I am a total Francophile. I love French fashion, food and that certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ effect their accent has on me. Their style is effortlessly chic. Feminine yet androgynous. Carven has always been a favourite to go to for their signature tailored trousers, mini skirts and sophisticated outerwear. Only did I learn recently that they also create a incredible line of luxury scents.
I was invited to explore Carven’s latest collection of fragrances with a twenty-four journey through Paris. The collection is inspired by Madame Carven’s longstanding love of travelling. In the range there are seven fragrances; Florence, Sao Paulo, Seville, Manila, Bangalore and Mascate. Each of the scents embodies the nature of the city it’s named after. Pairs-Seville, is rich with bergamot and citrus notes from green mandarin. Neroli, green tea leaves and Virginia creeper build the medium notes and there are beautiful base notes of white wood and musk.
My personal favourite, Paris-Florence, is a fruity floral fragrance. You immediately smell the delicious magnolia flowers combined with blackcurrent. There are also heliotrope flowers, sandlewood, myrrh and Virginia Cedarwood. It’s elegant, fresh and feminine.
As part of our journey we were lucky enough to venture to the Musée du Parfum where we learnt about the heritage of perfume and learnt about key figures in the perfume making industry. Through the ages perfume has had a variety of purposes – religion, seduction deception – and, of course, concealing bad odours. This, however, was not its primary use. Visiting the museum is well worth it, if you love perfume. There is also an interactive exhibition at the end and an opportunity to make your own master-piece (or disaster, more likely).
We were also treated to a tour of the city and lunch at one of the city’s most iconic restaurants, Brasserie Lipp. The food was incredible, but it was a battle getting my steak cooked right. The French are famous for loving their meat rare, but our waiter was clearly convinced I wanted mine cremated. As we walked around the charming city, I fell in love with it all over again. I love Paris’s bohemian style. If I had longer, I would’ve raided all their vintage shops and spent an evening listening to live music in St Germain. I hope it’s not too long until I visit again.