My family and I went to London on Saturday, which was really a spur-of-the-moment decision, mainly just to get away from home and do something a little different for a change.
London, as always, was extremely busy. Perhaps more so following the recent Jubilee celebrations. It was also the Queen's birthday, so the Trooping of the Colour was taking place down the Mall, so many surrounding roads and areas were closed off for the morning. My older child, Hannah, is currently learning about the Olympic Games and seeing as it is being held in London this year, she is also learning about famous London landmarks. Therefore we concentrated on walking past most of the famous sites, including Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, and of course, the London Eye.
One thing that always strikes me when taking children to London is how un-user-friendly the London transport systems are, particularly the Underground. I know most of the system was built in Victorian times but it is an absolute mission to get anywhere without a hassle, especially when taking along a push chair and two young kids of course. Transport issues aside, we had a great time and the children also enjoyed going to Hamleys, which is a very large toy department store on Regent Street.
Of course, being in London meant that I had to pay a short visit to two of my favourite perfume stores, Les Senteurs and the fragrance section of Liberty. Whilst at Les Senteurs I picked up samples of the new Bex London perfumes, including SE1 and EC2. At Liberty I tried the new Annick Goutal, Nuit Etoilee, which to my mind is very good indeed. It is very green, particularly at the start and reminded me of the smell of a lush garden, while later it dried down to a fir balsam and pine accord, which fortunately did not recall bathroom cleaning products. My description probably doesn't do it justice, but it is very nice. I see that Liberty is now stocking Santal de Mysore by Serge Lutens.
Later on I passed a House of Fraser store and purchased a bottle of Guerlain Habit Rouge, which was on special, for Fathers' Day I presume. It was a snap-decision purchase, although I should state that I have tried and enjoyed Habit Rouge for a long time now. As regular readers will know, I don't buy full bottles of perfume very often, and when I do, funnily enough they are almost always mainstream fragrances. I don't know why. I think the only non-mainstream bottles I own are Gris Clair and Tam Dao, and one could argue that Lutens and Diptyque are hardly niche perfume lines these days. Still, when I buy a perfume, I like to think that I go for quality and I really do think that Habit Rouge is an absolute classic. Even nicer is that I am highly unlikely to smell like anyone else in Tunbridge Wells, which is a good thing as far as I am concerned.