In honor of OUAI Melrose Place Eau de Perfume's launch, native Angeleno and owner of sleek petite bob Wendy Duran reminisces on getting to know her city and the Melrose Place hotspots that earned a special place in her heart.
Every time you step outside you feel the warmth of the sun hugging your skin. You have the beautiful view of palm trees and your neighbors grilling on a Sunday afternoon. It’s a hotspot for music, scrumptious food, and entertainment, there is always something going on. It’s a place where people all over the world come to follow their dreams. I am talking about the city of Los Angeles. My name is Wendy Duran and I’m a Fashion + Beauty blogger originally from Los Angeles, CA. Los Angeles has always been a place I can call home, and no matter where I live, it always has a special place in my heart.
However, it was not until I got older and became a fashion + beauty blogger that I had the chance to explore the busy and exciting parts of LA. Despite the traffic in my commute from home and work, I always found myself back in Hollywood. So, I thought it was time I took the big leap to move down here, and so I did! It was one of the best decisions I ever made. I thought I’d explore the area where my work events usually take place. I visited the picture-perfect and best places to dine in Melrose Place. That’s when I discovered the cafe in Mansur Gavriel, the cutest spot on Melrose Place. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, it’s also the perfect spot for tea and lite bites with friends. It’s simple yet so elegant and that’s what I love about it.
Not only is LA known for the city of making dreams possible, but it’s also a place of culture and diversity. Growing up as a Latina, culture is important in my family, and food is a major factor in Mexican culture. I remember always standing beside my Mom for hours watching her cook. She poured her heart into making her dishes something her children could enjoy, something I really admired about her. My friends knew how much I loved good Mexican food, and they always mentioned to me this specific restaurant I had to visit. They’d always tell me “Omg, you have to visit Gracias Madre! It’s seriously the best Mexican food in town. You’re going to love it!” And that’s all I would hear about this place, so I had to find out for myself. Everything they said is true. Gracias Madre is amazing!
When I visited GM for the first time, I felt a warmth. As soon as I walked in through the GM threshold it felt so cozy and gave me a great homey feeling. The feeling you get when you walk into your Mom's house and she makes sure every inch of your skin is warmed up and that you’re well-fed. I came in during dinner and I was feeling a little chilly, so they offered me a blanket. I was impressed to say the least. Pretty much made me feel like I was almost at home, an instant chemistry. I can say my visits there have been frequent now. Say, “Let’s meet up at Gracias Madre,” and I’m already there. My favorite dish to order is the flautas de camote, sweet potatoes, caramelized onion, guacamole, and cashew nacho cheese with the black beans on the side. Oh gosh, just thinking about it makes my mouth water! Give this place a go and I promise, you won’t regret it!
Melrose Place Fragrance is all the things that make Los Angeles great; captured in one simple yet beautifully designed bottle. The clean, floral aroma makes me feel calm and I carry that scent with me in my travels in this hustle and bustle city. It’s not just a fragrance, it’s a reminder of what I had to overcome to be where I am today, such a humbling and happy feeling. We are all equal in our goal to live a happy life and are all on the same path to something great and I love that. To my dear city—not only did you shape me, but you have paved the way for so many others, thank you for that. Melrose Place will always be a special reminder of what makes me proud to live in this amazing city.