December 25, 2011

Time for the new year!

Vervik, Ice Skaters. Black ink, white gouache, watercolor, 1777. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Happy holidays and new year! I hope everyone has a wonderful end to the year, I will be laying low for the next week getting some much needed relaxation! 

Happy holidays!

December 20, 2011

18th Century French and English Style Books

Here are two more books I have come across that I think many of you will really enjoy!

Cliff, Stafford. 2008. French Style and Decoration: A Sourcebook of Original Designs. London: Thames & Hudson.

Cliff, Stafford. 2008. English Style and Decoration: A Sourcebook of Original Designs. New York: Thames & Hudson. 

Each book has over 600 illustrations, that include original 18th century designs for everything from molding profiles, cloche design, decorative art such as urns, interior designs, furniture design, fabric swatches, porcelain, etc... I keep comparing it to home shopping from a catalogue (an 18th century catalogue...)

I have found the books excellent (and very inspiring!) because images are from original sources.  You can see and read the handwriting of the artists who jotted down notes in the margins!  Everything is very detailed.  Check out this image of teacup design from the Sèvres porcelain factory just before the Revolution. (click to enlarge)

The French book includes chapters on
  • Into the 18th century, the influence of Versailles 
  • Régence and Louis XV, the triumph of Rococo 
  • Transition, Louis XVI and Directoire, the new classicism 
  • Consulate, Empire and Restoration, styles imperial 
  • Second Empire and Fin-de-sićle, revivalism and revolution 
  • Twentieth-century duality, art deco and modernism.

The English book includes:

  • The 18th century: Classicism and Rococo
  • Regency and after: revival and eclecticism 
  • Early Victorian: the workshop of the world 
  • High Victorian: after the great exhibition 
  • The late 19th century: into arts and crafts 
  • The 20th century: traditionalism to modernism
I hope everyone's holiday season is going well, and your shopping is all set! I am still working on my list (fathers are always tough!) but I have a few days to finish up!

French Style and Decoration: A Sourcebook of Original Designs by Cliff, Stafford. London: Thames & Hudson. 2008. ISBN 9780500514009
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

December 14, 2011

Perfume Inspired by Marie Antoinette's Favorite 18th Century Fragrances

Here is another edition of 18th century inspired gifts for the holiday season. Our theme is perfume!

This one is recommended by reader Bittersweet, Black Jade perfume which is a modern recreation of Marie Antoinette's ffavorite(and last) fragrance she wore before the revolution claimed her life. The historic perfume house Lubin created the fragrance for the Queen, and the original ingredients for the fragrance were kept in the perfumers books.

A Scented Palace: The Secret History of Marie Antoinette's Perfumer

If you have taken my advice, you may have read the recent book that recently came out: A Scented Palace: The Secret History of Marie Antoinette's Perfumer.  The perfumer Jean-Louis Fargeon worked with Marie Antoinette on creating several fragrances and this one, originally Bouquet de la Reine, is now recreated with a modern spin for us!

The name of the fragrance is Black Jade. The name came from the black vial which it was kept in (worn as a necklace).

Fragrance notes in Black Jade.

You can buy Black Jade from:

DSH Perfumes
If you are looking for authentic 18th century fragrances, look no further than DSH Perfumes, who created the Perfumed Court Collection. This was a limited edition collection created based on in depth research on Marie Antoinette and the courts of Louis XV and XVI.  You can still pick up three of the best fragrances, including Eau de Trianon, Eau de Coquette and Aqua Admirabilis (aka Eau de Cologne).  Check out my interview with Dawn, the creator of this collection here!
Purchase the fragrances here.

If you are searching for an 18th century fragrance for that special guy... you may want to check out Pimpernel, offered by Pimpernel clothing. Made and inspired by the “oldest perfume house in France… a supplier of fragrance to King Louis XV and his court at Versailles” this eau de toilette is:

“perfect for a nocturnal visit to a lady in waiting at le Petit Trianon, and reminiscent of those lazy Summer afternoons sipping champagne on the lawn while evading hawk-eyed chaperones.” 
Super sad- They now only ship within the EU.  Pick up a bottle of Pimpernel here.
Follow Pimpernel:  @pimpernel1789

More recently, New York City based perfumers Fabrice Penot and Edouard Roschi of Le Labo have teamed up with florist Thierry Boutemy and perfumer Barnabé Fillion to create a new fragrance reminiscent of Marie Antoinette's gardens.
New Perfume captures the fragrance of Marie Antoinette's gardens

Happy shopping! *waves fan

RELATED: Some 18th Century Beauty Tips, Just for Fun!

December 11, 2011

18th century inspired Gifts

Thanks to my lovely reader Alison, I would like to share the Versailles candle as today's 18th century inspired gift! Perfect for the holidays (I always seem to have more candles going this time of year- I like the cozy effect...)

So Alison has found this beautifully designed candle, named Versailles.  "Famous for its ornately decorated rooms and manicured gardens, Versailles captures perfumes of Freesia, Gardenia, Musk and Amber. Treat your palace to a touch of royalty with this scent fit for a Queen."

Well there you have it. The fragrance includes Violet, Freesia, Gardenia, China Musk, Italian Orris, and Amber.I love the mercury glass look of the jar! Find a store that carries it here: Glasshouse

Another gift I have come across (this time thanks to Abby from Nooks, Towers & Turrets) is the Ladies in Waiting plate set.  I love the quickly drawn pen and ink style of these black and white plates.

There are four different designs, each lady wearing a different style gown and with different poufs too! They are available at Anthropologie.  Right now, online Ship is available, not sure if the others have sold out online or if they are temporarily out of stock!

If you see any other awesome items that are perfect for gift giving, please pass them on!

December 02, 2011

Out of the Salon

I will be away from the blog for a little bit because I am moving! Yay, very exciting! But also a lot of work and stress, so for the next few days as I get settled (this has been a long process) I will not be posting. But you can find me on twitter! 

Be back soon!!