Ahh! Beautiful beauty products by Bourjois! Regular readers will already be only too aware of Mostly Mum’s obsession with this French brand.
And like most things Mostly Mum (since we’re no longer as young as we like to think we are!), this obsession spans a couple of decades. Yikes! (How could it possibly go that far back?!)
Oh yes! Since around 1998, to be exact, when I spent a semester studying at a French university.
I might have been a cash strapped student but, while buying food at the local Auchan, a Bourjois shower gel and a matching deodorant would always find their way into my shopping basket.
So chic, so French! J’adore! ❤️
These Bourjois products were so beautifully packaged, so deliciously scented, so French… yet so affordable. And there was also that sense of exclusivity as they weren’t available to buy in Ireland at the time.
From that time on, I would make sure to stock up on extra Bourjois supplies every time I landed on French soil. It was a comforting little ritual and slightly nostalgic as, as soon as they filled my senses, those Bourjois scents would transport me back in time to those first thrilling visits to France, a country and a culture I held so dear.
So imagine the shock, the disappointment, the anguish, the turmoil even to return to Paris a few weeks ago… to pop into Monoprix for my usual Bourjois fix only to find that the shelves were totally and utterly bereft of Bourjois!
Thinking that maybe it was just some sort of anomaly – that that one branch of Monoprix had failed to stock up – I headed to another major branch of the well-known French supermarket only to find the same situation before me. The shelves had been stripped of all Bourjois shower gels and deodorants. It was almost too much!
What was I going to do now? I had allowed my usual stock to dwindle down to worryingly low levels. Just half a bottle of deodorant left…
Seductively scented, perfectly packaged and now no more?!
And this one bottle of shower gel which somehow miraculously turned up in my local Poundland a few months ago. But alas, I didn’t bulk buy as I (naively) thought that my French Bourjois bulk buying ritual could go on forever!
So pink, so perfect, so gone! 😭
And what did I find in their place on those French supermarket shelves. Lots and lots of products by Le Petit Marseillais (a well-known Marseille based brand), which I like…
Especially this raspberry and peony shower cream!
Sweet smelling and creamy but just not Bourjois
And lots by tahiti, another French brand of shower gel and deodorant which I like. Note my use of the word ‘like’, because, my dear readers, I only ever liked these, I never loved them… had, had, had to have them, as I did those oh so precious Bourjois products.
Exotic and uplifting but just not Bourjois
And so it seemed that 2018 would be the year when my bulk buying Bourjois tradition would have to come to a rather tragic and premature end.
Of course, there was always the internet… A general search did reveal that I could still stock up online (albeit at a massively inflated cost in some instances) but my heart just wasn’t in it… (yet… Give me some time to grieve what was and can never be again!).
Then, to add insult to absolute injury, I discovered that Franck & Fils, one of my all time favourite Parisian department stores, the place where I used to stock up on those iconic Vanessa Bruno sequin canvas totes and costume jewellery by Dior, had also shut its doors for the last time in 2016!Embed from Getty Images
As it was – jewellery designer Carole Guez pictured at a jewellery launch at Franck & Fils, Paris in 2011
I. Could. Not. Believe. It!
And what was in its place? A gourmet food superstore!
Now, I am no foodie but I can appreciate the latest clean eating, organic, superfood craze… Well, to a degree.
However, to replace a high-end fashion department store that is steeped in history and goes back generations with an albeit glitzy foodhall. That is just a step too far, where I’m concerned.
‘No big deal! It’s just stuff,’ you might say.
‘Products are discontinued and stores close down all the time. That’s the harsh reality of economics. If it’s not profitable, it has to go!’
Agreed! But it has to be said that my anguish over these apparently superficial issues cuts through the surface to reveal much deeper issues below.
You see, my apparant overeaction to a Bourjois purge is actually a fear of change, of having to accept that we’re all growing older, that lovely things and experiences are just ephemeral… That nothing lasts forever! And if I’m to be really, really honest it’s a harsh reminder of my own mortality and that of those I love.
When we’re young, like I was while visiting France back in the ’90s, we feel invincible, immortal even! As the years slip by and we see more and more things change from the way they used to be, it serves as a painful reminder of our advancing years and the one thing we cannot hold onto… time!
So what to do in the face of such adversity?
In the short-term, I will log onto eBay, order a stock of my all time favourite Bourjois shower gels and once they arrive I will take a shower, and luxuriate in nostalgia for a time which will never pass my way again.
Then, once refreshed, I think it might be ‘time’ for me to focus on the present because in real terms, that is all we’ve got and is just too precious to waste pining for the past or fretting over the future.
Wish me luck!
How do you feel about change and the passing of time? A source of anxiety or something to be welcomed with open arms? As ever, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Until next ‘time’…
💋 Mostly Mum