MADAME PAGEAU AT THE CAFE ~ Voleur de Roses L’Artisan Parfumeur

lartisan parfumeur logo

Madame Pageau always appeared at Café le Conti just as the Vesper bells of Notre Dame chimed. An old sweet lady, not elegant but rather grandmotherly she was loved by the waiters and the regulars alike. Each and every person who met her more than once at the café knew her story.


    Every day at Vespers hour she would arrive by taxi to the café. Her employer always paid for the trip to and from his house at 56 Avenue Victor-Hugo. You see, Madame Pageau was the housekeeper for one of the most notorious men of Paris. Rene Michel Petriz, the highest paid and most desired gigolo in all of France.

Mother and son suprise

On this particular afternoon Madame Pageau was seated at her favorite spot on the sidewalk at the table which everyone knew as “Madame’s table”. She waited for her coffee and contemplated whether or not to take the three Italian Pistachio macaroons out of her Chanel bag (a beloved gift from Monsieur). Better not, she was saving them for bedtime.  Marcel, her favorite waiter smiled as he served her the coffee. There were three chocolate macaroons on the saucer.

“A little surprise for Madame.”  He was a shadow of a once very handsome man.

Madame Pageau touched his hand and smiled her thanks.

“And how is Monsieur Petriz? Well I hope?”


“Very well Marcel thank you. And if you think I will tell tales just for those macaroons…..”

“Oh, No Madame! I had no intention.”

“Very well… Just so we understand each other.”  It was always the same pretense before she filled him in on the latest gossip.

After a few crumbs of scandal from Madame, Marcel retreated satiated with the excitement of such a glamorous life, a life he might have had if he had been bolder in his youth.


Madame Pageau sipped her coffee and smiled in the knowledge that once again she had filled in new pages in the legend of her employer. It tickled her that every word was a lie designed to enhance his reputation.

He did not sleep in white silk pajamas sewn with gold thread imported from India. He did not own five hundred pairs of Ferragamo shoes; He was not the illegitimate son of Franco Nero and Brigitte Bardot. There was no single rose delivered each day by a spurned ex-king whose mistress he had bedded. He was not in fact bisexual. That would come later in life. It was true that he liked to hang out at Bar du Marché with gay boys of the left bank (a few he even kissed on a lark). Such was his vanity that it demanded attention from all quarters.


Embrasser le beau mec au Bar du Marché. Pour le plaisir.

(photograph by Blaine Harrington)

 There were many gifts from clients but not on the scale Madame Pageau would have the world believe. It was true that he bought most of his own jewelry except for that huge canary diamond tie pin from the American actress.  He did not have his valet spay the sheets of his bed with Damascus rose scented perfume. On the contrary it was an orange and lemon eau de cologne. But Madame Pageau thought the rose was more romantic. It was true that all over Paris wealthy women luxuriated in the scent he left on their sheets for days after he was gone from their beds.  So as it always happened, today’s tales were spread along with all the others from Madame to Marcel and on to the rest of the city. The tales she spun had stolen the very heart of Paris.


What Madame Pageau never told anyone was what he smelled like when he gave her a hug and called her “ma petite tante”. He smelled of tussled sheets the morning after, of champagne, sex, velvet jackets and expensive patchouli and plum perfume. There was always the faint presence of a woman near his skin. Rene Michel smelled like his father had smelled the one and only night she had met him all those years ago. This tiny detail of the legend no one knew but her. There were not enough macaroons in Pairs that could bribe from Madame Pageau the very true fact that she loved Rene Michel as if he were her very own son which of course he was.

Gregory Fitoussi

 Grégory Fitoussi as Rene Michel Petriz


It is all about luxurious sex. Voleur de Roses by L’Artisan Parfumeur is a perfume of the body and the smells of being a bad boy all of which is sure to shock some in its honest sensuality. It is the lingering scent of a lover’s body when you crawl back into bed just after they have gone. It is daring, bold and utterly divine!  Created by the nose, Michel Almairac who has a great collection of creations to his name among which you will find seven in the Bond 9 house, six in Burberry, and such classics as Gucci Pour Homme and Minotaur by Poloma Picasso.

 holly revell photo

photo by Holly Revell

Voleur de Roses is a woody oriental for men that a woman could wear with confidence. A brazen blending of three notes it is linear and lovely from start to finish. The brilliant mixing of patchouli rose and plum is deceptive in its simplicity. The opening is lush as the fragrance envelopes you like the arms of a lover. It holds you close for a good six to eight hours and like the sent of a lover is close to the skin after about two hours. Before it retreats to the flesh it projects about three feet. Voleur de Roses is not only sexy and warm but at its heart it is chic, urbanely rich and refined.

If you are a sensual person by nature, a person who luxuriates in your body and lives a life of grand passion then Voleur de Roses is a must for your collection. But be warned. If you dare to wear Voleur de Roses you may begin to write a blazing new page in your own life story. To have a reputation is ordinary to be come a legend is extraordinary.




For the next installment of the story go to: MONSIEUR PETRIZ WINTER HOLIDAY


  1. I’m transported back to rue de Buci. This was just a couple of blocks from our hotel on rue Jacob. What a marvelous review. Les Degres De Notre Dame is the café I was trying to remember in the 5th on rue de Grands Degres from your July 2012 review.

    • Mary! How wonderful that I could take you back to Paris! Thank you so much and thank you for today!

      • Oh and yes I love Les Degres De Norter Dame! It is a wonderful Wonderful restaurant.

  2. Thank you for a lovely trip to one of my favorite cities (and I didn’t even have to leave home).
    Another review for the book 🙂

    • You are so sweet Marie! If I ever do a book you will be the first to know.

  3. Maybe if I wear Voleur De Roses I will begin to lead a life of grand passion. I think I’m ready to become a legend, at least in my own mind. 😉
    I loved this, Lanier. Thank you for taking me to Paris today. I’ll add this perfume to my ever growing list of must haves.

    • You are welcome Lisa! It is a fabulous rose perfume…a little dirty rose at that. What becomes a legend most? A grand passion of course.

  4. Wow. That intro had me just Wistful, and longing to sit next to Madame, just to be in her presence. What an evocative story! So sensual, and romantic, and a bit sad in a very good way. I just put Voleur de Roses on my sample order, and I can only hope that as the notes waft to My nose, that I too, have such a grande story to tell. P.s. that photo by Holly Revell is Epic.

    • I hope you have a grand passion for Voleur de Roses when you get your sample. (Yes i love that photo too! It says it all.)

  5. Good. Golly. I AM swooning. I’m now sniffing my wrists for pulse and tawdry traces, of course. Where is my fan? Your fan, T. (Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.)

    • Smelling salts for Miss Brack! If you can’t find your fan to cool down I am sure Karl Lagerfeld will lend you his. I am really tickled that the review affected you so.

  6. Uauhhh! The fascinating Air of Paris! The scent of life… Thank you Lanier!

    • You are so welcome Roberto. I have spent a lot of time in Paris on my blog. I think I am due for a return to Sorrento, Rome, Florence, Venice and well, all of Italy.

      • Great!!! Let me know! It will be a pleasure to welcome you… And about Perfumes and my works (I mean my silk scarves) some news are coming soon… I will let you know in advance. Have a great sunday!

      • Oh how exciting! Yes keep me posted.

  7. Well, now, how will I dare to wear Voleur des Roses after reading this???
    Thanks for the intriguing story – worth publishing like Marie said.
    I love Paris and its secrets. Moreover, I love Paris’ everything that’s exposed and exaggerated, too. So you made me plunge into a dream life…
    However, I feel VdR more balmy and natural than you describe it. Now, I should try your point of view and a whole new approach to it!!!

    • You are very kind as is Marie about my writing. Thank you! Isn’t it interesting how a perfume can smell one way to one person and then be something different to another. Ah the magic of smell.

  8. Ok….
    I thought I smelled Voleur but I obviously wasn’t paying attention. 😀
    Now I will have to do it again (and possibly furtively spritz some on my boyfriend). 😉

    • Ines, one should always spray perfume on one’s boyfriend. It keeps them fresh longer.

  9. Oh you handsome devil you! I want to smell what you smell. I tried this and all I got was the scent of a damp, moldy cellar. I love the name. I wanted to love the perfume but my skin turned it to something very unpleasant. I need to try it again and see if perhaps it was a weather thing. Maybe I need to have hubby try it and see if it’s better on him.

    • Oh Poodle! Such flattery could turn a mans head.
      A moldy cellar! My goodness that is interesting. I am curious how it would smell on Hubby. Would he stand still for such an experimentation? I am fascinated to know.

  10. Outrageous!!!! Another glowing triumph of fragrotica!

    Also just wanted to underscore how much I enjoyed lunch with you two yesterday. We must make it a monthly outing!

    Embracing you both, Hilary


    • Fragrotica! Now THAT is a word!! LOL. Yes lunch once a month with you and Mary is on my dance card. xo

  11. Glorious story!! And that photo by Holly Revell is utterly epic!! As for the perfume, 3 notes? Is it the patchouli that makes them classify this as a “woody” oriental? I haven’t had much luck with the L’Artisan line, so it’s a compliment to your writing that I’m almost tempted to try this. Beautiful review, my sweet. Really beautiful!

    • Thank you Sweetie! Yes I think it is the Patchouli that gives it that classification. Those three notes really do sing on my skin. Hope if you try it you will have a good encounter.

  12. Yes, lovely lunch with two wonderful people plus our own copy of a great review!

    Mary Edington San Francisco, CA

  13. Monsieur Lanier, Maman can read English and is upset that you have written about her. I think she is more upset that you have written in this language when you could have written in French. BTW my pajamas are stitched with gold thread from India.

    • Je ne vous demande pardon de mon très mauvais faux pas. S’il vous plaît ne laissez Madame Pageau sais que je me sens si terrible d’avoir exposé son secret. And Jordan I imagine those pajamas are spectacular!

  14. Je vous pardonne – Jordan Pageau.

  15. A fantastic review, as always, Lanier. You are a very talented writer. I enjoy your blog very much, and am so happy I found it. I’ve never been to Paris, but your beautifully crafted posts make me feel like i have been. You should write a novel!

    • Hi Cesare you just made my day so bright and lovely with your kind comment. Thank you!

  16. You are amazing! That was such a fun morning treat. I think this perfume would be lovely for me. wink! I’ll be watching and linking. Bravo. xo

    • J.M. how lovely you are and thank you! Sending many Hugs to carry you through your day.

  17. For me the best part of this review was seeing the pictures of Gregory (whom I adore…watched every episode of Engrenage that was available on netflix!) and I am a very sensual person so I am intrigued………

    • He is also in Mr. Selfridge on PBS and quite wonderful in it.
      Hope you get a chance to sniff out the Voleur de Roses very soon.

  18. I also overlook Voleur de Roses, but following your amazing story, I must revisit it. Thanks for the afternoon trip to Paris, Lanier!

    • I hope you find something of the same magic I found in Voleur de Roses. And you are welcome for the trip to Paris!

  19. […] Plots Holiday Reading on Scents Memory Madam Pageau at the Café Rajdulari Goes to Bollywood A Letter from Versailles Appointment at […]

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