Above all things, the one thing you must know about me is that I'm deeply in love with Victoria's secret. You can moan and tut all you like, but yes the gorgeous lingerie, the glamorous lotions and perfumes (and don't forget those adorable puppies, of which I have 5 so far) have had me hooked for years. Since the age of about 15, I've been hugely obsessed with VS. I've watched all the runway shows since 1995 (yes 1995!), and I know all the models past and present; from Heidi Klum and Gisele Bundchen to Candice Swanepoel and Behati Prinsloo. That is how utterly obsessed I really am. So, since it's thursday I thought this tied in nicely with the tale of my very first visit to a Victoria's Secret store.
It was three days after my 16th birthday (or 'sweet sixteen') and, as promised, my dad took myself and a friend to London from our little pastoral crevice in the countryside. Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't London that had me swooning (after all I was born there and spent half my life living amid the London bustle), but it was, in fact, the prospect of making my first ever trip to the Victoria's Secret Oxford Street wonderland.
For those of you who haven't been there, let me describe it to you. As you walk in, you're immediately greeted by the most beautiful scent in the world, and this grabs you and doesn't let go, which basically means you'll be spending at least an hour to 2 hours in there, dazzled by the atmosphere alone. But I'm not saying the 'Victoria's Secret effect' wears off, thats just about as much time that the person you're with (who isn't as ensconced as you are) puts up with you climbing the shiny spiral stair case up and down and up and down...
Depending on which store you go to the layout will differ, but the basic principle is that there is a sexy lingerie floor; a PINK floor (their more girly range, which I'm still in love with) and a perfume/cosmetics and other lingerie floor. Basically there is lingerie everywhere you look. But as well as beauty obsessed, I do swoon over lingerie A LOT, so you can imagine how perfect this brand is for me.
The lingerie floor is extremely sensual, dim lit and provocative, the walls decorated with framed photos of the current Victoria's secret angels (and they're the most gorgeous picture frames ever) in nothing but a bra and a great pair of knickers. This floor will have you feeling rather naughty, but heavily seduced by the beauty surrounding you, enough to keep you there for a very long time. Downstairs, in the PINK section, it's bright pink (surprisingly), girly and fun. They sell backpacks, tracksuits, water bottles, vest tops and of course LINGERIE (but of the more girly kind). This is where I took the only photo of the entire visit (I know, but I was so distracted that I forgot to take my camera out), on a pink polka chair, which I was tempted to ask if I could buy!
What a grin! You can tell I really was sooooo happy there, I honestly didn't want to leave!
Lastly, the perfume and body lotion filled section is where all the most beautiful smells and scents explode with a hugely hypnotic affect. That reminds me! I must warn those of you who've never been to a Victoria's secret store before: saying the store has a hypnotic effect is no joke. In there you will spend more than double what you planned to or expected to spend. There is no explaining it, but something about that place removes your brains ability to rationally spend money and you'll end up with the most enormous receipt. I, like many, was lured into spending over £200 worth of lingerie and perfumes (and bath scrubs, tops, lotions) and receiving what seemed like a 7 foot tall receipt to top it all off. I couldn't help myself, the 5 for £25 offer on so many little things seemed extremely reasonable at the time.
After spending hundreds of pounds, and hours of the day inside the euphoric Victoria's Secret, stepping back into the bustling street again and inhaling the toxic fumes brought me back to reality straight away. It's like waking up from a dream and realising it wasn't real, but the only difference was that my purse was actually empty and the day was already creeping into the night.
However, having spent all that money, I did have a lot to show for it (thankfully) and it took me almost a year to use up all the perfumes and body lotions that I purchased, only to go and find another store and buy them again. What am I like?