Jardin du Palais Royal

The Jardin du Palais Royal is a perfect spot to sit, relax and picnic between boxed hedges, or to shop in the trio of beautiful arcades that frame the garden: the Galerie de Valois, Galerie de Montpensier and Galerie Beaujolais. However, it’s the southern end of the complex, polka-dotted with sculptor Daniel Buren’s 260 black-and-white striped columns, that has become the garden’s signature feature. This chic urban space is fronted by the neoclassical Palais Royal, constructed in 1633 by Cardinal Richelieu. The Galerie de Valois is the most upmarket arcade, with designer boutiques like Rick Owens, Stella McCartney and Pierre Hardy. Across the garden, in the Galerie de Montpensier, the Revolution broke out on a warm mid-July day, just three years after the galleries opened, in the Café du Foy. The third arcade is crossed by Passage du Perron, a passageway above which the writer Colette lived out the last dozen years of her life. Here are the four “secret” spots that I loved the most in this intimate, quite underrated place in Paris.

Rick Owens

Of course. Owens’ flagship store is two floors of dark fantasy. From the wax sculpture of the designer himself and raw furniture created by his life-partner, Michele Lamy, to the wearable disco-ball dresses (see the above photo) and the staff dressed head-to-toes in Rick, you just don’t want to leave this place (and you really, really want to belong to this universe!).

130-133 Galerie de Valois

Didier Ludot

This place has been on my list of places to visit since I discovered it in Hamish Bowles’ video guide around the best Parisian vintage stores. Ludot’s namesake shop at the Palais Royal gardens is the go-to destination for museum-quality vintage haute couture – it’s where Reese Witherspoon’s stylist found the 1950 Christian Dior duchess satin gown embroidered with rose garlands that the actress wore when she won the Best Actress Oscar in 2006. Designers often make appointments here to browse through the archives. Vintage Schiaparelli, Prada, Madame Grès, Lanvin, Christian Lacroix, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent… this place is intense. No photos policy!

24 Galerie de Valois

Olympia Le-Tan

The cult, hand-made book-clutches created by Olympia Le-Tan (the designer is no longer behind the brand) feels like an enchanted apartment, which happens to front the Palais Royal. From Mondrian and Van Gogh motifs to covers of Agatha Christie criminals and vintage Paris guides, find the clutch you love the most (and eventually keep it on your bookshelf).

Passage des Deux Pavillons

Augustinus Bader

Developed by a world-leading expert in stem cell research, Professor Augustinus Bader has spent thirty years unlocking the body’s innate processes to self-heal. The result? Game-changing skin care that uses a unique, patented Trigger Factor Complex – TFC8 – to help visibly reduce the signs of ageing and damage caused by environmental stressors, and leave skin looking restored, regenerated and glowing. The beautiful store – which looks more like a fancy salon than a regular cosmetics store – also happens to sell Victoria Beckham’s beauty line that isn’t available pretty much anywhere else in Europe.

84 Galerie de Beaujolais

All photos by Edward Kanarecki.

(P.S. If you are inspired by my Parisian coverage, I’m really happy about, but please have in mind that now isn’t a safe time for any sorts of travelling. Stay at home!)

Dover Street Parfums Market

25 years after the launch of the first Comme des Garçons perfume, 15 years after opening the first Dover Street Market in London, Comme des Garçons opens Dover Street Parfums Market in Paris. It’s a place you never knew you needed so much. Located two minutes from Musée Picasso, this outpost of DSM is dedicated to beauty with a selection of perfumes, cosmetic and make-up brands from around the world. From avant-garde independent young labels (Kerosene, 19-69, Ormaie…) to the most established and classic references, it’s an explosion of scents, sounds and textures. Skincare, body and hair care products are also part of the proposal, with a majority of sustainable and organic brands aimed for all the human spectrum. It’s about authencity, diversity, originality and inclusivity. Special guests include Gucci with its Alchemist’s Garden line; Byredo’s unique corner; events by MAC cosmetics (and their Instagram-big Comme Des Garçons tattoo kit available only here); Julien D’Ys’ hair installations; and Thom Browne who is about to launch his very first perfume range entitled 09.27.65. Dover Street Parfums Market has no commercial visuals, logos or gifts with purchases. As for the interior, Rei Kawakubo designed a forest of pillars with egg shaped shelves carved within them. Mainstream beauty stores and department stores are becoming even more bleak and charmless in my eyes now.

11 bis rue Elzevir / Paris

Chloë Sevigny x Régime des Fleurs

100 ml of pure heaven. I’m talking about Little Flower, the perfume made in collaboration between Régime des Fleurs, the fragrance label founded in Los Angeles by Alia Raza and Ezra Woods, and Chloë Sevigny, the film and fashion icon. Little Flower is Régime des Fleurs’ provocative take on Sevigny’s favorite bloom – the rose. Dewy, romantic and fleshy, with a woody musk finish. With black tea, bleeding heart (it’s actually a flower name, but then… who knows?), blackcurrant bud, peony, palo santo incense, pomelo, honeysuckle and a precious Ottoman rose absolute. I love Chloë Sevigny, I love Régime des Fleurs, I love roses – so I’m dying to try this perfume out.

Chloë Sevigny photographed by Inez & Vinoodh and styled by Haley Wollens.

Buly 1803 in Paris

Starting in the late 18th century, the famed “Bully”, established in 1803 on Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris, made a name for himself (which he then wore with a double consonant). At the turn of the 19th century, perfumers were still the heirs of the craftsmen from the Ancien Régime, and the keepers of their trade secrets. The fervour of perfumes followed in the wake of a fresh openness to the world and to its novel, sometimes exotic flowers – as with Joséphine de Beauharnais, who imported to France and acclimatized new olfactory species and audacities. Bully welcomed the advances of science and cosmetics to formulate his own inventions in form of perfumes and scented oils. Among these, his remarkable skin care products achieved lasting fame. Throughout the Golden Century of beauty, which witnessed the invention of the first formulations of modern cosmetics and perfumery, the ‘officine’ gradually established itself as a trend-setter.

Today, Buly 1803 is reborn in Paris, on rue Bonaparte 6 in the sixth arrondissement, with a different spelling and a refreshed concept. Visiting their boutique was like entering a cabinet de curiosités, falling hard for the opulent marble furniture, antique illustrations on the walls, and Japanese porcelain flacons costing 3000 euros and up. The revamped water-based perfume line surprises and intrigues with compositions such as Peruvian Heliotrope, Kiso Yuzu, Sevillian Brigarade or Mexican Tuberose. Buly 1803 is a true gem and it’s quite unbelievable to find brands like this in our world of fast, mass-consumption.

Photos by Edward Kanarecki.

On My (Perfume) Shelf

Hello in 2019! The festive season appeared to be very, very fruitful in Santa gifts… here are the two fragrances I’ve completely lost my mind for. Also, it appears I’m a sucker for tonka bean.

Unknown Pleasures by Kerosene / You’re walking down a cold street in England, listening to Joy Division, sipping on a warm cup of London Fog. This fragrance opens up with the smooth sweetness of honey with Earl Grey tea, with a zing of lemon. It dries down to a cozy vanilla, soft tonka bean and waffle cone base, sure to make any gourmand lover smileNotes? Earl Grey tea, lemon, bergamot, honey, tonka bean, baramel, vanilla and waffle cone.

Tonka 25 by Le Labo / This one is dark. A good, addictive, warm dark, as if the humid summer underwoods, their seeds and resins, were sprinkled with layers of musks and sweetened with drops of vanilla. The perfumer’s notes say orange flower absolute, the unique cedar atlas, styrax resins, absolute tonka and musks… get this one right in here.

Photo by Edward Kanarecki.

Ormaie Paris

Ormaie Paris is a family run fragrance maison with roots deep in art and nature. Creativity is at the heart of the brand – Ormaie’s founders have brought together artists and artisans to write each chapter of the Ormaie story. All of the Ormaie fragrances (there are seven) are composed solely of natural ingredients with the ultimate goal of elegance and quality. The ultra-chic, geometrical flacons attract the eyes; the titles and descriptions of each of the perfumes excite the mind. Let’s see. Yvonne is modern homage to the classical feminine perfume, blending rose and the chypre notes with the scent of red fruits. Toï Toï Toï, a German expression ballet dancers say to wish good luck before going on to perform, labels a fragrance that evokes polished wooden boards of the stage and the dancer’s waxed ballet shoes. Meanwhile L’Ivrée Bleue is a narcotic scent that depicts the eroticism of Gauguin and the jungle themes of Rosseau. It smells dark vanilla, of rum and of the scents of the island. Oh my. Want more? Read here. Want to buy right away, impulsively, just like me? Well, at the moment Ormaie sells only at Barneys New York. New Yorkers, lucky you. The rest got to dream for a while.

Mondo Mondo

Mondo Mondo is a jewelry and fragrance label based in Los Angeles. The brand provides a visual and sensual world inspired by archaic wonders and baroque ornamentation – there’s nothing simple about it, that’s for sure. Mondo Mondo, a name chosen for its cinematic undertones,  utilizes the ancient art of storytelling to guide the designs. Intrinsically archetypal, Natasha Ghosn’s pieces become both personal and universal. Whether it’s a heart pendant, ‘Soleil’ earrings with rhinestone chains or (my favourite) ‘Friend’ ring in sterling, there’s something magical about those made to order goodies. The fragrance line by Ghosn is equally elusive, yet appealing. The descriptions of the six perfumes make you dream. I Like You In Velvet is summed in the following way: “in an iridescent cloud of iris and carrots I found my expression. Silk gloves, lipstick wax, silver like the movies. Ballet, jazz, and modern dance, too.” Then, we’ve got the greenish Cowboy. “Here the spirit of the Cowboy is represented as The Fool in this unisex fragrance. He is free, naive, and fearless. You can find him sleeping peacefully under the stars.” Tobacco, leather and grass combined with honeysuckle and coffee must be some sort of nasal ecstasy. Would love to try each of them, but the brand sadly doesn’t ship alcohol-based products to Europe. Still, whether you’re in USA or not, check out Mondo Mondo’s site for more!

Goest Perfumes

378972

Reading about perfumes is a bad idea, especially when you want to try them out so badly. So, beware. Goest Perfumes is a fragrance house coming from Los Angeles. Jacqueline Steele‘s offerings are unisex fragrances with a so-called ‘intuitive aesthetic’. You might have just thought: what?! Shortly, each scent is uniquely composed to work with, not against, the scent of the human body, with internal structures that mimic the effect of living things, and real scenes. So, it’s not a mistake if you think of Goest’s creations as of ‘living’ perfumes.

When you browse their site, you will find the How to choose a perfume tab. Prepare yourelf for the next dose of surprises. Each of the scents is absolutely different – and not just on such grounds like whether they’re based on floral or smokey notes. Depending on your habits, grooming products and even the weather, your daily smell will have specific characteristics. To suit all those lifestyle variables, Goest created the seven fragrances. For the users of fresh-scented laundry detergents, there’s Lartigue. Realism and Grand Tour “grab” into the human sweat and dress it in additional cleanliness and sensuality. Also, Grand Tour is the perfect choice for frequent fliers. Then we’ve got Dauphine (inspired by the imageries of Sofia Coppola’s film Marie Antoinette), which has a freshly sweet, rosewater-scented scent that is perfectly fits hot climate. But for many, the most sensational is Smoker’s Perfume. Goest made a fragrance specifically for smokers, and it isn’t meant to cover up the smell of smoke, but to enhance and beautify that strong scent on clothing, hair and skin. It completes the smell of cigarette smoke, which makes the only fragrance of its kind. Even though I don’t smoke… I find this exciting.

I thought that the world of niche perfumes has seen it all. Well. Goest is a proof that olfactory sensations have no limits.

Slajd2-kopia 7378965Slajd1-kopia 10Slajd3-kopia 7

Beauty. Valentino Couture AW18

Slajd1-kopia

“With ready-to-wear, your vision of beauty relates to the times you are living in,” Pierpaolo Piccioli stated after his brilliant, magnificent and remarkable haute couture collection for Valentino. Then, he concluded that “couture involves a deeper and more intimate perspective, to go further into your own vision of beauty.”

‘Beauty’ was definitely the keyword behind that line-up of gorgeousness – by that I mean everything, from Guido Palau’s major hair to the closing orange gown worn by Adut Akech (yes, it’s the same piece Beyoncé snatched to one of her On The Run II concerts, week later after the show took place. That’s quick). No wonder why Valentino Garavani, the man of the brand, was so moved and all in tears by the end of the show. Piccioli pulled of the opulent Italian style in a masterful way, like the founder of the maison did back in the past. Floor-sweeping kimono coats; over-sized shirts with equally XXL collars; skirts and jackets covered in bejewelled prints referring to Greek mythology; ruffled coats in signature Valentino red. The list seems to be endless, just like the number of pink feathers used for that ecstatically fantastic dress Kaia Gerber walked the runway in. But Pierpaolo is known for injecting contemporary elements of the wardrobe to the most exquisite collections of his. Some of the dresses were in fact cut like a t-shirt, while sheer silk blouses with embroideries looked unexpectedly casual with Bermuda shorts. Modernity also came to this collection through colours the designer chose. Of course there were all the rich emeralds and fuchsias. But the dirty shade of pastel pink, softness of pistachio and the depth of burgundy rescued the collection from visually being too over-the-top. The collection, the way it is, somewhere between the old glamour and present sense of style, is perfect.

With John Galliano’s Maison Margiela, I think the verdict is quite clear – we’ve got the ultimate winners of this season’s couture. Now, let me die knowing that I won’t put my hands on all that radzimir and taffeta…

Slajd1Slajd2-kopiaSlajd3-kopiaSlajd5Slajd4Slajd6Slajd7Slajd8

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.