Snow flakes like Lalique crystal lace falls on the city catching a glint of glitter from the Eiffel Tower search light as it sweeps the sky. There is a cool blotter paper grey tint in the East behind the Louvre, a herald of the coming day. Finely crafted Italian shoes crunch the icy sidewalk as I walk alone up the gentle rise that is the Champs-Élysées. The city is asleep on this Christmas morning.
I pass Guerlain’s festive windows that cast a glow of amber on the snow banking around the door. On I go up toward the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. Fouquet’s is closed and the red awnings flutter their scallops as I pass as if to wave me on.
The street glints and sparkles, the naked sycamore trees festooned for the holiday in no more than a negligee of colored lights. It is all lonely and lovely and cold. Not where I should be on this Christmas day in Pairs. Not were I long to be.
The wheels of the cab spatter darkly stained snow up from the gutter as it carries me into Place Pigale. The spray hits the side of Le Cupidon nightclub as we spin past the multitude of “le sex shops” that line the Place then roar onto Rue Houdon. A few lights in the houses are on now as my cab snakes and turns north to the heart of Montmartre.
Within moments I am released from the smoky cab onto the Rue de Cardinal Dubois. There it is only an angel’s fight of stairs above me, As I pull my overcoat close against the cold morning, Paris awakens behind me. Sacré-Cœur, its absinthe white walls meet the snow and melt the flakes to wash the sacred heart clean. I am almost there.
Once Behind the church I pass la Place du Tretre now devoid of the many painters of postcard Paris. It looks in the snow like it must have a hundred and thirteen years ago, when it was young and the painters were creating a new art. Sliding on the icy cobblestones I turn down Rue de Calvaire and there it is. The old street lamp lights the way across the tiny Place du Calvaire in front of the little café where I know I can get the best Absinthe in town. A small group are seated inside they turn to greet me.
“Joyeux Noël!” they shout and raise their glasses in toast. They have been here all night waiting for me. A very slight man in a tall hat offers me a glass of cheer.
“Merci,” At the fist taste of the Absinthe the calendar slips backward and it is Christmas day 1899. The little man who gave me the glass now offers me a chair at his table,
“Merci, Toulouse, and Merry Christmas my friend.” Here in Chez Plumeau it is the best Christmas imaginable.
Fou D’Absinthe by L’Artisan Parfumeur is the perfect fragrance for Christmas! A festive if dangerous drink, good friends and wonderful smells, it is all here in this wonderful perfume. The fragrance is light and close to the skin on me so it is the type of perfume I must revisit, which I don’t mind at all. And if you have the body cream that in conjunction with the perfume makes it last longer. So a low silage and longevity make it a perfect scent for the office. Or the office Christmas Party!
Fou D’Absinthe (Crazy Absinthe) opens with a sensuous deep blackcurrant and the balancing act of the pungent and sweet angelica. Here is where the sinful fun begins. a rich Rum swirls into the wormwood note, the very thing Absinthe is made from is here meandering and slithering its way into the soul of this fragrance. What would Christmas be without a toast or two of the forbidden brew?
In the middle notes Christmas morning opens like festive packages one after another. There is sharp ginger as in the cookies, a pot of patchouli bubbles with a pinch of pepper, nutmeg and cloves. On the top of the Christmas tree a lovely licorice lick of Star Anise.
In the dry down we get to the where the Pagan and the Christian meet. Raw resinous fir trees and Pine needles of the Druids and their winter solstice ceremonies meet the catholic incense from the cathedral. The ending is magisterial, solemn and reflective. So in its way Fou D’Absinthe is anything but crazy. Rather it embraces all the joys of the season and then, just like Christmas it is gone at midnight. But then again…New Years Eve is just around the corner.
FOU D’ABSINTHE ~ FIVE GOLD STARS *****