Venturing Out


Again we got up early to head off to ESSCA for our class.  During class the teams each presented on their designers, they had to touch on a bunch of different aspects of what they had learned and how they do what they do.  Once class was complete we were given some time for lunch, a bunch of us headed over to a little cafe around the corner from the school. It has amazing specials and really great food. When we were done lunch, we headed back to the school to meet Catherine, Luce, and Paul to head over to the Balenciaga exhibit.

There were so many beautiful pieces of his work and to accompany the pieces there were blurbs around the exhibit talking about Balenciaga and how he worked.  This exhibit focused on his black pieces with features of white and pink. After the exhibit, Luce and Paul took us over to a couple of the department stores (malls) and a store front to look at a couple other Balenciaga locations.  When we were looking through some of the products we found a jacket that looked like a life vest and it was 1900 Euro. There is no way any of us students could afford that.



Back at ESSCA, this time we are talking about the fragrance market which is a collection of skincare (36.3%), haircare (22.9%), make-up (18.2%), fragrances (12%), and hygiene products (10.5%). Today was also the day that we learned about the five different kinds of perfumes and the top notes, the heart notes, and the base notes. The five different perfumes from strongest to weakest are parfum, eau de parfume, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and eau fraiche. Who knew there where so many different kinds?  As for the top, heart, and base notes we were shown this amazing triangle that explains the different smells. A top note is the very first scent you will smell and the first to leave, a heart note will be your next smell that will stick around for a while, and your base note is the last to arrive and the one that will last the longest. 

After class we had another excursion with Leah and this time we were heading over to Les Gobelins to look at how tapestry, carpets and banners, are made. The process is absolutely amazing. Some of the pieces we seen took them over six years to complete. Unfortunately we were not allowed to take any photos while touring this area. 



Another day at ESSCA, and we got to smell a ton of different kinds of perfume, some were amazing, like the Jimmy Choo Man, Jimmy Choo Illicit, and many more. We looked at the different kinds of branding that is involved in creating an advertising campaign for these scents. There was a lot more put into that than I thought.  Props to those who have to make sure that all the different avenues flow together correctly.

After class we headed over to meet Leah for our last excursion with her at the Kimono exhibit at a beautiful museum.  We seen so many amazing Kimono’s, it was small but the ones that were on display were beautiful and exciting to see. There was so much information given about these Kimono’s and who would wear them and what each of the different ones symbolized. 

When we had completed that exhibit we headed off to the next exhibit on Dalida, who was a French iconic singer, who died at the height of her career.  We got to see all of her iconic outfits that she wore on stage and in her movies, some of them were really fancy and other were everyday wear items. It was so cool to see all of her outfits.

Our final photo with Leah.

Our final photo with Leah.



Today was a very relaxing day. Some students went out and explored some of Paris while others stayed back to work on their assignments that are due on Monday. I believe that some of the students headed over to Notre Dame and the Luxembourg Gardens, the Louvre, and some other really small shops around Paris.



Today was another relaxing day for students since a bunch were working on assignments and others again went out and explored. Some students went to the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and markets. A student and myself headed over to the Montorgueil neighbourhood and visited a little coffee shop called MATAMATA. A cute little coffee shop. (for more information please visit

Shortly after that we wandered the area and stumbled across a very cool street, much like our Kensington or Inglewood, with a bunch of shops on either side selling artisan food and novelty items. We found so many interesting shops that we would like to go back and visit. A little bit more wandering and we stumbled across an outdoor ‘farmers’ market that was absolutely amazing. After a while we decided to come back to the hotel to pick up a couple more people and head back out again. This time we were heading to the Eiffel Tower. 

We got over to the tower at a perfect time, we wanted to be there for sunset to see at the top of the tower. We headed up, and up, and up, and up, which seemed like forever and then we got off the elevator and we were at the top. The view was amazing. I couldn't believe it, it actually took my breath away at the amazing views. I was so happy that I got the chance to go to the very top of such an amazing location. I can only hope that I will get the chance to do that again.



To start off the week, we are back at ESSCA to learn more about branding and how to prep us for the mystery shops this afternoon.  Catherine told us there were some common rules of mystery shopping and they included:

    - No photos inside the store

    - No filling out the feedback form in the store

    - No electronic recording of conversations

    - DO NOT let staff know it is a mystery shopping exercise 

    - AVOID unreasonably wasting time and abusing goodwill of staff

    - Be polite and respectful

    - Dress decently

Armed with this advice we headed out, each team of two headed to their assigned location. I tagged along with two students heading over to Chanel. The first store we went to, we had very little service in the sense that they only said hello and nothing else to us. It was unfortunate that there was such poor customer service at this location, because it was really busy inside this store. There were people lined up everywhere to talk to a salesperson. This is where we located a little purse that was priced at 460 000 Euro. Way out of student budgets. We had better service at the next location, but not as good as what it should have been. It just tells me that even if I had a ton of money I would not shop at Chanel.



Back in class today talking about fragrances and then in the afternoon we are heading over to the Perfume Museum, which should be a lot of fun. As an in class exercise we were tasked to draw what we though the new bottle and packaging would look like for the new Rochas. Everyone’s designs were very inventive and exciting to see, their ideas for how it would smell were very interesting as well. What Rochas did for the bottle and packaging design, I felt could have been better, I like the packaging (very Chanel) and the bottle was nice until they added a bow. The smell was very sweet and I don’t think I would wear it.

After that we headed over to the museum which was absolutely amazing. There were so many interactive exhibits about how our nose works when smelling things. We got to smell a bunch of different scents like what we smelt in class and we also learned the history of perfume and how it all started. I wish there was a location there to create your own perfume because I would have done that in a heartbeat.



Last day at ESSCA so we have half day with luxury brands and half day with fragrances. So in the morning we talked about the rest of the presentations and the teams got some very powerful advice about what needs to change or what can be improved. This will also help the teams with the look books that they have to complete for an upcoming assignment. Once everything was shared and talked about in the morning we broke for lunch.  As a final farewell to ESSCA we headed around the corner to our favourite local cafe where we got some really good food.

After lunch the teams presented their fragrance brands to the class. They were so amazing, I would wear almost everyone that was presented. Then we talked about travel retail and where the most money is made when it comes to selling fragrances and assorted items.

Once class was over we went out front to take a final farewell picture. As a class we would like to thank those talented individuals that made our experience at ESSCA unforgettable.