MONSIEUR PETRIZ WINTER HOLIDAY ~ Green by Byredo

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Even a gigolo needs a vacation. For Rene Michel Petriz it was time for an escape from Paris and the ladies who kept him in Charvet ties, Ferragamo shoes and luxuriously ensconced in his apartments at 56 Avenue Victor Hugo.

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Madame Pageau had seen him off in the snowy December cold with out a hint of a tear at Gere de Lyon. He knew his housekeeper was putting up a brave front she hated to have him out of her sight. On the night train to Nice he skipped dinner in the dining car where there was sure to be a woman or two and possibly a man who would to catch his eye with an invitation behind a smile. Instead he locked himself in his compartment and was asleep before Melun.  The next morning in Nice he picked up a 1966 Alfa Romeo Spider and hit the back roads rather than the A8 that would lead to his hideaway in the hills above Monte Carlo.

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He was surrounded by sudden Spring. The little red machine purred as he took the hairpin turns a hair to fast. Gravel was kicked into the sage by the back right tire and the wind in his face was liberating. It tore away all the cares of Paris and demands of his body. For two weeks he would luxuriated in being alone, completely and deliciously alone. He took a deep breath and smelled the green of the hills that climbed from the Mediterranean Sea up to the crystalline peaks of the Alps to the north. It smelled of green petitgrain, and almond trees growing on sage covered hills warmed by the unseasonably hot December sun.

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Everyone he knew, his clients, the boys from the Bar du Marche and anyone of consequence would be sprinkled across ski chalets and the slopes of Megève or Montgenèvre being frivolous in furs and trying desperately to have a good time.

“Bonjour Monsieur Petriz. Welcome back to Peillon.” The concierge of Hotel Auberge de la Madone greeted him as he had for the past ten years. He wore a violet boutonnière in his lapel and smelled of a perfume laced with Tonka.

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Peillon France

“Merci Henri, Peillon looks unchanged.”  Rene noticed that there was honeysuckle miraculously blooming in brightly lacquered terracotta pots just outside the windows.

“But of course Monsieur, we are close to the glitter of Monte Carlo but untouched by its extravagance. One might say that we are the simple country rose growing next to the glamorous jasmine.”

“Perfect Henri” He smiled more broadly and openly than he ever did in Paris and signed the ledger.

That afternoon he sat atop the highest hill above Peillon looking out to the south toward the sea beyond the last row of hills that separated him from Monte Carlo. To be left alone was a luxury he could barely afford. But for the next fourteen days isolation would be his.  Solace in solitude. The air was clean and green filled with memories of blessed beds of musk white sheets he shared with no one but those he met in sleepy dreams.  He fell back onto the grass and looked into the all encompassing sky and smiled once more as he never had in Paris. Rene Michel Petriz never looked, more handsome or more alive than now.

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Green by Byredo is my favorite of the line. This green floral is said to be inspired by memories of the father of the creator of Byredo, Ben Gorham. Everyone should have such beautiful memories of their father.

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Ben Gorham

Green is a blend of what you would expect in green notes which meet in the most unexpected and charming way with a classic French perfume vibe. A kind of sensuous green oriental mash up that makes this a very exciting and vibrant olfactory experience. Pure magic if you ask me. Just a few sprays and you are transported to the south of France in early spring.

The top opens with fresh sunny petitgrain and sharp slightly bitter sage. It could be a hillside along the Mediterranean Sea  or a orange grove in Southern California. Where ever it is you want to be there. Super green and inviting these top notes fade off but never leave the perfume.

In the mid notes we get a spring garden with rose blooming in the afternoon and jasmine filling the night with its distinctive lush beauty. The honeysuckle and violet are intertwined into the rose and jasmine creating a cerebral vision of a classic floral perfume. It is glittering but not overly glamorous.

The dry down is clean and slightly woody with the arrival of a warm tonka, white scrubbed musk and hard edged but not too bitter almond. This brings in a bit of the barbershop for me and boosts the perfumes masculine edge making it a floral for men that is easy to wear. And on a woman it is stunningly beautiful a perfect example of what the real essence of perfume should be. Without gender and made to be loved.

The down side for me is the longevity that I find in all the Byredo perfumes. They seem to last only a few hours on my skin. But the good news for Green is that it is at the top of the spectrum in this respect. It last on my skin from four to six hours. And with me reapplication is not a problem but a fun ritual. I only mention this because for some longevity is an important issue when paying for expensive perfumes. The sillage is respectable at about three feet. With the short lifespan it does move toward a skin scent relatively quickly.  Having addressed those issues, for me Green is a winner. It is a green fragrance that an oriental lover can embrace, a perfect meeting of city and nature.

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Green by Byredo Four Gold Stars ****

for the next installment go to: HOW INSENSITIVE

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

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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.

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    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.

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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?”

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“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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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VOLEUR DE ROSES L’ARTISAN PARFUMEUR

FIVE PLATINUM STARS *****

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

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