I returned from Paris last week. I waited in line for 42 minutes in front of the flagship Louis Vuitton store on the famed Champs-Elysees before they would let me go inside.
The young German salesgirl chatters gaily to me in heavily accented English. She's been at the store for only a month, she confides. At first, I'm distant, taciturn, holding myself aloof. I have no money. Not enough to buy the Limited-Edition Neverfull tote I admire in the window display, but maybe she's heard of the new breed of Indian tech millionaires, so she continues to chat me up.
After 20, 30 minutes of cajoling me to buy the logo-embossed fine-gossamer golden shawl or the python-skin Petite Malle handbag she thrusts in my hand a tiny bottle of the Louis Vuitton fragrance just launched. "You'll love this. It has Oudh in it."