Chasing the Chanel Lion

Li-li-lion, lion’s in a jungle, jungle’s in a cage, tra-tra-trouble, trouble in the homelands, trouble in the homelands, bosses in a rage ….. A Party. Big Audio Dynamite. 1985.

I am very responsible and completely in control of my perfume habit. Except when I really want something.

I always was going to get the new and only available in the UAE Chanel Exclusif, Le Lion de Chanel, it was only the question of how. I started by emailing one of the department stores in Dubai that carried it. Coincidentally on that same day, Portia sent me a video of himself and a friend trying a sample of Le Lion in a store in Sydney. First part of my mind lost. He told me that he could organise getting a 200ml bottle sent to me at an eye watering, yet not too bad for such a large bottle, cost. The 75ml was not possible. I needed to think.

I have a husband with a bike addiction. (He has been known to call UPS and arrange a meet-up on the autobahn, just so he can get his bike a couple of hours earlier than it would actually be delivered to him.) So he did not flinch when I told him I was considering a blind purchase of a perfume for more than 400 Euros – do what you gotta do.

After much thought, I made the decision not to buy it, too much dosh to risk, especially on a blind buy. Portia offered to include me in his split and put me down for 10mls – that I would have to spray out of an atomizer with no magnetic Chanel cap, and have to wait for. But you know, you take what you get, huh?

The following day I had a voice message. He could organise 75ml and did I want it? Open Pay-Pal – transfer. This is the definition of responsible.


A day later it had been sent and I had a tracking number. I knew it would take about a week, so did not bother to check more than fifteen times a day. I started to get excited when I saw that it had landed in Vienna and cleared customs and was out for delivery, expected on the Friday, eight days after the order.

I had a live radio show on this Friday and time was getting so tight I had to go. No problem, I could wait until Monday anyway. Just as I was leaving I had a message on the tracking app – the package was at the post office, and at the same time unbeknownst to me, the postman had dropped into our shop with an official yellow “your package is waiting to be picked up” paper which he gave my husband.

Over the years, as in many countries, post offices have closed down here , and have been moved into corners of general stores etc, and in our case, into the local gas station. It is always a complete pain-in-the-ass having to go there. You wait in line forever as the employees are rather – well, as my father used to say, “pay peanuts and you get monkeys.”.


I waited in line for thirty minutes, sweating like a bloody junkie, and worried I was going to be late for my show. About fifteen minutes in Chris (husband) turned up with the aforementioned yellow paper, he was going to pick it up for me as a surprise, not knowing that I knew it was there already. (Insert laugh here, we ALL know where our packages are at any given time.). He left me the paper and legged it back to work.

It was finally my turn. I gave the employee the paper, and she turned around and stared vaguely at a couple of shelves, looked blankly at her computer screen, and told me the package was not there. I told her it had to be there as I had the tracking confirmation and the bloody yellow paper. But no. She said she had no idea where it was and there must have been some sort of mistake. I told her not to be ridiculous it had to be there. At this point she walked across the aisle and looked under the counter where the gas station part of the building sell their bread and sandwiches. I kid you not. I suggested to her that packages are not usually kept under bread counters. There was no one else there to help and the alcoholic, chain-smoking gas station assistants, just leaned against the counter looking like a couple of extras in Deliverance. I left in a cloud of 28 La Pausa and red lipstick, telling her I would be back tomorrow.

I was so piping mad as I got into the car that I could barely breathe. I had about a half hour drive to get to the studio, and would have a few minutes there before the start of the show. I had to do some seriously deep breathing, and needed to decide if I wanted to start the show with The Clash’s White Riot. As luck would have it my brother called a few minutes into the drive to wish me good luck for the evening. As I told him the drama I started to calm down a little, and to laugh. He kept talking to me for the whole drive and I was so thankful. It allowed me to get a little perspective (that might be a lie) and put myself into show mode.

I have a free hand at the radio station and told my listeners I was pissed. and why. I had several messages from perfumistas and yeah, you know, shit happens. The show must go on!

Saturday morning and I was back at the Post Office at nine. AS I walked across the garage forecourt I saw the assistant take one look at me and go hide in the back room. Hahahahahahahahahaha. Quite right too. She came out after a couple of minutes, I had already decided not to freak out. She did not bother to look though, that made me so mad. I mean at least pretend to check the shelves and the sorting area. When I asked where she thought it might be she shrugged her shoulders. Dude.


Monday morning came, I went to work, and Chris went to the Post Office. I know I would have stabbed her if I had gone, and who would make the cookies then? As he walked into the post office she reached under her counter and took out the package. And here is the unbelievable part: Told him that it has been there all the time but she had not seen it. And she felt so bad that she gave him a box of chocolates to give to me to say sorry. I say open your eyes girl, and I don’t eat chocolate.

I went down to the post office today (Thursday) and took Le Lion with me so that she could her try it. And I wanted to thank her for the chocolates. Unfortunately she was not there.


Thanks to all who supported me through this difficult time, you know who you are.



Filed under Perfume Reviews

25 responses to “Chasing the Chanel Lion

  1. Gina Tabasso

    That was sweet of her and sweet of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ariane prussner

    Okay, I nearly spilled my morning tea a couple of times, I love this article!
    My favourite moments are the picture of your husband on the autobahn with the UPS, you leaving in a cloud of 28 La Pausa which I am wearing today(!!),
    and you considering starting the show with White Riot, which I, being a classical music girl, had to ask my husband about, given he is a fan of the Clash and he put it on immediately and it was as I imagined it reading your fabulous story!And how great is your husband?Not flinching when you want to spend 400 Euros on a blindbuy?Where did you find him?
    Anyway, thanks for that, what a treat!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Ariane! The secret is to find a husband with a more expensive addiction than your own. And 400 was way out of my comfort zone, even though I seriously thought about it. You can tell your husband that I opened the show with The Sensational Alex Harvey Band – Giddy Up a Ding Dong. I could have played something from Carmina Burana —– I found my husband pretty much at a Yellowman gig in Amsterdam. 1986. I love 28 LP and it is always good for any mood I am in. I had already put it on before I got the message that my package was there — xxxxxxx


  3. cassieflower

    I really, really hope Le Lion was worth the several BP spikes😉 I’m very thankful for our efficient post office, as your set-up would send me doolally. They know me so well here that they get up from the counter and get the package as soon as they see me coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Cassieflower! It was absolutely worth the spikes. I would not have cared one bit that I had to wait until the Monday, I just went ballistic when they told me it was there and she could not/would not/did not find it. The main post offices are efficient, but they are few and far between now. The gas station one most certainly has a reputation. They know me so well there they hide. Hahahahahahahahaha. xxx. (It was only because I had to pay tax on the package that I had to go and pick it up at the PO. Otherwise it would have come to the shop as normal. Covid means they cannot take money at the destination right now. Rolls eyes.


  4. cassieflower

    And thanks for the good laugh on a wet Saturday morning as I face into assembling my new Ikea light fitting. Extras from Deliverance, that filling station must do a bomb.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fantastic to hear the whole chaotic story! I loved the extras from Deliverance. 😉 And though of course perfume parcels wouldn’t normally be kept with bread, fragrance is clearly as life-sustaining.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I cannot remember the last time I was so mad, SO MAD. But I pat myself on the back for not swearing and yelling at her. I raised my voice, which is loud enough when not raised, so she knew I was mad. The old me would have totally lost it. I have since found out that she is like that with everyone, totally incompetent. Post Office pays really badly here and they have been completely overwhelmed throughout the Covid Season. Our delivery guys that come to the shop said it was chaos in the beginning. Has got better though. xxx


  6. You’re cheering up a dreary Saturday with this tale, Val.
    Like ariane I loved hearing how Chris will arrange to pick up his bike on the autobahn just to get it a couple of hours earlier. It’s not just us! You are a perfect match.
    Thank goodness Le Lion was worth the wait. Generous of you to go back and give her a spritz.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. matty1649

    What a nightmare !!!!!!!! I would have wanted to punch her in her daft stupid face. Spit my coffee out at Deliverance XX

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha. “Daft stupid face.” Laughing so hard. Goodness, is that even PC? You are so right. I wanted to shake her, I nearly went behind the counter to look for myself. Cue The Duelling Banjos ……. 😉


  8. Tara C

    What a great story!! So glad you finally got your fume. I will have to wait til next year to smell it but that’s okay, my perfume budget is already blown for the year. Oh, and my husband wouldn’t flinch over a 400€ blind buy either, he knows me well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi there Tara! I average two bottles a year, and that is. one. I have no plans for anything else but one never knows. It was me that flinched over the 400 Euros, the more I thought about it the more stupid I thought it was. But it was an easy decision when I knew I could get the 75ml. I make a real effort not to flinch over seven or more thousand Euros on a bike, it plays to my advantage! Hahahahahaha. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, what an epic effort and enjoyable read! We perfumistas are all crazy aren’t we! However, I will wait until January 2021 (if I’m still alive and kicking) and order it then when it arrives in the States. I can’t wait for this one. In the meantime, I will enjoy all my other perfumes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are definitely crazy yeah. I always think the danger is when we don’t recognise it. 🙂 January will be here soon enough and it is something to look forward to. One can only hope that we will all still be alive and kicking!! Enjoy what you have, absolutely. ❤


  10. What an intense story. Glad there was a happy ending and that you love Le Lion. I Look forward to trying it too

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I hope it’s fine that I laughed as I read the story. I know, I would have been furious if I were in that situation, but it was a fun read.

    I’m glad your story had a happy ending (and nobody had to go to jail and not collect $200 ;))

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I would have blown up as well! I know how it feels when you are super excited about the arrival of something, and it goes awry. Especially due to incompetence. Your Dad’s saying is a hoot, “pay peanuts and you get monkeys.”
    I will definitely blind buy Le Lion when available in the US. Thanks for the tale, it was a fun read and totally relatable! xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • You will love it Kathleen. I was pleased to see that I have matured enough to blow up, and raise my voice, and be angry, but not swear. I totally impressed myself. Nothing I needed to apologise for. Unlike in the past! Ahahahahahaha.


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