And so my final air journey of a year in which I have spent so much time 35,000 feet above the earth, begins.
It’s not exactly balmy weather here in London but I’m headed somewhere colder, Moscow, which is currently -1 below.
I’m honoured to be attending the 20th anniversary celebrations of Russian travel retailer Regstaer, the well-regarded duty free and duty paid specialist founded by Alexander Baev. In 2012, global travel retail giant Dufry took a 51% stake in the company, which has continued to thrive since.
It’s going to be a grand occasion tomorrow night and, as always, Regstaer will be the warmest of hosts. More on the celebrations soon.
I’m flying out of Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, the second consecutive day I have been here. Yesterday though was not for flying purposes. I was here to report on the formal opening of The Maison Christian Dior boutique, a petite but picture-perfect addition to T5’s impressive retail offer.
I was delighted to catch up once more with Parfums Christian Dior Perfumer and Creator François Demachy, whom I had met at the recent inauguration of the giant Parfums Christian Dior installation at Hamad International, Doha.
François is a modest man who underplays his own creative genius, something that was there for all to see at this beautiful boutique with its eclectic collection of 22 artisan fragrances, candles, soaps and scarves.
As always, he answered my questions eruditely and with passion. My favourite answer came from my last question. What is his favourite perfume among the Maison Christian Dior collection?
“It’s difficult,” he replied. “If you ask a mother which child she prefers, I am sure she will not respond at all. But I can say that for personal feeling it is Dior Amour.”
Why this fragrance, I asked? “Because it’s a story,” he smiles. “When I was younger… it’s a souvenir of somebody. And the idea was [to recreate] the smell that stayed on the pillow after one night.”
Spoken like a true Frenchman. An evocative coda to perfectly finish off a journey of fragrance creation.