Thursday, 10 November 2016

Thursday, or Thereabouts - November 10, 2016

Eject! Eject! Eject!

News, views, jeers, fears, and analyses up the wazoo in wake of the US election continue to overpopulate my news feed. I have come to resent the time I've wasted even just scanning all this stuff. I resent the space it is taking up not only in my day, but in my head. Too easily, I get caught up in the broken dreams, the disbelief, and the fear mongering.

I've had enough! Yes indeedy, today is a day to activate the emergency escape system. Let the canopy pop open and blast far away from news and noise. Some retail therapy on a grand scale is order.

Come away with me to KaDeWe® (Kaufhaus des Westens) in Berlin, Germany.

image courtesy of
This is a department store like no other I've ever seen. It's Nordstrom's® on steroids. A luxurious, sumptuous, elegant, eye-popping, mouth-watering, 60,000 square metres of retail space.

At the Guerlain® fragrance counter, sculpted glass bottles drew my eyes to wander over and around the shapes and colours of scent. My breath caught in my throat - Shalimar!

My mother's favourite and the most expensive fragrance she ever owned. When I was a child I marvelled at this shapely bottle that held pride of place on her dresser:

A 1926 advertisement reads:

"From Guerlain a breath of the desert captured in the fragrance of Shalimar. The mystery and magic of perfume as portrayed by the exotic East is captured in a subtle fragrance of romantically called Shalimar. Created by Guerlain most famous of perfumers. It comes in a graceful molded bottle containing 2 1/2 oz. $22."

The salesperson noted my interest. I told her of my late mother's love of Shalimar. "We've been making this perfume since 1925. Let me offer you some." She spritzed the golden liquid onto a white card, particles of scent filling the air as well as landing on the card. Instantly I felt my mother behind me, heard her inhale deeply and her murmur of appreciation.

The experience of  my mother's presence was warm and lovely, but truth be told, the fragrance on the sample card was not one my olfactory senses enjoyed. A little too floral, complex, and overpowering for me. But Mom, she still loved it.

Now let's stroll a bit more through this high end store.

Those who know me will be quick to tell you that fashion is not my thing, not at all. Much to my mother's chagrin, I did not get that gene. But I did find these shoes impressive, and entirely unwearable at least on my sixty-three year old feet.

No, I'm more of a champagne (also craft beer and single malts) chocolate, and bread girl.

Who knew candy canes were an emblematic food of Canada?

Now this is more like it:

... but it's made in Vermont!

How about this?

... but only the Ahornsirop brand claims to be Canadian.

Oh well, let's go check out the food court...

Saturday morning in KaDeWe - lots of people - inter-generational families, kids to elders all enjoying a grand experience. And why not? My love and I (yes me the one who hates shopping in department stores), thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

If you are ever in Berlin, spend some time exploring this amazing emporium.
It's good therapy!

©2016 April Hoeller

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