There are a lot of things I miss about New York. I miss stepping out of my apartment and stumbling into a gallery opening. I miss Waffles, the enormous calico shop cat that guarded the vintage shop up the street. I miss my friend Daisy. I miss the big pool in the Egypt exhibit at the Met.
Most of all, I miss the Strand. On bad days (and there were a lot of bad days in New York), I had my routine down. Take the 6 to Union Square. Chocolate pizza at Max Brenner. Finally, an hour or two at the Strand. I know it’s touristy. I know it’s crowded. Between the books and the chocolate pizza, I left feeling full in every way.
A good half of my perfume book collection comes from the Strand. Chandler Burr’s The Perfect Scent was hiding down on the basement floor- $6! My all-time best find was Collete Fellous’ Guerlain, an incredibly detailed history of Guerlain’s perfumes through 1987. It was $50, an outrageous splurge for an unpaid intern. I returned it the next day. I wish I had kept it. Books are always worth it.
What’s your favorite book about perfume? What’s the next one you’re planning to read? I’m dying to get my hands on La Cuisine des Nez, a cookbook of perfumers’ favorite recipes. I bet it would be worth learning French to be able to try Thierry Wasser’s crawfish chicken.
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