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Paris! Hach! When you think of Paris, everyone thinks of this city in their own unique way. There are as many associations to Paris as there are sights in this city. Given the abundance of choice, it is often difficult to describe the places, sites and buildings visited. If one wants to tell somebody where there is something great to see, then at some point, the term arrondissement or quartier comes up. And at the latest then it gets confusing. Paris is divided into 20 arrondissements. These 20 districts are then each divided into 4 quartiers. This makes a total of 80 quarters. If the arrondissements are arranged clockwise starting from the Louvre, the 80 quarters do not follow a comprehensible pattern. But moreover, we often talk about Parisian quarters that actually are not quarters at all. For example, the Quartier Latin that is located in the 5th arrondissement but is not an administrative district as such but only describes the university district. Or the trendy Marais in the 4th and partly 3rd arrondissement with its numerous small boutiques and cafes.
One can divide Paris of course also fun-half after the preferences of the Tourist:innen. There are on the Montmartre those hopeless Romantiker:innen, the howling Moulin Rouge soundtrack sing up and down or climb like Amelie in Zorro costume on the Sacré-Cœur and eat raspberries from the fingers. Or under the Eiffel Tower, where World's Fair geeks flock to snap selfies. In the Latin Quarter, on the other hand, you'll meet library nerds and path beer-drinking endless students. Around the Louvre, instead, it's teeming with royalists and art historians babbling away in nickel glasses and questionable Mona Lisa smiles. Then there's the Marais, where mostly queer tourists parade through the narrow streets and populate the countless sidewalk cafes at an early hour in the name of freedom and tolerance. And there is the Rue Saint-Honoré with the haute couture houses in the side streets, where predominantly members of the Parfumo community drag themselves and their killer sillage from one perfumery to the other.
And then there's the Quartier Saint-Germain-des-Prés.
It's actually a real quarter and is located in the 6th arrondissement and is considered THE quarter of intellectuals and artists. At least it used to be. Existentialism was invented here, and certainly many other isms of art and literature. All the greats of painting, literature, music, film and the boulevard frolicked here from the middle of the 20th century onwards. It is said that in a small attic apartment at Quai Malaquais No. 3, Romy Schneider and Alain Delon were still lovers in their early years, while in the famous cafés such as Les Deux Magots and the Café de Flore, the stars and starlets admired each other.
Apparently Hedi Slimane, as the creative head of the new Celine perfume line, often sat in one of the cafés on the Boulevard Saint-Germain and was inspired by this fragrance. He speaks of a quarter of eternal youth with its look influenced by novel and cinema heroes, which he wants to have captured here.
The fragrance starts thanks Petigrain and Neroli fresh-green as a possible allusion to the addition "des Prés", which means "in the meadows". This fresh green excursion to the meadow disappears, however, already after a few minutes again and it develops a typical of the line powderiness. The fragrance remains bright and you can still sense the neroli for quite a while despite the increasing sweetness. As it progresses, iris, heliotrope and vanilla take over and the scent is reminiscent of melted butter without being too powerful. The scent concept remains creamy powdery dry sweet and darkens a bit towards the end. The presence of the scent is rather reduced and skin deep, so that you have a fine and clean, not too sweet butter-vanilla-cream aura around you almost throughout the day. This serves the current zeitgeist with more sweetness in perfumes, but is never overbearing or even too much. I would still classify the fragrance as unisex despite the powder and sweetness. If one looks for comparison fragrances, one can imagine quiet, creamy powdery variants of Dior's Bois d'Argent and Guerlain's Cuir Beluga.
Saint-Germain-des-Prés is a light, pale powdery-creamy, very classy and high-end clean scent that I have come to appreciate and love. Nothing scratches or bites here, so I don't quite want to make the association with the eponymous neighborhood. If I think because of the history of Saint-Germain-des-Prés but rather something colorful, exciting, playful, dazzling and unconventional, so the fragrance does not want to convince in this regard of hoped-for sophistication so right.
But as a Paris lover who likes to sit in the Café de Flore and watch people, I will certainly put the fragrance on next time. And maybe I'll strike up a conversation with a star or starlet or two. Maybe. Or maybe not. It doesn't matter. The main thing is Paris. Hach.