It was last summer, on a hot day, I walked by a Cartier flagship store and wondered if they had any exclusive perfumes like Chanel did. I walked in to find out, and the shop was as quiet as a library after the apocalypse. A woman with her husband was trying on a diamond necklace, and no one in the room was making any noise, like a western movie standoff scene. I kept walking, very quietly, looking for the perfume section.
And there it was, hidden between two columns, almost like an after-thought. Judging the shape of the bottles on the shelves, I guessed Cartier didn’t have any exclusive or “privee” collection. I smelled a few different colognes, didn’t find anything particularly interesting. Then I picked up a beautiful bottle with a gold cap, took a sniff… wow, what is this beautiful scent? A vanilla lily fragrance, named Baiser Vole Essence de Parfum (Stolen Kiss), smelled very soft, tender and huggable, and also of banana, like a fabric softener commercial where the jug was dropped from above the camera and landed on some towels and kept on bouncing. I looked at the bottom of the bottle, and the shelves, and couldn’t find any price. The air conditioner was on full-blast, the security camera mounted on the ceiling was staring at me coldly, I felt like I should leave. Nevertheless, Baiser Vole really did give me a stunning impression.
Later I found out that Baiser Vole was commonly available in any department store. On the day Sephora had everything in store 20% off, I decided it’s the perfect time to get a bottle. But it was a war zone – I had never seen so many women in a single place at the same time in my life. I squeezed into the perfume section, quickly took a sniff of the bottle again before grabbing a box, and found its magic was gone. I must be experiencing some claustro-agora-sephora-phobia because of the huge crowd and my nose had stopped working.
Finally I had reached home, at my own peace, and smelled it again, and the magic reappeared, only this time I discovered the dry down was green, spicy and woody, a bit too sharp compared to the soft opening.