Paris is a city full of temptations. Delicious pastries, gorgeous clothes, expensive and exclusive perfumes (160€ for a tiny bottle!?), beautiful food shops and magnificent art. So, to not use my entire travel budget on the first day I made a little list of what I was really looking to buy on the trip so that I wouldn't be tempted to buy everything sparkly and beautiful. I love picking things I'll love for ages, and this time I really, really wanted:
A SUMMER COAT, SNEAKERS (PREFERRABLY SPARKLING. YEAH, I KNOW), A NEW PERFUME, A NICE STACK OF FRENCH MAGAZINES (THEY ARE SO MUCH CHEAPER THERE), SUNGLASSES, IRRESISTIBLE FOOD STUFF, BOOKS AND SOMETHING FOR MY BIG WHITE WALLS.
Whenever I want to buy something, and actually have the money for it, I can't find anything I like. But this time was very different. I got a perfect spring/summer coat, stunning shoes, Dior Addict, magazines, Charlotte found me two pairs of sunglasses (13€ total!), honey, mustard, caramel, chocolate, How to Be Parisian (that I read in one day) and two amazing photographs. I think I did good. I worked with my budget and left still dreaming of that perfume I'll buy when I can really afford it. Perfumes are tricky and they need to suit you perfectly. They develop over the first few hours and trying on the different variations before being them should be a no brainer. Even though I'd tried the perfume I bought several times before, I made the wrong choice, and realized two minutes after leaving Dior (after just double checking the two scents I had sprayed on my wrists). Having to try to explain it to the very nice french lady was not one of my proudest moment. That gut feeling though.
In finding the perfect coat there are so many things that can go wrong. Fit, colour, fabric and style all need to come together in a perfect combination and I had tried on about 20 coats, bought one and then retuned it, before stepping into the huge COS store in Rue Tronchet. But there it was: with a perfect fit, a little bit oversized with room for thin, warm sweaters, a gorgeous colour, deliciously soft fabric and a beautiful, thin lining that is revealed whenever the wind carefully lifts the top layer of the coat. I. Love. It.
I also went home with gorgeous, fragrant lavender from Provence that I'll use for cocktails and cakes, golden lemon infused honey and mustard also made it's way into my suitcase. Having these things in my kitchen makes me very happy, being reminded of the varieties of flavors we can indulge in, and take home with us when we travel.
There they are. The shoes I have been looking for. And they are perfect. I had to fight a little for them, and there is no doubt in my mind that Charlotte was a little (okay, maybe very) annoyed with me for dragging her across Paris to get to the store that had one pair left in my size before they closed. I'm going to make her a little french afternoon with perfect lemon meringue pie and sparkly to try to make up for being a little consumed with my own problems (getting these shoes being one of them), and hope she can forgive me.