Paris. It’s called the city of love for a reason. One glimpse of those rooftops or wandering round the Marais at dusk is enough to make those three little words spill out of even the biggest cynics mouths. But the key to Paris’s romance is making it your own and doing what you love rather than what the guide books tell you to; creating your own rituals and favourite habits as a duo. There’s something amazing about making memories in a new place, but there’s something even better about going back sometimes to those happy places and reliving those past moments while simultaneously making fresh memories to chat about for years to come.
To celebrate the launch of YSL’s new fragrance Mon Paris, Jamie and I got to do just that in one of our favourite cities. Sexy, musky and feminine, Mon Paris uses the very unusual Datura Orchid as one of its base notes with jasmine, patchouli and musk woven through for the kind of heady scent that perfectly captures those aimless yet whirlwind and wonderful hazy days of a new love. We might be four years deep but we’re still not immune to the charms of beautiful Paris and have now created a well-trod route of favourite spots whenever we get the chance to retrace our steps.
Avenue Junot and Marcel
This little gem in Montmatre is really special. Marcel does a mean brunch that feels half American, half French and the avenue running next to it is one of the prettiest places in Paris. A blossom and tree-lined cul-de-sac with houses that wouldn’t be amiss in Amelie, the two together make for a lovely team on a sunny morning.
This is the store in Paris I never get bored of visiting and Jamie and I have been dozens of times together. In fact, I think it might be the one shop that keeps us both equally occupied with neither of us ever needing to do the whole ‘I’ll just wait here’ charade. Find a spot in the book-lined cafe for boiled eggs and coffee before trawling its three floors of jewellery, homeware and clothes. I’m obsessed with all their glasses, tableware and linen and have visions of one day taking a van out to paris and stockpiling the lot of it. The shop floor has different themes depending on the season with exclusive little offerings to go with. When we went it was ‘solieil’ themed so bikini, baskets and straw hats welcomed you as you walked in, but come Christmas there’s a big tree in the courtyard and forest-inspired knits and outdoorsy stuff galore. It’s rare I get to Paris and don’t find 15 minutes to pop in so if you haven’t been, please go for me.
Jamie and I once treated ourselves to a night here before New Year in Burgundy and regularly head here for croque monsieurs and fries when nothing else will do. It’s in the heart of Pigalle, one of my favourite areas of Paris, and it’s past life as a brothel is reflected through its naughty but nice decor and eclectic touches. From here we’ll stroll to the Musee de la Romantique, a beautiful historical home full to the brim of romanticism art and 18th century furniture, or just walk around the flea markets that pop up on Rue Des Martyrs.
Canal St Martin
I love this area of Paris. From light, fresh French tapas at Hai Kai and amazing Indian food at Marcel (I clearly have a thing for places called Marcel), the streets surrounding the canal have no end of great places to eat, drink and be merry. On a summer’s evening, sit out by the water with a beer and people watch to your heart’s content as the sun goes down. Because all good cliches are cliches for a reason…
Star print silk shirt | Kate Moss x Equipment
Silver shirt | Realisation Par
Jeans | Redone
Boots | Acne
Leather jacket | Belstaff
Rock tee | Rough Studios
Hat | Isabel Marant Etoile
Sunglasses | Toms
Camera | Olympus
Necklace | Lucy Williams X Missoma
Bra | Princess Tam Tam
Created in Collaborations with YSL.