Carré Royal – accessories

Style Hunter Christmas Gift Emporium by Tilly MacAlister-Smith

A friend of Chéri and I has a lovely little company that I have been wanting to share with you for a while now, as I appreciate the type of business this company represents. Authenticity. Quality. Honesty. Modesty.

Carré Royal, specializing in and developing a collection of goods manufactured in the best European materials. Their design is “minimalist” (no logo, sober shapes…). :

Accessories, wallets, bags, ipad cases etc…

Carré Royal

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The Wedding Tea Room “Gourmandise” shoot

Photo Maiwenn Pibouleau

So you all remember the Marie Antoinette shoot I did about a year ago right? Sadly Sonia Akono of SGA Events, for whom we did the shoot had stalled her wedding planning business for the time being, but Frédérique Sivadier of the Wedding Tea Room has been building hers! (She did the decoration on the Marie Antoinette shoot).  Lucky me who has found an amazing friend in Fréd, and get to work with her on her projects, as a model! (Fred was also an angel sent from heaven and helped me with the conception, and set up of my wedding decoration and the creation of my bon-bon bar).

I was still on cloud nine, freshly married for a few days only, and I got to hope on the regional train with my friend Quinn, to go model for this wedding inspration shoot that Fréd has been planning for about 9 months! Entitled : Gourmandises et douceur de vivre à la Française, is was full of fresh air fun, frolicking and frilly frocks, and what absolute fun to shar the experience with my dear friend Quinn. Quinn played the bride, and I played the bridesmaid. Continue reading

Laggridore, luxury perfume


I was contacted recently by a new perfume company and asked if I was interested in writing about their product. After a brief description and a browse of their website I said “Oui!” but that I thought it best if I “discovered” their perfume in person. (I much prefer to blog about things I have tasted or tested or touched. It gives a more authentic perception for my readers. So I set up a meeting with François Marmey who represents the company and is putting together an internet publicity campaign. He said I was one of the first bloggers to respond, which makes me happy to be one of the first bloggers to write about it from a first-hand experience! We met for an after-work glass of wine at the Crillon hotel (I figured that the discovery of a new luxe product called for a luxe setting). We took a table on the indoor courtyard patio as the weather was nice for a change, and the tables are large enough so we had space to spread out the products and test them.

So, this perfume…oh my goodness it is right up my alley!!!! It’s different, it’s luxurious (although not TOO expensive) and it’s beautiful. The three things I love about it the most are : The manner in which it is applied, the presentation of the product, and the reflection that has gone into so many aspects of this product to make it a true luxury product. Continue reading

French fashion on a budget!

There is a small brand that I have always liked, that I often find for sale at some of my local destock stores in the Daumesnil neighborhood. It’s simple yet chic an not expensive : Autre Ton.

Well I was delighted to learnt that they did a little collaboration with Monoprpix, the local grocery/home goods chain (comparable to Target stores in the USA, I would say). Normally I don’t purchase clothing at Monoprix, albeit a simple tee shirt here and there, tights or every-day undergarments. But when my mother-in-law chérie gave me a little blouse and short combo before the wedding, I noticed that tags said “Monoprix Autre Ton” and thought : Hey! These are pretty cute! Need to invstigate more!

So a few days into the national sales period, I hopped over to Monoprix on my way home from work, an browsed the Monoprix Autre Ton collection. It’s the perfect little marina-sea-side-vacation-pretend-you-are-from-Normandy collection! Continue reading

100 years of French lingerie



The Espace Pierre Cardin is holding a FREE exposition on French lingerie. It’s a small space and a limited collection, but a charming and innocent thing to do while in Paris this month. Continue reading

French Spirit

French spirit

Sometimes, I like to be reminded that the French are proud of being French… You know how they are known to be “râleur” as we say in French (loud complainers). So it’s good to see a little French pride once in a while! Often it takes a sports game to brig out that national spirit, and that’s just fine as it is an innocent and festive reason to display such sentiments! Continue reading

Caron, perfume and powder for a century

The perfume house of Caron has been around for over one hundred years. A small but respected entity, it was created in 1904 by Ernest Daltroff, a chemist from a family of perfume artists. He teamed up with his brother Raoul and Félicie Wanpouille who had been a popular dress maker and stylist. Together they began an enterprise that is still going strong today and seems to grow in prestige every year. Continue reading

Repetto : press release : ballet slipper school

Normally I don’t publish posts about the press releases I get in my email inbox; this is because I want my blog to reflect my vision and my discoveries of Paris. But this one, I felt compelled to communicate on this platform because it speaks to me in so many ways that I felt it was more than appropriate. So much so that I took the liberty of translating it into English. For one thing, it’s about a French company that I love : Repetto. And this company works within an art form that I also love (and used to do) : Dance. And thirdly, it is concerning a place to learn how to make things, with your hands, and THAT speaks volumes to me. I am fond of detailed work done with human hands and not just machines, especially with the French savoir-faire for great quality. (I secretly wish I could make shoes myself). So without further ado… straight from Repetto :

Photo courtesy of Repetto

Repetto inaugurera son école de formation vendredi 20 janvier 2012 à Coulaures.

Repetto will be inaugurating it’s own artisan school on January 20th, 2012 in Coulaures.

Friday, 20 January 2012


 At the Lycée professionnel des Métiers du Bâtiment Chardeuil

24420 oulaures

 L’objectif de cette école – unique en France, est de former l’ensemble des salariés de nos ateliers Repetto ainsi que les premiers  150 futurs salariés sur les métiers du cuir afin de faire face à l’accroissement de l’activité de notre Maison. A l’issue de cette formation d’une durée de 6 mois, les personnes en mesure de confectionner une ballerine « cousu retourné » dans son intégralité et selon notre savoir-faire unique, intégreront l’usine Repetto.

The objective of the school – one that is unique in France, is to train their entire staff for their own workshops as well as the first 150 new artisans that they will be hiring, in leather work, in order to be able to meet the demands of their rising activity. At the end of the 6 month training, those who are able to create a ballet slipper that is “sewn and turned” in it’s entirety and according the the unique Repetto savoir-faire, will integrate the Repetto factory.

Photo courtesy of Repetto

Hébergée à Chardeuil durant la durée des travaux*, cette formation est ouverte depuis le mois de novembre 2011. Elle est assurée par des Repetto Genuine Craftsmen ayant acquis une longue expérience et une grande dextérité dans les techniques de fabrication ainsi que par des membres du CTC (centre Technique de la chaussure).

Housed in Chardeuil for the duration of the construction*, this training has been open since November 2011. It is given by the Repetto Genuine Craftsmen who have gained a lengthy experience and great dexterity in the techniques of fabrication as well as members of the CTC (Centre Technique de la Chaussure).

Repetto souhaite former  dans un 1er temps 150, personnes en 4 ans.

Repetto is hoping to begin by training 150 people in 4 years.

*A l’issue des travaux prévue en septembre 2012, l’école de formation prendra place sur le lieu de fabrication Repetto de St-Médard.

*At the end of construction, estimated for September 2012, the school’s training will take place at the St-Médard Repetto factory.


Photo courtesy of Repetto

L’Etat, la région Aquitaine et le département de la Dordogne, fiers de cette initiative, s’associent à cet événement.

The State, the region Aquitaine and the department of Dordogne, are proud to associate support this event.

Kissing in French

This post was inspired by a question from a friend of mine who was asking about the differences between the French words used to say “kiss”. I thought it would be appropriate to help define them here for my readers as there are several words and their meanings or connotations are not all exactly the same.

Le Baiser by Auguste Toulmouche

There are a few nouns in French for the word kiss :

Un baiser : is the word for what we would call a kiss on the lips. Something you would give to your lover, husband, wife, partner… someone you love and for whom you feel passionately. The tongue may or may not be implicated. It should also be noted that, there is no specific noun to describe what Americans refer to as the French Kiss… which is merely a baiser where the tongue is definitely implicated.

Un bisou : can also be a kiss on the lips, but it is, let’s say, less involved than a baiser. A bisou can also be placed on the cheek if you will. Children often offer many bisous to the mother and father, for example. A bisou is sweet and cute. You can give a bisou to a kid who has a booboo.

La bise : is a kiss on the cheek, where really the lips never touch the skin, it’s merely a touch of the two cheeks and a kissing sound made by both parties. This is the typical French greeting for someone you know (and like). Usually it consists of 2 bises, one for each cheek (in Paris), right cheek, left cheek, when in Provence most people greet with 3 or 4 bises, right, left, right, left… Then there is also the bise of the wind, which is stinging and chilly on the cheeks and usually happens in Winter. It is not as nice as a bise from your best pal, but it does make your cheeks rosy!

Mind you though, a baiser COULD be placed elsewhere than on the lips, it just depends on the intensity behind the gesture. A baiser on the cheek and a bisou on the cheek are two completely different kisses! And you could quite honestly greet someone with a baiser, it just depends on how well you know them; know what I mean!?!

La jeune mère, by Rodin (Or as I call it, "le bisou")

There are a few different ways to describe the act of kissing, in French, with different nouns, but beware of the context as it has changed over time.

Faire la bise, means : to greet someone with a bise or two (or three or four).

Donner un bisou : means to give a bisous. You canhand them out like candy amongst your friends. 🙂

Now the action word used for un baiser, has had a slight change in connotation over the past several decades : Baiser, means to kiss (as in the on-the-lips kiss) but it’s connotation has met with some cultural restructuring and now means something a bit more vulgar. I think it’s better to avoid confusion and stick to using the noun baiser, for example : Donner un baiser : to give a (on-the-lips) kiss.

Michelle & Sarkozy went for the French custom, Carla and Obama went for a polite handshake.

So then what is this word Embrasser and where does it fit in?

Embrasser literally means to hug. But it is often used to describe giving a bise to someone you care about. I like to think of it as a hug and a kiss on the cheek all at once. It means you really appreciate that person!
It is most commonly seen at the end of a letter or email, or is spoken over the phone : “Je t’embrasse” : “I hug/kiss you”, at the end of a conversation.
If someone offers you a gift, you embrasse them when expressing your gratitude.
As someone is leaving for a trip, you embrasse them as you say goodbye.
It seems to be a punctuating gesture.

So now dear readers, je vous embrasse and I hope you enjoyed this post!


Chocolate and Cake

24 rue de l'ile saint Louis, 75004 #Paris

Chéri and I stumbled upon this little tea room one evening as we wandered around the Île Saint Louis. It drew us in with its warm colors and promises of chocolat chaud à l’ancienne (old fashioned hot chocolate), and the neatly arranged cakes and cookies on the counter top.

Charlotte de l'isle

This place is everything a hot chocolate and cake shop should be, warm and friendly! There is a piano on one side of the room and two other little cubby spaces where tables are set, which allow customers a little more of a “homey” space.

I also enjoyed how the kitchen was visible at the back of the boutique and was the perfect place to make an old fashioned hot chocolate, with tiling on the walls and a window that opens out on to a lovely little courtyard, and a smiling lady busy over the stove. Kinda makes you want to move right in!

And as I discovered on our way out, they have storybook reading events for kids on Wednesdays! From 5 years old and up. Wednesday November 23rd, is Pierre et le Loup, one of my all time favorite childrens’ stories. And in December there will be Christmas tales… I wish I had a kid to bring!

This place should be a great little stop for warmth and cheer all winter long!

La Charlotte de l’Îsle

24 rue Saint Louis en îsle, 75004 Paris

Charlotte de l'isle