paris: 10 posts

Leonard Foujita : The Japanese Star of 1920s Paris

In the summer of 1913, an artist arrived in Paris. He was 27 and discovering the city of lights had been his obsession since he was a child in Meiji-era Japan. Foujita Tsuguharu was from a well-off family, the son of a general in Japan’s imperial army and a graduate of the prestigious School of Fine Arts in Tokyo, but he arrived in the French capital as a complete unknown. His goal was to learn, paint and be inspired by the city.

He moved into a studio in Montparnasse and soon met artists like Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani, Chaim Soutine, Fernand Léger, and Pablo Picasso. He worked as a copyist at the Louvre, took dance lessons from Isadora Duncan and staged exhibitions with other painters. In Japanese, Foujita meant “a wisteria field,” but in the Montparnasse circle he soon became known as Fou-Fou, Mad to the power of two. Foujita didn’t mind. He welcomed the notoriety by cultivating a flamboyant image complete with a bowl cut, earrings and a lampshade as a headdress. He added Léonard to his name for a French inflection and as a tribute to Leonardo da Vinci. In the Paris of the Roaring Twenties, he was a star and a natural, more successful than either Picasso or Matisse.

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Paris Exhibitions Not To Miss 2017-2018

“Paris is a veritable ocean,” wrote Honoré de Balzac in his novel Father Goriot. Balzac was conveying the mysteries of Paris that will always remain out of reach, but whenever I have a couple of days in the city and try to decide which museum exhibits to visit, I feel the same sentiment. Is it possible to see everything, explore everything, touch everything that Paris has to offer? Of course not, but trying to do so is a heady pleasure in itself. Below are my highlights from this summer in Paris. If you scroll further down, you will find an additional list of coming attractions.

Christian Dior at the Musée des Arts décoratifs until 7 January 2018

An exhibit that will make you appreciate the genius of Christian Dior and his obsessive attention to detail. Covering several floors of the Musée des Arts décoratifs, a few steps from the Tuileries Garden, the exposition traces the rise of the fashion house. It starts from the early days when Dior contemplated a career in political science and art and ends with the tenure of Maria Grazia Chiuri, the current artistic director. There is a special section on perfume.

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Postcard from Paris

Anyone care to make up a caption?

The illustration was drawn by the artist Elisabeth Branly (1889-1971) in 1911. It was presented as part of the exhibition celebrating the work of female artists and artisans at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. I thought that it was ideal for our Women in Perfumery series!

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

The Olfactory Journey Exhibit

How does scent accompany your life? How do smells help you recall certain events in your past? Photojournalist Eléonore de Bonneval weaves a complex tableau of memories and impressions in her multisensory exhibit titled “The Olfactory Journey” and held in Paris between  7 November and 15 December 2016. She uses smells, sounds, and images to recreate personal journeys and memories of twenty residents of Bretonneau, a geriatric hospital in Paris, France.

voyages-olfactifs-expo-bretonneau-online

As de Bonneval explains, “Residents recall with nostalgia the smell of dishes cooked by their parents or grandparents, of family holidays and even the smell of the cellar, an odor which for some Parisians is strongly associated with the Second World War. Whilst reading and hearing these stories, we discover not only “the smell of friendship” and ‘the smell of freedom’ but also ‘the smell of fear’.”

Exhibition by Eléonore de Bonneval
7 November – 15 December 2016

Hôpital Bretonneau
rue principale
23 rue Joseph de Maistre
75018 Paris
Free Entry | all days | 9h – 17h

Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise Soap

If I had a vintage vanity table with a large mirror, I would decorate it with perfume bottles, makeup brushes and neat rows of lipstick and nail polish. I would fill the candy dishes with face powder pearls and top them with colorful Caron powder puffs. And I would be sure to keep at least one package of Roger & Gallet Oeillet Mignardise soap in the drawer for that distinctive whiff of carnation scented retro glamour. Then nothing would stop me from feeling like a Hollywood starlet, the lack of other qualifications notwithstanding.

rg soap1

A girl can dream, right? While I have no space or practical use for a vanity table–my makeup application is usually a distinctly unglamorous, rushed affair conducted in the bathroom, the carnation part of my fantasy is something I insist on keeping. Oeillet Mignardise is a simple way of having it, and I usually stuff these soap bars in my linen closet and lingerie drawer, in addition to using them in the shower. If I had to use a single type of soap for the foreseeable future, Oeillet Mignardise would be it.

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Latest Comments

  • limegreen in Recommend Me a Perfume : July 2018: Hi Aurora, They are relatively new, except for the body sprays for Neroli Portofino and Oud Wood which have been out for a while. Apparently they are going to come… July 18, 2018 at 10:13am

  • limegreen in Recommend Me a Perfume : July 2018: Hello again, Floras: If you do like the Diptyques, both Eau Duelle and Volutes come in EdP and they not only last longer but have much more depth. Good luck! July 18, 2018 at 10:00am

  • Hayley in Recommend Me a Perfume : July 2018: Ahh didn’t realise it was discontinued. That makes sense as it’s silly money in my local outlet am in uk and your USA I think? Had a quick google and… July 18, 2018 at 9:20am

  • Andy S in Recommend Me a Perfume : July 2018: Hi Martha, I loved the ‘old’ Ivoire too, and miss it. While not the same, another perfume I love that makes me feel good in the same way Ivoire did,… July 18, 2018 at 9:16am

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