be other trips.

Especially now that we have almost $1000 in vouchers!


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