Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Paris: Habanita in the Rain

My three favorite cities to walk in are Paris, Dublin, and New York. Dublin and Paris have a river running through them, which means many bridges to walk across. All three cities get their fair share of rain, and since I like walking in the rain, it works for me. The fruit and flower stalls look prettier on a rainy day. A piece of fruit tastes fresher when it is eaten in the rain. Walking in the rain clears your head like nothing else, and is so much better than sitting indoors hoping that the rain will stop. A cup of cafe au lait tastes so much better after you have been walking some distance in the rain.

The last time I was in Paris I went out on a cloudy day without a parapluie. It began to rain and I ran into a department store to buy a new one. I decided that as long as I had to buy one, I may as well buy the most unusual one they had, and found a plaid folding umbrella with a brown frog handle. Eight years have passed and I still have this umbrella. (seen in the photo, above) It folds small enough to fit in my handbag, the frog is cute, and it reminds me of all the small details of a particular rainy day in Paris. I wore the smoky warm scent Habanita by Molinard on that rainy day. The early June air was chilly and clean, the streets were uncrowded, the bridges were, for the most part, mine, and every once in a while I would smell the warm smoky peach fragrance escape from the nape of my neck and waft away in the damp breeze.

La Samaritaine, Le grand magasin. One-stop shopping. Although all I bought that day was the umbrella.

Zola wrote a novel about the creation of the first department store in Paris, the lives of the clerks and shoppers. A copy of "The Ladies Paradise" with another Molinard scent, Nirmala, which has hints of mango and musk.