Buly 1803

A reivew of the luxurious french beauty brand Buly 1803.

Every time I have come to France there is always an excitement to go explore the pharmacies here. Unlike in the states where that basically means a medicine counter, here the pharmacy is where you can not only find any cure for what ails you, but a whole pandora’s box of new French beauty products we are not familiar with in the states or possibly do not even have back home.  But then I discovered something new in Paris… something truly magical:

Buly 1803.

Like a pharmacy fit for a French King, it is the fantasy of what Paris used to be. Feeding my complete obsession with natural beauty products this place became instantly beloved.

When your modern day shoes walk across the crest marked tiled floors of their petite atelier on Rue Bonaparte in the sixth arrondissement you are immediately filled with wonderment as you gracefully float back in time to an era of beauty products that were made from real ingredients. Walls of oak cabinets filled like an apothecary of everything you ever needed and some you didn’t even know existed. Marble candles, essential oils, the most beautiful watercolor painted ceramic bottles of water-based perfumes and soaps, all made in the tradition of nineteenth-century craftsmanship.

Originally named after its creator and famed perfumer, Jean-Vincent Bully, today’s rebirth brought back to life by Ramdane Touhami and his wife Victoire de Taillac-Touhami, named Buly 1803, was named after the year Jean-Vincent Bully first opened his shop in Paris“with a respect for the past and a curiosity for the present.”

Though they are most known for their perfumes past and present, I gravitated to the Huile Antique damask rose scented dry body oil. After stepping out of my shower or bath, this is the most wonderful body oil I have ever experienced. Instead of leaving you oily it absorbs into your skin making it soft and luminous with a subtle scent of roses. I am 100% hooked on this product.

My second discovery was not one I was anticipating. Over a glass counter there was a mirage of antique looking little jars of oils. I discussed with the shopgirl the characteristics of my facial skin and I told her that I had a mild rosacea that drove me insane, especially considering I typically try not to wear makeup and I want my skin to be as balanced as possible to feel confident naked. She suggested I try the Safflower Seed Oil and at only 26 euros I was happy to. I’ve been using it now before bed and in the morning for almost two weeks and the redness in my skin has never been so calm! It’s so simple and so much cheaper than the unnatural laser procedure my dermatologist suggested.

Perhaps the most charming characteristic of this very small shop is the old desk that rests demurely by the soft window light where sits a calligrapher to customize your purchase with your name or monogram. If you are looking for a truly unique experience and very Parisian gift for yourself or to bring back to someone, I highly recommend taking a step back in time here.

Images from this story were taken in my home in Provence. 

A reivew of the luxurious french beauty brand Buly 1803. (more…)

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Studied.

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I was watching the U.S. Presidential debate live last night, in bed with a glass of red wine, around 4am French time. As I listened to Hillary Clinton speak (looking chic as F in Ralph Lauren, IMO) I was so impressed with how knowledgable and studied she is. Dedicating your life to anything, especially in her case of public service for 30 years, is a huge statement to passion, purpose and incredible knowledge on the subject. I was contemplating how that related to my own purpose.

Change makers start by first learning, then with doing. The power is in knowledge. The expertise is in experience. That’s what I took away. If you have been following my Snapchat this week I have been sharing what I’ve learned about photography. Quick little daily tutorials on knowledge I’ve gained either in the class room or from experience in my breathe thus far as a photographer which is and will be my life’s work.

On Photography

My journey started when I was 13. My mom handed me her 1970s Pentax 35mm film camera. The kind that is so basic and manual all you can do set the shutter and aperture. A far cry from the endless options and controls we now have with digital.

My first lessons in photography started with basic balancing of the camera’s built in light meter and a LOT of trial and error. I learned quickly that I like to overexpose my images by a stop, especially when shooting faces. I learned how slow I can set the shutter before the image begins to reveal the shake from my hand, or breathing. I learned how to communicate movement, not just freeze it. This is knowledge I still use today when I want the image to feel alive. From there I read books, I took every class I could for the next 10 or so years. Post college, I still study. I watch youtube videos, I take classes in alternative photography, I buy random cameras and learn how to shoot with them. I play, experiment, challenge myself and discuss daily.

The Continued Study

I’ve studied photography. I loved photography. I still love the history of photography, btw THIS is the best podcast on the subject. We are now all photographers. We all take pictures, communicate through imagery and share with the world. For those of you who want to make it a profession… take a lead from what inspired me about Hillary. Be studied, do the work. Take your time on the journey. Here I am 20 years later and I am still doing just that. She makes me excited for who I will become as an artist (and business woman) in the later years of my life.

Please, this is not a political post but one about being inspired about another human’s knowledge and commitment to what they belive in, if you belive in it with them or not… #ImWithHer

Above self portrait, in Baukjen dress & wrap coat,

inspired from the painting “San Gerolamo” by Caravaggio

 

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My Day in Provence

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So, as you know, I’ve been spending a great deal of my time in a tiny town in the south of France. Nothing about my life is the same as it was. Life in New York has me up at sunrise working, emailing, off to the gym, running errands, doing photoshoots, taking meetings, then social engagements until I finished the day around 10pm with dinner and way too much to drink. Not so anymore…

My day starts at 8am when I naturally wake up. I don’t set alarm clocks. Not a lot happens around here until 11. So, relieved that it’s still early, I go back to sleep until noon. I know, outrageous, but I typically work late here – until about 3am when there are no distractions and America is awake and buzzing.

I go to the café and have my daily cafe créme, something I NEVER would have done in New York. Not taken the time, not taken the milk. Since I don’t have cell service here, a blessing AND a curse, and wifi hasn’t hit this town yet, I listen to podcasts I have stored like Claire & Erica’s “A Few Things“. Today’s episode was especially inspiringI buy my baguette, whatever is left of the varieties they sell, since it’s pretty picked over by the time I roll in. Sometimes they come out with a fresh hot batch midday which is really a shining moment for me, when she hands me the loaf and it’s still warm. That’s when I stand outside and munch.

I come home to my little 17th century apartment. The light is perfect this time of day. I have so many options from direct light to filtered window light, reflected light, and softly diffused. I thumb through inspiration images and I shoot from 2pm to 5pm, mostly on black and white film. Still lives, flowers, self portraits, life.

I clean up, I make dinner, I build a fire. I edit digital stories for social media, I edit client work. I do more research on upcoming commercial projects, and look for inspiration for personal ones.

Living here, that small town life, was super scary at first. I cried every day for a month. There were so many challenges at first. How do I get a taxi cab? Why won’t UPS deliver my boxes? How do I tell the butcher I would like a small steak? Where does one buy scotch tape… and why do I have a washing machine but no dryer?

It took a while to actually reset. To want to shoot. I was so burned out.

I also needed to break out of the hard shell I had built for myself. To find inspiration in creating, not being overly stimulated by a mountain of activity. I have discovered, most importantly, that being here limits what I can do. There is not a lot going on, I don’t have a car (yet). I don’t speak French and everything is basically closed 99% of the time. However, it is in those limitations that I am finding freedom to do so much more. Fewer distractions, more time to create. And that is what it’s really all about.–

Above self portrait, in Misha Nonoo jumpsuit,

inspired from the painting “The Red Beret”

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A Picnic in Provence

  A picnic in Provence

Anyone who has been to Provence knows the south of France has the most stunningly opulent markets. Delicately viened melons, the softest greens and figs so lush they break open in your market bag revealing their dark red seed. Cured meats: wild boar, sun-dried tomato, olive, chèvre. And the cheese… I die for the cheese.

Today’s adventure, a picnic overlooking the ruins of a famed chateau, tucked just above the mountainous village of Lacoste. On the menu: oysters which I shucked myself, washed down with a coupe of Champagne, followed by sticky red grapes, figs, olives, saucisson, and cheese.  I arranged everything on a beautiful blue and white picnic blanket I found in the market and lay peacefully watching the sun fade off the vines of the valley and appreciating the rich flavors of Provence. Delectable. 

Un samedi parfait.

A picnic in Provence A picnic in Provence



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