It’s that time again: Paris Fashion Week starts March 4


fashion week Paris 2015It ends March 11. Here are some useful links.  For a schedule of all the shows go to

To watch online go to


Fragonard Paris: An olfactory candy store


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Chanel No. 5 has endured endured for decades. This large illustration of Coco greets you when you enter her boutique on 382 Rue Saint Honoré. But, Fragonard? Not on the tip of everyone’s tongue, even though the company is centuries old. Located in Grasse, they create 76 fragrances, including Arielle, Baroque, Beau Gosse, Belle Cherie, Belle de Nuit, Billet Doux, and Caresse.  Fragonard has a small museum (free admission) just 2 minutes from l’Opera in an elegant Haussmann-style townhouse, where your nose can sniff a symphony of fragrance while you learn the history of perfume. The Napoleon III building was built in 1860 by Lesoufaché, a student of Garnier, and the decoration is entirely of that period. At the end of the tour (one is in English), peruse a gift shop where perfume related items may be purchased at a discount.


Fragonard  Le musée du parfum
9 rue Scribe, 75009
Open from monday to saturday from 9 am to 6 pm
Open on sunday and holydays from 9 am to 5 pm
Opéra metro station

Some history: The word ‘perfume’ is derived from the Latin per (through) and fumare (to smoke) because, long before the use of modern techniques, the first perfumes were obtained by burning woods, resins, and other complex mixtures. Modern perfumery began in the late 19th century with the commercial synthesis of aroma compounds such as vanillin or coumarin, which allowed for the composition of perfumes with smells previously unattainable solely from natural aromatics.

If you want to delve deeper into this world go visit The Osmotheque in Versailles, the world’s largest scent archive—internationally responsible for the authentication, registration, preservation, documentation, and reproduction of thousands of perfumes gathered from the past two millennia. Exclusive to the collection are rare masterpieces including fragrances by Coty, Houbigant, Roger & Gallet, Guerlain and those personalized and worn by Napoleon (an eau de cologne made during his exile on Saint Helena), Eugenie de Montijo and Elizabeth of Poland. Medieval toilet waters and 18th cendury powders have also been preserved.

Visit their website for tour and public access info.

The Osmotheque
36 Rue du Parc de Clagny, 7800 Versailles
Public transit: Gare de Versailles-Rive-Droite
(follow your nose)

For full perfumery exposure in Paris, visit the first floors of Printemps or Galeries Lafayette, where you can get whiffs of all the contemporary scents and be dazzled by their pretty displays and reps. I have to admit, Chanel No. 5: you’re still my fave.


The little museum that could: Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson


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“For me the camera is a sketch book, an instrument of intuition and spontaneity, the master of the instant which, in visual terms, questions and decides simultaneously. In order to ‘give a meaning’ to the world, one has to feel oneself involved in what one frames through the viewfinder. This attitude requires concentration, a discipline of mind, sensitivity, and a sense of geometry – it is by great economy of means that one arrives at simplicity of expression.” HCB

cartierbressonmuseumHard to get to, with crazy hours, and few Cartier-Bresson prints on view, a visit to this small museum in Paris is a worthwhile outing for serious fans of photography. Opened in 2003, the two floor gallery housed in an art-deco atelier built by Molinié in 1912, hosts three annual shows featuring masters of the medium.


Cartier-Bresson started a tradition of testing new camera lenses by taking photographs of ducks in urban parks. He never published the images but referred to them as ‘my only superstition’ as he considered it a ‘baptism’ of the lens. He disliked publicity and exhibited a ferocious shyness. Although he took many famous portraits, his face was little known to the world at large. This, presumably, helped allow him to work on the street undisturbed. He denied that the term “art” applied his photographs. Instead, he thought that they were merely his gut reactions to fleeting situations that he had happened upon.


“We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” – HCB

Cartier-Bresson's_first_LeicaCheck their website to gain some background on the featured photographer. Cartier-Bresson’s originals are on the upper floor.

Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson
2, Impasse Lebouis, 75014 Paris
Tel : 01 56 80 27 00

Gaité, line 13, exit n°1, towards rue de l’Ouest
Edgard Quinet, line n°6, towards rue de la Gaité

Bus: Line 28 and 58 Losserand-Maine stop; Line 88, Jean Zay – Maine stop

Opening Hours
Tuesday to Sunday, 1pm to 6:30pm, and Saturday from 11am to 6:45pm.
Late-night openings: Wednesdays until 8:30pm
Last entry: 30 mins before closing time
Closed on Mondays

7 € full-price
4 € reduced price: jobseekers, persons under 26 or over 60 years-old
Free admission for handicapped visitors, journalists, Friends of the Foundation and during late-night openings on Wednesdays (6:30pm – 8:30pm)

Quiet Paris: find a bench and cool your jets at Square Boucicaut



Noise, crowded sidewalks and tourist attractions are exhausting. Taking a break in one of Paris’s beautiful parks can be a refreshing interlude. Sit and staring, reading your guidebook (No Worries Paris) or munching on a sandwich are acceptable activities. No smoking please. Chill.

paris par kNoWorries Visiting this square filled with exotic plants and artistic plantings located across from Bon Marche department store can be a magic moment. Bon Marche has a gourmet deli, grocery department and outstanding patisserie for all your picnic needs. Eat, rest, shop ’til you drop. This is an activity off the beaten tourist path, so share a bench with a local and enjoy your splendid day in Paris. quietparis

Love, Loss and Sorrow at Pere Lachaise


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Haunting images for a soulful Friday.






Introducing……..No Worries Paris


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A sample page that takes you on a walk to Hotel de Sens, 1 Rue du Figuier, Paris 4th. This arrondissement oozes history and deserves at least half a day with an accompanying picnic along the Seine.

Did you know? We love Paris so much we wrote a guidebook for it. Take it on your next trip to Paris and put it to the test. You’ll see all the best sites and learn a little history along the way. You can buy it on, Barnes and Noble,, or directly from us (signed) at Trailblazer Travel Books.



Spotted on her Paris rounds: Lynn Yaeger


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fashion writer for Vogue

She’s a standout in a crowd, a one-of-a-kind fashion-firster, a person you can’t help noticing because of her eccentric personal style, and it was not once, but twice I caught up with her at two of her favorite haunts – the Vanves flea market and Dior Fashion Week show.

lynn yeager Paris

Did I introduce myself?….no. She was someone I knew had celebrity status but I didn’t know her name or where she fit into the fashion scene. To find her I turned to Google Images: red-hair cupie doll lips bangs fashion Paris and one small square photo of her face turned up. From there I went to a series of articles that filled me in with her impressive credits: contributing fashion editor to, contributing writer to Vogue, a former fashion reporter for The Village Voice with a thirty year career. Her column, “Elements of Style”, was renamed “Frock Star” in February 2007. She is a regular contributor to The New York Times, Style Magazine, American Vogue, Travel & Leisure and a fashion columnist for Full Frontal Fashion, a style website in association with Sundance Channel.

Yaeger describes her henna-dyed hairdo as that of ‘the world’s oldest French orphan’. Her powdered face, cupid’s-bow dark lipstick, and layered voluminous skirts round out the signature look. “People have asked how I get the courage to walk the streets in, say, a shredded Comme des Garçons coat over a tutu, with metallic orange hair. I owe my confidence at least in part to my parents, who were convinced I was the cutest thing on earth and told me so every single day. (Recently, seeing my reflection at a party, I could almost hear my mom saying, ‘Lynnie, you look so pretty!’)”

 No Worries Paris

Another interesting fact, Yaeger has been affected with a condition of ‘face blindness,’ or prosopagnosia, since she was a child. “I have a lot of difficulty recognizing faces and remembering faces, which is really bizarre for a fashion writer,” she says. “I need a lot of visual clues that aren’t the person’s face.” This has influenced the creation of her own strong, highly-identifiable signature look, she confirms.

Do you have the courage to stand out like Lynn? She is an inspiration and like her mom, I think she is truly beautiful.

fashion icon

Free music for the lonely train traveler in France



freepianoFranceEntertain or be entertained at many a train station in France. The SNCF has installed basic pianos across France. In Paris you’ll find them at Saint-Lazare, Montparnasse, Austerlitz, Gare de Lyon, Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est near the suburban (Transilien) train platforms on the upper levels. Adjoining the piano is a sign “À vous de jouer” meaning: it’s your turn to play. Usually the pianists are engrossed in their music but should they shoot you a smile, you could perhaps place a request. Pianists: this is a chance to show off what you’ve learned from all those boring lessons at home. No one will judge you. The sound of music brings smiles to passerbys…..guaranteed.

A quiet room in Paris




A good night’s sleep can make or break your vacation. The sound of snoring can resonate through budget hotel walls. Street noise can also be a factor. Read the reviews on before reserving.


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