CHRISTMAS IN PARIS ~ Fou D’Absinthe L’Artisan Parfumeur

lartisan parfumeur logo

Snow flakes like Lalique crystal lace fell on the city catching a glint of glitter from the Eiffel Tower search light as it swept the sky. There was a cool blotter paper grey tint in the East behind the Louvre, a herald of the coming day. Finely crafted Italian shoes crunched the icy sidewalk as I walked alone up the gentle rise that is the Champs-Élysées.  The city was asleep on this Christmas morning.


I passed Guerlain’s festive windows that cast a glow of amber on the snow banking around the door. On I went, up toward the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. Fouquet’s was closed and the red awnings fluttered their scallops as I passed as if to wave me on.


The street glinted and sparkled, the naked sycamore trees festooned for the holiday in no more than a negligee of colored lights. It was all lonely and lovely and cold.  Not where I should have been on this Christmas day in Pairs. Not were I longed to be.

The wheels of the cab spattered darkly stained snow up from the gutter as it carried me into Place Pigale. The spray hit the side of Le Cupidon nightclub as we spun past the multitude of “le sex shops” that line the Place then roared onto Rue Houdon. A few lights in the houses were coming on  as my cab snaked and turned north to the heart of Montmartre.


Within moments I was released from the smoky cab onto the Rue de Cardinal Dubois. There it was only an angel’s fight of stairs above me, As I pulled my overcoat close against the cold morning, Paris awakened behind me. Sacré-Cœur, its absinthe white walls met the snow and melt the flakes to wash the sacred heart clean. I was almost there.

Once Behind the church I passed la Place du Tretre now devoid of the many painters of postcard Paris. It looked in the snow like it must have a hundred and thirteen years ago, when it was young and the wild impressionist painters were creating a new art. I slid and nearly fell on the icy cobblestones as I turned down Rue de Calvaire and there it was.  The old street lamp lit the way across the tiny Place du Calvaire in front of the little café where I knew I could get the best Absinthe in town. A small group were seated inside and they turned to greet me as I blundered in shaking snow from my hair.

 chez plumeau

“Joyeux Noël!” they shouted and raised their glasses in toast. They had been here all night waiting for me.  A very slight man in a tall hat offered me a glass of cheer.

“Merci,” At the fist taste of the Absinthe the calendar slipped backward in time and it was a new Christmas day 1899. The little man who gave me the glass now offered me a chair at his table,

“Merci, Toulouse, and Merry Christmas my friend.” There in Chez Plumeau it was 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.

 paris christmas



  1. Merry Christmas!

  2. Thanks for being AWESOME Lanier. Merry Christmas
    Portia xx

    • Oh you are a dear one Miss Portia. Very very dear! Merry Christmas!

  3. Merry Christmas Lanier 🙂

  4. I have a sample of this and you captured it perfectly. Great review as usual. Merry Christmas.

  5. Nadolig Llawen and Joyeux Noel Lanier.

    So glad you rode on past Pigalle and into Montmartre propre.

    I have always longed to see the Place emptied of those caricature artists and now I have seen it so and with snow – all though your eyes!

    Thank you.

    This scent sounds like an intriguing set of presents – but I always love a journey (even if it is pass the parcel) in my fragrances, so I’m tempted.

    Have a great rest of the holiday and merci bien for this magical slice of the City of Light.

    • Diolch i chi annwyl ffrind. It is a lovely journey and I wore it today for the Christmas festivities and found out it has more projection and longevity than I first thought! And Assiduosity, always happy to serve up a magical slice of Paris for you.

  6. Excited and so want to try this one Lanier – the absolute delight of tripping through the streets of Paris without the absinthe hangover!

    Merry Christmas wishes and thank you so much for all your fabulous treats!

    • Marry Christmas Patti darling and you can go “tripping” with me anytime. Wouldn’t it be fun if all of us who share our blogs could get on a 747 and fly off to Europe for a perfume holiday? What fun we would all have.

      • This is more than a simple comment Lanier, it’s a brilliant suggestion, best idea ever! Count me in!

      • Oh, and Happy New Year to you, wherever you are!

  7. I’ve been catching up on my reading… In Paris a million years ago and I remember my mom bringing home what looked like a quart of perfume from Rochas… it was a (bespoke, custom, what do you call off the wrack perfume?) bottle of a rose scented wonder. Of course at the time I was much more interested in the patisserie and the amazing food and the ART/ARCHITECTURE EVERYWHERE YOU TURNED but now I would give anything for that bottle!

  8. Beautiful photos—I enjoyed this tour of Paris very much, Lanier. I hope you had a very Merry Christmas, and here’s to a wonderful 2013 for you!!

    • Thank you Madame! And I hope the new year brings joy overflowing to you.

  9. Your story transported me to Chez Plumeau so I’ll go dab on some Fou D’Absinthe this New Year’s Eve.

    • I love Chez Plumeau! And guess what Mary? I am wearing a bit of Fou D’Absinthe for New Year’s Eve too!

      • And are you going to stop in our lovely Absinthe on the corner? I couldn’t help but keep smelling my wrists this morning.

      • Do you mean Absinthe on the corner of Hayes and Gough? I love that place and the onion soup. It is only a hop skip and a jump from my apartment! But no I am staying in tonight!!

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