Sensual delights!

It’s that faithful old fountain in Laura Place grabbing my attention again today but – while l still live in hope of its full restoration or replacement with something more spectacular – it is another of our senses l wanted to talk about first.

Bath was chosen – back in December, 2016 as the location of the first chocolate shop to be opened outside of France by Maison Georges Larnicol.


For those who may have been confused by the ‘moving on’ sign on the first floor. it is only the cafe that has closed. The shop is very much in business and full of enough pastries, chocolates and sweets to keep me happy for months!

While the smells coming out of that chocolatier do wonders for my taste buds, l have to ask how people feel about the other aroma –  hitting the olfactory organs this time – on what l call ‘perfume corner.’


There are those – of course – who argue that Bath’s shopping streets are now just full of cafes and hairdressers but anyone pausing to look around – and sniff the air – at the New Bond Street end of Milsom Street will not fail to notice the smell of perfume in the air.

Not surprising really when you have the collected scent-blending talents of Jo Malone, Aesop, L’Occitane, SpaceNK and Penhaligon’s all crowded together.


And this last-mentioned, and newish kid-on-the-block, has come up with a novel way of getting at least one of its scents out there.

In passing, you may not notice it but – at the base of a large picture window – a little brass-coloured plaque with a hole in it is doing some air-born advertising and ejecting one particular brand out into the path of the passers by.


I lived – at one point – by a village bakery and know how airborne smells of things delicious can conjure up desire. In my case it was hot bread with lashings of butter and cheese.

One final thought today – and away from retail – l think it would be wonderful – when they finally get around to resurfacing Great Pulteney Street – that they give us our own ceremonial ‘yellow brick road.’


Make the road surface a dark golden colour so it stands out as something special and, while you are at it – it would be nice to have some modest-growing but ornamental trees back along the spectacular Georgian-created route too.


If they have to be in tubs – lets get some community action going and make the people who have the privilege of living along this avenue – take some responsibility for watering and looking out for the general welfare of their particular part of this amazing city.

Just a thought. Love to hear what you all think.


  1. Dear Mr Wyatt

    Thank you for talking about the Larnicol house in your blog that I have been delighted with since arriving in Bath in 2017.

    I’m flattered because your blog talks about the local life of Bath, a city dear to my heart, and I dare to believe that, our sweet sweets are now part of the local life?

    Indeed, the Café Oulala has closed the 30th of June, but Maison Larnicol is still open every day and we are still very happy to welcome you all.

    Thank you Mr Wyatt, continue to surprise us with your knowledge and your love for Bath.

    Patricia Maufras du Chatellier
    Maison Larnicol BATH

  2. Dear Richard,

    I am so glad that you brought up the issue of smells as I raised the matter of Lush pumping smells into the street in Bath many years ago (interestingly they aren’t permitted to do this in enclosed shopping centres such as Cribbs Causeway) but the council argued that they could only take action if a local resident living in the near vicinity made a formal complaint. This was a surprise, given how precious the council is regarding planning enforcement but I imagine their hands are tied.

    However the national debate on clean air and the potential introduction of a Bath Clean Air Zone once again raises the polluting effect of the chemicals that are being pumped out of Penhaligon’s. It is well known that volatile organic compounds are damaging to health, especially children’s health and those that suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, asthma and numerous other conditions. They certainly will not thank Penhaligon’s (and Lush) for endangering their health. Even if Penhaligon’s argue that their chemicals are safe, and it would be nice to have scientific proof that this is the case, one must question whether a shop should have the right to introduce these perfumes that can be smelt, depending on the wind direction, from as far away as Queen’s Square or the Guildhall. Some might argue that the odours are pleasant but many argue otherwise. It is the sense on entitlement to pollute Bath that I find most offensive.

    Dr Jos Darling

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