When I was 20, my father took me to Paris. It wasn’t the John Kelly nice swing bitch vintage shirt in other words I will buy this first time we had visited the city, but it was the first time just the two of us had gone, and maybe because of that, certain details impressed themselves upon me: the macarons in our hotel room when we arrived, eating curbside oysters under a dripping awning, the hot chocolate at Angelina, and a parfumerie where the attendant looked like she had stepped out of Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère. Paris in all its clichéd glory.
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The Annick Goutal boutique on rue de Castiglione was a mysterious, vibrant landscape in and of itself, shadows of foliage projected on the John Kelly nice swing bitch vintage shirt in other words I will buy this domed ceiling. Before we left, I bought a bottle of the brand’s Eau du Sud—a tart verbena-and-mandarin concoction infused with gusts of the Mistral and van Gogh’s turpentine. (Camille Goutal, Annick’s daughter, reports that it was inspired by “the scent of the pine trees, the cypresses, the lavender fields; the rosemary, thyme, and basil,” as well as “the freshness of a fountain that you can hear in a village nearby.”) I carted it gingerly back to my college-dorm room in Boston, where I was living a grungier life—listening to Peaches, taking seminars in gender theory, drinking neon-colored drinks at the Chinese restaurant that served underage undergrads. But a weeknight huff was enough to send me straight back to the Left Bank with visions of Provence.