Perfume 101 via French Girl Extraordinaire

According to Ines Fressange, here is how French women wear their perfume.

  1. Find your scent and stick to it. French women are faithful to their perfume.
  2. But let your perfumes evolve with you. What you wear when you’re 16 will probably not be what you’re wearing in yours 40’s.
  3. Keep it subtle and discreet. Ines wears her perfume on her neck, wrists, and scarf.
  4. Don’t mix and match perfumes. It won’t work. Perfumery is complex business.
  5. Use fragrance in all aspects of your life: body, car, home, drawers, etc.

What’s the #1 perfume currently in the U.S.? Per Sephora, it’s Chanel Chance, Coco Mademoiselle, and Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb. In France it’s Lancôme La Vie Est Belle with Christian Dior J’Adore a close second.

Perfume tips:

  1. Store your perfume in dark, cool, dry places. Avoid temperature fluctuations.
  2. Perfume lasts the longest when you apply to pulse points that generate heat and on moisturized skin.
  3. Use unscented lotion, rubbing alcohol, or vaseline if you put on too much of your perfume.
  4. Perfume is expired when it’s color becomes darker and the consistency is ‘syrupy’.

Francophile Read-Joie de Vivre

I can’t believe this French lifestyle book hasn’t popped up on more Francophile book lists.

This book is like reading a day in the life of a French person and the day revolves around the importance of meal times. If you’re someone who is interested in what the French eat day to day, this is the book for you.

The author who is a French chef believes a happy life is found in the little things you do daily. So why not pause and make the little things a little special like the French do. I agree.

I bought this book electronically, but this is a book I see myself referencing often, especially since recipes are included. And as convenient as electronic books are, they do not compare with holding a real book in your hand and thumbing through the pages. It’s the little things.

Here are some takeaways from the book.

  1. Take a few moments and enjoy breakfast.
  2. Use cloth napkins.
  3. A French cafe au lait bowl almost requires you to take your time with two hands and enjoy the warmth and coziness of your morning beverage.
  4. Grow something you love to eat and share it with others.
  5. Grow an herb garden
  6. Set fruits and veggies that need to be used out in a pretty bowl or pedestal that as a reminder.
  7. A state of the art kitchen doesn’t mean good food. Alot of the kitchen aesthetics and tools aren’t needed. The author himself has a very humble kitchen.
  8. The kitchen is the heart of the home.
  9. Eat seasonally and go to farmers markets if you can.
  10. If you are pressed for time during weekday lunches, pre-pack your lunch; leave the office and relax while you enjoy your meal.
  11. Even if you do not leave your house to go to work, you should schedule time, sit down and have a nice lunch.
  12. An aperitif and a quick nibble before your lunch and dinner is a nice ritual prior to your meal.
  13. Picinics are wonderful, but eat at a bench, picnic table, pop up table. No one wants to eat food on the ground.
  14. Entertaining should be relaxing and pleasant for everybody. Doing alot of prep the day before will help.
  15. Set a pretty table. It doesn’t have to be perfect. Some table linens, candles, and flowers go a long way in presentation.
  16. Not confident about giving a big dinner party? Start small with a couple of people.
  17. Take a 30 minute nap after meals, guilt free!
  18. Sandwiches are great meals when you use the best ingredients. Don’t skimp.
  19. If your dinners begin later in the evening like the French, have a snack/treat around 5:00pm. (The French have ONLY one snack per day around 5:00pm called “goûter.) This snack is often a sweet treat, such as an eclair. Indulge!
  20. MY final takeaway from this book: Meal times are not only for eating, but to take pauses in your day either on your own, with others, or with family to appreciate good food, each other, and life.