An American Blogger In Paris: Visiting The Caron Boutique

Or: Luca Turin Was Right

While I was living in vintage heaven, something bad has happened to the house of Caron. It's not that I was completely oblivious. I knew that the house has changed hands, I've heard that scents were reformulated and I read Perfumes: The Guide, so I had a general idea that scents I used to know as lively and potent no longer smell masterpiecey. I just hoped Mr. Turin was being dramatic.

The store is pretty in a frou-frou way. Large colorful powder puffs, gilded mirrors, carved bottles and all kinds of lace-and-beads fashion accessories that don't make much sense. But you're not there for embroidered scarves. It's all about the urn perfumes: the precious juice in parfum concentration, elegant, rich and timeless.

I got the bad vibes before the first sniff. Two bored-looking and indifferent sales assistants who barely graced me with a glance, even though I was the only potential customer in the store. The ignored me completely, never bothered to ask a question or offer help and information. I didn't mind too much, as I like browsing and exploring by myself, but some attention wouldn't have killed me (or them).

I tried the parfums, as the EdT are easy enough to find elsewhere. I played with test strips and dabbed several on my skin and on my husband's. Some, like Tabac Blond, started nicely enough, even if not as strong and dark as I remembered. Others didn't even smell close to the vintage ones I own. I barely recognized Bellodgia. But it was the way the scents have developed (or not) that I found disturbing. They fell apart, and what remained on my skin felt unconvincing. And the worst part: Tabac Blond simply smelled bad.

The good news: no scrubbing needed. While I didn't like any of the perfumes I tried on, they didn't last beyond half an hour of a weird, pale floral debris.

Photo taken by the Blond. And, yes, that's really my hair.


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