Tag Archives: france

CHANEL N°5 L’EAU

When I think of CHANEL, naturally I think of France and, more specifically, I think of Paris with her white walls and perfectly designed boulevards. But CHANEL is more than one place. It’s more than a fashion house, it’s a lifestyle. If you could live CHANEL, what kind of woman would you be?

You’d probably be the kind of woman who understands heritage, craftsmanship, quality, and artistry. You are confident and current, timeless and unforgettable, you possess a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’… You definitely possess a bottle of CHANEL N° 5 (and so did your mother, and possibly her mother). Perfume, like memories, can thread together our lives, taking us to places like a mystical time traveling fairy. I know, one day, the smell of fresh garden roses will remind my children and my grandchildren of me long after I’m gone. I hope those memories bring back love.

As all things CHANEL does, its perfume is created to perfection, with the highest quality ingredients, and is, of course, made in France. There is no place better in the world to manufacture perfume than on the beautiful French Riviera in Grasse, the cradle of French Perfumery since the 17th century. For over 170 years the fields you see depicted in this story have been owned by the same family, who have passed down knowledge from generation to generation; grandfathers working side by side with sons and grandsons. You can feel the heritage and deep rooted love walking the lanes of endless roses. For the past 30 years CHANEL has had a sole partnership with this family estate. It is here where they recently brought us to experience the 5th interpretation of CHANEL N° 5 called L’EAU, or water in French. According to CHANEL,N°5 L’EAU is not a cologne. Nor is it a diluted version of the original fragrance for, at CHANEL, each variation is a genuine olfactory creation. N°5 L’EAU is the N°5 of today. A composition under the banner of modernity, with freshness as its leitmotif. L’EAU, for water is essential. L’EAU, in praise of simplicity.”

When I arrived to the property I was struck with the overwhelming scent of roses. It was truly the most intoxicating smell I’ve ever experienced. Pure, intense, lovely; it completely wrapped around you, like being covered in nature’s kisses. Nothing will ever compare to the scent of those fields. I walked for hours among the rows of pink roses at different stages in their delicately blooming life span, the perfectly French light dancing warm and golden set against a blue sky. It was ideal bliss. Off in the distance, the chateau sits, proud and historic, like a fairytale from my childhood storybooks. I was, to put it simply, in heaven… even the photos can’t do it justice this time.

The new fragrance is wonderful. It’s timeless like the original N° 5 but modernized perfectly. Less musky, more vibrant. Less suited, more feminine. It’s all I wore while on my journey through Provence, and what I wear at home to travel back to this place… my heaven on earth.

Something that my friend, artist, and archaeologist Jean Pierre Soalhat said to me on my recent visit to Provence, “Our future is inside of our past.”  I believe this quote truly represents the heritage of Chanel’s brand, their perfumes, and certainly the driving force behind behind L’EAU, modernity guided by tradition. The memories that a perfect scent creates, reflect moments in our lives, the lives of our loved ones, memories that lead into our future and last forever.

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The May Bloom: Rose de Mai

40-50 tons of roses are produced in a season, handpicked by farmers. The blooms begin the last week of April and throughout the month of May.  At first light, every morning at 7am the buds will begin to bloom, two days after they have opened up their beautiful petals, they must be picked. The lifespan of one rose bush is 15-20 years.

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“And then, like a second wind, you can already hear the rustle of flowers. It sounds like the whisper of trembling tulle. Rose melds with oxygenated jasmine and a new fraction of ylang ylang, more modern than ever. You are plunged into the heart of the bouquet with a delectable dizziness that gives the impression of contact with each petal, its velvety touch, its fleshiness, its delicate lace, its changing shape.” -The house of CHANEL CHANEL_No_5_LEAU_05 (more…)

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Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat

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There can’t possibly be anything more glamorous than checking in to a chic white hotel perched on the edge of rocky cliffs cascading down into the emerald Mediterranean Sea. The Grand-Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, a Four Seasons hotel, is one of those truly perfect classic icons that keeps the French Riviera sparkling, and for me, a dream destination.

This hotels ranks as one of my personal favorites. It’s so timeless in design from the marble bath and crown moldings to the french windows that over look manicured gardens and sweeping sea views. I loved dining on Niçoise salad in my room with a glass of rosé, windows open playing along in a slow dance with the floor-to-ceiling sheer white curtains. I loved the crisp white palette with elements of French design revealing themselves through a blue linen chair or gilded mirror. From movie stars to royalty, writers to artists, this property has housed some of the most amazing talent and minds in the world who come for peace and solitude in the must luxurious comforts.

When I dream of the Cote d’Azur, I dream of this….

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Above, traveling in an outfit by St. John, which I love, along with this brand because they do not wrinkle. Shoes by Stuart Weitzman, luggage by SteamLine (OBSESSED), bag by CHANEL.  

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Dinner with Dom Pérignon

Dinner with Dom Pérignon in Hautvillers, France

It can only be described as “like a dream” to dine with the winemakers of Dom Pérignon in a glowing mansion in Épernay on the Moët & Chandon estate. If I let my mind wander from the conversation I could sit back and imagine that it must have not been unlike this to dine in a miniature version of Versailles. But if anything could outshine the grandeur of the room it was the incredible chocolate soufflé created by Chef de Cuisine Pascal Tingaud for us that evening as a perfect finish to a meal paired with Dom Pérignon Rosé vintages. It was served in a large soufflé dish and bought around to each person family style at the table… sometimes twice. I asked the chef if he wouldn’t mind sharing this heavenly dessert recipe for my own dinner parties at home in New York.

See below for the recipe of the night’s star dish by Chef de Cuisine Pascal Tingaud

Dinner with Dom Pérignon in Hautvillers, France (more…)

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Hostellerie La Briqueterie

A stay in Champange's Hostellerie La Briqueterie in France.

It was that perfect time of year, early fall, when the air is crisp and damp and the light makes everything glow. We slept not unlike how we sleep in New York in the fall, with the windows open, our soft white curtains billowing in, reminding me the day has begun. It is easy to sleep well in the heart of France’s Champagne region at the Hostellerie La Briqueterie under the bouquet of garden roses. There was a not a sound as I lay there in the early morning light thinking about the adventure that day. Not a sound but the dreams that fill my head and have taken me down a road paved in memories.

A stay in Champange's Hostellerie La Briqueterie in France.    A stay in Champange's Hostellerie La Briqueterie in France. A stay in Champange's Hostellerie La Briqueterie in France. A stay in Champange's Hostellerie La Briqueterie in France. (more…)



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