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

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

THE ROSE OF ISPAHAN ~ Oud Ispahan Christian Dior

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The old blind soothsayer’s breath fell upon the sands that were spread over the silver plate. The glittering grains moved slowly, almost imperceptibly. The Princess, daughter of the Caliph of Baghdad leaned closer to the shifting sands to see a shape begin to appear, the shape of a perfect rose.

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“The sands foretell my princess, the one who will win your heart and your hand; he shall be the first to touch the rose.”

The thief Ahmed perched in the highest branch of an agar tree that stretched out over the palace walls watched his beloved receive her fortune. She whom he loved from afar since his eyes first beheld her veiled beauty in the bazaar of the silk merchants, she who was so far above him, she whom he dare not dream of.

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“The rose?” the Princess looked up into the face of the blind man.

“Yes the rarest rose in the garden of your father, the Persian Rose of Ispahan.”

The Princess glanced across the garden of her father and beheld the perfection of pink and perfume which was the very rose the soothsayer spoke of. There by the palace wall near the old agar tree set in a planter made of sandalwood it bloomed in the sun. Its beauty only surpassed by its magical aroma that filled the garden.

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Ispahan Rose

“How can that be?”  The princes looked back to the old teller of impossible tales. “No man but my father is allowed near his precious rose. It is forbidden to all but him.”

“There is one, I see him, and he is very near. Even now my Princess, even now he knows of this rose. The having of it is the key to unlock your love. He will bring the rose to you in the lowly leather satchel of a thief.”

The Princess laughed and dropped three silver coins in the hand of the soothsayer. “A thief? You are mad my dear old one. Sweet and full of fantasies but quite mad. Now off with you and come back tomorrow to tell my fortune again.”

Ahmed watched as the ancient blind one was lead away by the princess’s servant. He watched as the princess walked though the garden past the green patchouli and the fragrant labdanum flowers. When she came to the Rose of Ispahan she bent down to smell it and as she did, one tear fell from her cheek onto the perfect petal of the rose.

“If only it were true.” She whispered. “Allah, please make it so.”

That night in the cover of a moonless sky with only the light of the stars to guide him the thief Ahmed again climbed the agar tree. With the aid of a magic rope he had stolen from a magician in the marketplace he dropped silently into the garden of the Caliph. He easily moved along the shadows of the blue night to where the rose grew. In one swift moment he snatched the bloom from the bush and gently placed in into his leather satchel

“Who’s there?” a voice rushed across the darkness. The Princess stood at the gate of the garden holding a sputtering golden lamp. Ahmed turned and smiled.

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Oud Ispahan by Christian Dior is a tale from the Arabian Nights. The perfume that Scheherazade might wear to tell her tales to the King and in so doing weave an even more enchanting spell over him. It is also the perfect rose scent for a thief of Bagdad to steal and wear to woo a princess. It is magical.

In this floral oriental there is all the beauty and splendor to be found in the gardens and bazaars of the Near East. The rarest and most romantically pungent and intoxicating oud is at the center of this fragrance. For it is all about the oud and the tale it tells here in conjunction with the other notes. This base note is the solid foundation upon which all else is presented. The perfume opens with the lush and overtly sensual labdanum (the very scent Madame de Pompadour used to seduce King Louis XV) it is rich and wonderful and smells of sexy warm flesh. A garden of exceptionally wonderful patchouli comes in to warm the middle and plays counterpoint to the song sung by the labdanum. Up then from the base floats the beautiful Damascus rose and very fine sandalwood.

Damascus Rose

(The Damascus Rose used in Oud Ispahan)

This rose, sandalwood and oud are fantastic together.  Out of the bottle or sprayed on a blotter it is beautiful. When it hits the skin it is a perfume of resplendent rose and agar wood oud of the most perfect creation.  It is miraculous.

The perfume has a wonderful life that lasts on my skin for many hours and even the next morning it lingers close to the skin in the most delightful and inviting way. As if calling you back for one more night in the garden of the Caliph. The projection is good but not overwhelming if you apply it with restraint; which is hard to do since it is so delicious upon the first application.

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The entire Dior Privée Colletion

For me this is one of the top perfumes in the truly magnificent presentation by Christian Dior of the Privée line of fragrances. A masterpiece by a house I am coming to love even more with every new foray into each of their perfumes.

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 OUD ISPAHAN FIVE PLATINUM STARS *****

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