It’s Still Cold in Paris

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I got caught in the cold today. I was working away in my office and suddenly realised there was sun streaming in through the windows so I thought I should make an effort and go outside. I looked at the temperature and saw it was 9°C but I figured it would be warmer in the sun. So I put on a light wool coat instead of my winter parka. I was over optimistic and nearly had my hands and ears frozen off.

Sun coming through my office window in the Palais Royal
Sun coming through my office window in the Palais Royal

I went into the Palais Royal gardens first to check the state of the vegetation and was delighted to see that the magnolias are just coming into bloom. In a couple of days’ time, they’ll be out completely. Which reminded me that we don’t have a magnolia in Blois, but the only place we could put it is behind the house in our little wood.

Magnolias starting to bloom in the Palais Royal gardens
Magnolias starting to bloom in the Palais Royal gardens

I wanted to buy some soapless soap (pain dermatologique) so I went to the parapharmacie which is like a drugstore or a pharmacy, but without any medication, just skincare and hygiene products, cosmetics, first aid etc. The products are usually cheaper than you would pay in a normal pharmacy. This one’s in avenue de l’Opéra. The annoying thing is that they’re all arranged in brands. I was looking for a particular brand whose name I can’t remember but I’m sure I’ll recognise it when I see it!

Sun on the fountain in the Palais Royal gardens
Sun on the fountain in the Palais Royal gardens

I went to another parapharmacie near rue Coquillère on the other side the gardens but it’s turned into a real pharmacy with a snooty pharmacist running the show. Half the shelves were empty and all she could offer, apart from Avène which I didn’t want because it becomes gluggy after a couple of weeks of use, was Lipikar by La Roche Posay. At 5.20 euro a piece, it’s going to be a luxury shower but I was too cold to go anywhere else.

New smoothie bar on rue Coquillère
New smoothie bar on rue Coquillère

I walked back down rue Coquillère past L’Imprimerie and was surprised to see that one of the two little corner shops (which a friend of mine aptly calls PADC – petit arabe du coin – little Arab on the corner) has turned into a smoothie bar. The other shop doesn’t even have a name any more. I obviously don’t get out enough to see all these changes.

Nameless PADC
Nameless PADC

I took a little detour to go past Serge Luten’s perfumery in Palais Royal gallery next to Miss Bibi on the way back home and admired their new window display. You can’t beat them for originality, can you?

Serge Lutens window in the Palais Royal
Serge Lutens window in the Palais Royal
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13 thoughts on “It’s Still Cold in Paris”

  1. I use La Roche Posay products and Simon is always horrified at how much they are. I wish they would offer discounts to the locals 🙂 We are only 10 minutes from the source of the magic water they use.

    The Miss Bibi window is fun. Our neighbours across the road are Parisian window dressers — they do the most fabulous stuff for the couturier here and the interior of their house is full of quirky little objects. It’s a real art form.

    1. I usually use Avène products because I translate for them (but through an agency so no free products) and get to read about all the scientific studies behind them. They are actually an eco-conscious brand. It’s just the soap I don’t like. In fact, most of the products in the parapharmacie are Avène brands (Klorane, Pierre Fabre, René Furturer, A-Derma, Elancyl, Galénic).
      The window is actually Serge Lutens next door to Miss Bibi. I always think Stella McCartney’s windows are horrible. You’d think she’d be able to pay someone with talent!

  2. Loved reading about your walk. So lucky to have such beautiful surroundings right outside your door each day. But 9 degrees cold? I’m about to take a walk. It’s -2 degrees, but I’m on a kick to walk each day no matter what (well almost no matter what). I’m 2 km from the ocean (coast of Maine) but no matter the temperature, I would prefer to be right where you are!

    1. Thank you and welcome to Aussie in France. We’ve had plenty of lower temperatures this year but I was really surprised to find I was cold at 9°. But it was probably because I wasn’t wearing enough clothes! I only had a long-sleeved cotton blouse under my light woolen coat. When do your temperatures start going up for spring? And what are they like in summer?

      1. Ironically last March we had unseasonably warm weather–in the 80’s F (27/28C). There’s a joke in Maine. The 4 seasons are: Winter, More Winter, Mud, Construction. The Maine coast is similar to La Bretagne but with more snow in the winter. It’s beautiful here in the summer as you can imagine. Usually it’s warmer in March than this year but with the snow melting Spring is very muddy. We had 6 inches (15 cm) of snow on the first day of Spring this year! So right now, it’s still a winter wonderland outside my window but the sun shining on the white snow is admittedly pretty. Love your blog. Enjoyed Australia last year but felt so far removed from the rest of the world but maybe that’s the big attraction for Americans these days.

        1. I love your seasons! In Townsville, we only have two: wet (summer) and dry (winter). It’s funny that when you grow up in Australia, you don’t realise it’s so far removed from everywhere else. But I guess that’s why I feel such a foreigner when I visit now. I hope your snow disappears soon and spring comes.

  3. I think you need some of ‘Gigi’s soap!! Will bring some over for you in sept. but you must wash before then, ok? 😉 jill

    1. Most definitely! It’s lovely soap. Admittedly, I didn’t take it to Blois with me, but I still have a sliver of it. You could never make any money out of it, by the way, because it lasts too long! I suspect that they add something to these expensive soaps so that they get used up faster. The Avène one I used to buy dissolved into a gluggy mess.

  4. Fraussie… your “Nameless PADC” is actually a CocciMarket franchised mini market… and is probably still run by a PADC.

    And the cure for rapidly dissolving soaps is a crown cork off a beer bottle…
    push it into the bar of soap after the second day’s use…
    always stand the soap with it on the underside.

    My mother came up with that one… we used to have a very expensive, wall mounted, magnetic, designer soap saver in the kitchen [actually a sample from the States – my father was a buying agent]… we could never understand what sized bar of soap it was designed for… the soap kept falling off!!
    However, if the soap was stood on the “crown cork” that the magnet was meant to hold… it remained perfectly dry and didn’t turn into a sludgy mess.
    So I’ve used a real crown cork ever since…

    1. Well done, I hadn’t even noticed the Cocci Market sign!

      A crown cork off a beer bottle: now that I come to think of it, I’ve seen that before without realising what it was, but can’t remember where. Shall have to try. Though I’ve switched soap brands in the meantime. The less melty ones last longer anyway.

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