Oh Paris Fashion Week. How I love it, but February/March – how are you all surviving? My rather new experience of fashion week started in February after London Fashion Week, lugging my legs around, heavy like they were stuck to the base bits of a statue, you know the feeling? Brushing your teeth, your hair, it becomes a chore. I knew something was off. But anyway, it’s over now and let me tell you what happened – for those who have the constitution to take it, here we go – I had pneumonia. And to think at London Fashion Week it was a mere head cold.
If you hate the thought of being ill, just brush away that preceding bit and let me tell you about my first few days of Paris fashion week. It was trÃ©s nice. I stayed at Hotel Bourg Tibourg in the Marais, and all because of that scent. I feel at this point I ought to warn you that sometimes I can go on a hunch and follow a thing like a bloodhound for aaaaaages just to talk about one little aspect. This is the one important aspect, right here that scent which had me sniffing the air up on my tippy toes like a demented little animal the minute I entered the hotel door.
That scent washes over the deep velvet red chairs and heavy mahogany checkers table trimmed in old gold like an exotic fog.
During the day I took myself downstairs wrapped up and tucked myself out of the way in Hotel Bourg Tibourg with hot tea and madeleines in a candlelit corner breathing in its loveliness and scribbling things into my notebook like a convalescing Victorian. Scribbling things like “the air rolls with waves of scent from the Costes signature candle draping itself alluringly all over the Belle Epoque button-backed bordello daybed beside me” aaaand “that scent washes over the deep velvet red chairs and heavy mahogany checkers table trimmed in old gold like an exotic fog” Looking back on my scribbles, is it obvious that I was on tablets? It really is a uniquely overwhelming olfactory experience. That scent had me HOOKED!
The unique scent which keeps me coming back to both the Hotel Costes and the Hotel Bourg Tibourg hotel comes from a candle which they burn which is part of the Hotel Costes range. There’s also a bodycare range stocked in the rooms and the candle is available to purchase at reception, (it’s still my favourite). I was thinking of starting a #candelclub just to honour it alone. Currently it stands at me and my sister. But maybe because there are also things like soap, shower gel, shampoo, body lotion and body oil in this range (guests use these and help carry the scent about and it permeates every inch of both hotels) I should call my club something else?
The candle and bodyrange are available to buy online too, the notes are lavender, bay-tree, coriander, white pepper, rose, incense, woods, and musk (that mightn’t be the right order in which they were poured in when making them) but my they are wonderful. When the black Bougie Costes candle burns out at my house, I use the dark burgundy glass container to hold my sketch pens. This scent is on EVERYTHING I own; my diary, my notebooks, my pens, my desk, my sleeves. I bring the body lotion and oil home and apply them to my arms and the scent clings to my woolen sleeves and comes in waves as I write and move about.
In the meantime I probably haven’t done this little place the justice that it deserves as a hotel, so maybe these photos above and the extra explanation next might help show how special it is.
Really. Basically, Paris Fashion Week felt like I was on holidays this time round, it felt like I was someone else; there were whispers and traces of times past in Paris like Marcel Proust’s madeleine in his book In Search of Lost Time, (if that makes sense). Maybe it’s because I’d stayed in this one little hotel room so many, many times before that the scent and the sounds seemed familiar. Mr. Goddess blamed my -whispers and traces of times past – thing on the medication and pointed out that Marcel Proust actually died of pneumonia in Paris so less of Proust GG please. Okaaay!
I usually stay at Hotel Costes (my favourite hotel among the more than half a dozen legendary grand dames) when I’m in Paris, but Costes is mega booked out during fashion week and is double the rate of its little baby sister Hotel Bourg Tibourg so I visited Costes for dinner and a quick drink and booked a room in Hotel Bourg Tibourg in the Marais.
I suppose to be honest, Hotel Bourg Tibourg mightn’t be everyone’s ballgame – it’s small. But, then again I must stress one thing, most rooms in Paris (unless you want to spend a fortune) are tiny. But this hotel room (Room 35) can’t help but be cute. It’s soft and comfortable and feminine and full of delicious little touches, like beautiful (real) antique chairs and little tables, the sort found in corners of French flea markets (a very, very good thing.) Also there’s the comfortable bed and heavy bed linen and beautiful lamps and a bath that make it very Parisian and the Bang & Olufsen tv which helps this little room feel modern.
On my first night on this trip, I opened the window (the purpose of which was to cool down and lie in bed and gaze at the stars), but sadly there were none. But it was fun in the morning when opening the window flooded the room with light, fresh air and the chirping of sparrows in an adjacent rooftop around a tree.
It’s stunning and magical and in fact, even writing about it now – in its mood of luxury – it was a very Proustian French experience this time for me. Maybe if I dashed about at the shows I wouldn’t have taken the time to realize all this. Did I mention the amazing restaurant and chocolate shop across the street? Anyway, I couldn’t make many appointments and when kind people called to check that I was OK and to ask “did you come to our lovely thing?” I had to say no. I’ll be honest with you here, it was a little upsetting. I don’t have a team, I only have myself and Mr. Goddess, we work long hours to try to get good photographs and well you know the rest. I do hope you all stay safe and healthy, good health is truly one of the most precious blessings. And with fashion it’s always a surprise, there’s always another season just around the corner.
Goddess in The Details
Deet 1 – A room at Hotel Bourg Tibourg, 75004, 19 Rue du Bourg-Tibourg 75004, (tel: 33 1 42 78 47 39, www.hotelbourgtibourg.com ) costs â‚¬230 for a double.
Costes candles and bath products are available at reception at both Hotel Bourg Tibourg and at reception and online at Hotel Costes, 239 rue St-HonorÃ© 75004 Paris (tel: +33 1 42 44 55 00, www.hotelcostes.com ). Also available at Colette, and Neiman Marcus and Beauty Habits.
Deet 2 – This is what I mean by whispers and traces of times past, hints of old masters’ secrets and all in candlelightly Paris. I’ve not gone mad. The feeling to go along with this scent is in shadows in corners of the flea market and in PÃ©re Lachaise Cemetery and sometimes you can feel it in a room at a particularly good prÃ©t a porter show. I always felt it at Alexander McQueen shows in the past. It sounds like this