Now, I'm not one to sing the sartorial praises of the French too often - frankly, considering they are the 'most stylish nation on earth' (according to the French national publicity office) I find that they are more likely to be badly dressed and out of date than their contemporaries in less 'stylish' nations.
Outside of the fashionable areas of the big cities, the French continue to dress like the provincial 'paysans' that their forefathers were.
Why am I harping on about this, I hear you ask? Well, it's simple. My new assistant is in the UK with me for a month. She's a 25 year-old Parisienne and, amongst her fellow Paris-dwellers she'd be considered 'ok' - not too stylish, not too elegant, not too beautiful, just 'ok'.
However, ever since she arrived at HQ I've been bombarded by people asking me who the glamourous french girl is. By people telling me how she is so elegant, so chic, so very very.
The boys in the office are all dumbstruck, in awe, unable to string sentences together. The girls in the office have upped their game and the high heels have been dug out from the back of the wardrobe and called up for service as day wear.
It's becoming obvious that several of my female colleagues are spending more time on their morning 'beauty routines'.
My boss, when I asked her to spend some time with new assistant said "sure...but what will I wear?". And that's from a woman who asks the local 'boutique' to lock their doors twice a year so that she can update her wardrobe in private...
The truth is that new assistant has got something going on. She carries herself well, she could wear a sack and it would look like it was Dior couture, she has a head of long, glossy black hair and it all seems so effortless. In Paris she looks like a normal girl. Here she's positively a goddess.
On top of all of this she is smart, intelligent, capable and has a great personality.
The stylishness is obviously the effect of living in a body-conscious city where appearances count more than anything else. I guess it would be hard to grow up in Paris and not be affected by the images of beauty and elegance that fill the streets - from billboards to shop-window dummies, from nipped and tucked dowagers to real-life supermodels.
It's all well and good, but I have one question. How long do you think it will be before some of it rubs off on me?