Stella's Obsessions: My Last Night in Paris

Stella's Obsessions: My Last Night in Paris

How a rendezvous opened up a floodgate of memories in Dior.

How a rendezvous opened up a floodgate of memories in Dior.

Text: Stella Pak

An ongoing series, V's Contributing Beauty Editor Stella Pak indulges us with her current obsessions.

 Swipe right, right, right, left. Why is tinder so much more fun when you’re not home? Is it because I completely disregard their bios because I’m not fluent in their language so I imagine a joie de vivre in their photos I can’t find at home? Messages would flood into my inbox, “Here for holiday?” “When are you leaving?” “What do you want in one night?” I’m not sure what I wanted but I had an extra night in Paris and I could use some company. It could be a coffee or wine with a cute stranger who can turn into a long distance friend or… just a four-letter word that doesn’t start with L but maybe an F.

I’ve been to Paris several times in my life and in my mind at the time, it had lost its luster. Off on a work trip, I figured I’d use the extra day to check out some museums my friends weren’t interested in when I visited before and maybe order room service at night and lay around. But I ended up matching with a guy whose messages weren’t vulgar but polite and cordial with an eagerness to meet. He was handsome; tall with a lean silhouette, salt and pepper hair, we greeted each other at a bar by Rue Cambon. We said our awkward hellos and preceded with the usual “What do you do?” When I told him I was in Paris as a beauty writer for a work trip, he smirked and asked me to guess his scent. Flustered and nervous, I leaned into to his neck and smelled my very first night in Paris.

“Dior. Bois d’Argent?” Many moons ago, my friend and old roommate, Dylan invited me to my first trip to Paris to see the Dior Homme show. The quintessential American in Paris, I breathed the wonders of it all, walking through every corner of the city I could in a few days. Grabbing a pain au raisin from Paul’s, a bottle of cheap wine from Monoprix, checking out the Mona Lisa for the very first time at the Louvre and stepping into the iconic Dior store on 30 Avenue Montaigne. Wanting to commemorate my first trip to Paris, I treated myself to my very own Maison Christian Dior Fragrance. The light presence of Iris Absolute lingered with the smokiness of frankincense over a warm musk. Bois D’ Argent pulled me into a new direction that’s become a classic in my very own fragrance collection.

“Close. Dior Homme.” It was the Iris. Concocted by François Demachy, it was the first contact of Iris that hastened my guess. Pulled into a woody direction, Dior Homme is bound with woody notes of Haitian Vertiver and Guatemalan Cardamom. I was proud to have identified the house and the master perfumer in one guess. I can’t help but hope that as I grow as a beauty writer, my scent palette is starting to identify styles of master perfumers who have the most distinct touch of fragrances that can’t be explained in words. Their formulations are interpretations of poetry and emotions of their own and can’t be matched or replicated by others. Or maybe it’s not my palette, but the memories that are deeply engraved that I can’t help but to associate.

As for my last night, I prefer to keep the details a secret. But now I know, Paris is always a good idea.



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