Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Although the history of scent extraction goes back to a female chemist in Mesopotamia in 1200 BC, modern perfume owes its origins to Queen Elizabeth of Hungary. She commissioned its creation in 1370 and introduced it to Europe.
Emily is a passionate perfume aficionado. So it was with great anticipation that we go to Le Grand Musée du Parfum in the Eighth. There are four floors of history and olfactory escapades. In an exhibit that looks like a scene from a pallid Alice in Wonderland garden, motion sensors activate spritzers of natural scents when you stick your schnoz in a cone. Another exhibit offers little gold balls that you hold to your nose, and then to your ear, to smell, and then listen about the base ingredients of all perfumes. Spend about four hours sniffing our way through the museum. Afterward we drop in on a café just outside in the courtyard. Over two large glasses of wine we discuss what Emily would name her own perfume line.
Later, Emily suggests that we take a boat ride down the Seine river. "The big boats look too touristy to be fun," I say. Emily says I should shut the f**k up and buy some tickets. Which I dutifully do. The trip is incredible, and I learn to reign in my cynicism.