“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the Fall” — F. Scott Fitzgerald
The other day I was in the Cire Trudon boutique in Paris (trying to not look completely suspicious as I was sneakily snapping a few pics and smelling every single candle under the watchful eye of the shop attendant)—when I found my scent of the season: Abd El Kader. Anyone who knows me knows I have a thing for candles. They elevate senses, trigger memories and just smell downright awesome. Cire Trudon describes this scent as “a wind of freedom coming all at once from the Mascara coast and down from the mountains bringing in its foolish race the green scents of fresh mint, the rashness of fights, the hot and peppered air of ginger and the perfume of tea and tobacco from the Ouled Nail tribe”. Frankly, I have no idea what it all means—but with notes of spearmint, lemon-yellow, black currant bud, apple, ginger, clove and jasmine, it’s the perfect scent to transition from summer to winter. The scent is fresh yet familiar and heartwarming, just like October is.
October happens to be one of my favorite months, not because I enjoy looking forward to the long winter months (I don’t)—but because it’s my month of birth, and it forces me to evaluate the year I’ve just had, and the year I’m about to have. It’s the perfect time of year to slow down and take the time to introspect about the times to come. I feel there’s going to be big changes in the coming year and it feels good to start by slowing down and simplifying a little. What better way to welcome the crispness of Fall than with a signature scent, a warm Pendleton throw, a hint of faux fur and the perfect wide brim hat to keep your ears warm when you need to venture outside…
I’m writing this post—slightly jet-lagged and caffeine fuelled—24 hours after landing from Paris. Although I spent 8 days in the city of lights, here’s how I’d break it down into two action-packed days.
Day 1 — Saint-Germain des Prés: Walk down le Boulevard Saint-Germain-des-Prés, up Rue du Bac, and stop at Le Bon Marché (Barneys‘ French equivalent) and head to the third floor where you’ll find all the best French designers: Sandro, Maje, Comme des Garçons and much more. Step into La Grande Épiecerie—a foodie’s paradise—I only wish I could do my groceries there every week. By then, you’ll probably be salivating. Stop for lunch at Ralph’s and order a lobster roll or one of their famous hamburgers (not very French, I know, but delicious). Continue to walk around, up and down all the little streets, through les Jardins du Luxembourg, along the rue de Seine’s galleries and antique shops… Walk back up to Place l’Odéon and have a drink on the terrasse at Le Hibou—the perfect spot for people watching. When for dinner at Le Comptoir across the street—they don’t take reservations and the place is popular, but you can step into L’avant Comptoir next door and order a glass of wine to help with the wait. After dinner, walk down to the banks of La Seine and take in the views.
Day 2 — Le Marais: Start your day at Merci with a petit déjeuner and a shopping spree. Their home floor is filled with delightfully beachy and industrial furniture. Then, spend the day walking up and down the Marais’s boutique-filled quaint streets. Head westward to Frenchie To-Go for lunch and walk towards le Palais Royal and le jardin des Tuileries. Stop by Astier de Villatte‘s beautiful shop and buy a candle or two. When you’ve had enough of tourist crowds, take an Uber to Canal Saint Martin, where locals are likely sipping champagne on the banks. Take another Uber to Le Royal Monceau and have dinner at Il Carpaccio. The oversized coral chandelier alone is worth seeing in this one-star Michelin dining room. Have a Singapore Sling at their Long Bar (Raffles invented it 100 years ago in Singapore after all). For a nightcap that you won’t soon forget, head to Caffè Stern—Paris’ hottest new establishment designed by Phillip Starck—and expect to be blown away by quirky waiters and an even quirkier decor. Order an aperol spritz, a bottle of wine and a few tapas.
You guys, I could not have had a better surprise waking up in Paris on Friday morning— the SHB x Oomph Tini table collection sold out in just a few hours! I’m so excited for each of the lucky new Tini Table owners to receive their new piece. For those who didn’t get to buy one—we are looking into producing more so send me a message if you’d like to reserve a table from the next batch!
I’m flying back from Paris today and have a couple of days to rest and catch up on work before heading back out to NYC. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed, even if it’s only for a few days.