Lady Diana, a timeless inspiration.

Lady Diana, a timeless inspiration.

Dear reader, 

I think we all know who Lady Diana was, more or less. However, we usually only know what the media told us, which is often only one side of the story: The Crown’s side of the story. Today, I want to share with you five ways in which we can still get endless inspiration from the Princess but first, I would like to clarify a few points. Lady Diana was not living a real-life fairytale contrary to popular belief, but faced her (great) share of hardships. From an unhappy marriage to Prince Charles to her early death in mysterious circumstances in 1997, going through bulimia and struggling to find her place in the royal family being only nineteen, her life has been far from simple. Nevertheless, this incredible woman managed to overcome bulimia, to take back her life into her own hands in spite of the overwhelming presence of journalists and of the Crown’s disapproval. Diana stepped back into her power, and here are a few tings we can all learn from the gorgeous, simple and kind Diana Spencer.

NB: If you are interested in Diana’s version of her story, I definitely recommend the documentary Diana: In her own words (available on Netflix) based on Diana’s own recordings (it is so enchanting to hear her voice telling her story, for once.)


Pants are just as elegant as dresses

When we want to dress more femininely, we tend to get the same advice over and over: wear more dresses. I personally do not think wearing dresses is a bad idea, but I know some women feel bad in them (and a woman feeling bad in her clothes never looks her best) and it does not suit everybody’s lifestyle. I personally work a lot and on some days, dresses are really inconvenient when it comes to walking fast in windy corridors.

Another advice I hear a lot online is « Do not wear denim« . I do not agree; I think everything can look good if done with taste. That is why I advise wearing denim if you feel like it, and I think it can be extremely flattering and feminine.

Here are a few (of numerous) times Diana showed the world the power of well-tailored pants (and jeans!), especially high-wasted ones.

Feeling a little lost and being vulnerable is not necessarily negative

Diana showed us that feeling lost could look beyond charming. How often have we seen pictures taken when she was avoiding the camera, looking at her shoes or smiling a little awkwardly? When she entered the royal family being only nineteen, she never knew how to stand or act, but she was not any less gorgeous. I am not saying we should act as if we were feeling lost all the times, I am simply saying that feeling lost and showing vulnerability can be really charming and attractive. A woman doe snot always have to look as if she owned the place to be noticed and loved.

Mystery, a side-look and evasive answers can do wonders

Who has never been told that mystery was attractive? Balance is needed in all things, of course, but a little mystery never killed anyone, especially in a society that shows so much online. Diana knew it really well even before it was imposed by royal duty. Even when followed by a crowd of journalists (she is the most photographed woman of all times, after all), she remained calmed, smiled slightly, gave a charming side-look and answered briefly, never fully or not at all. I think this way of avoiding real answers and throwing side-looks really enigmatic, and attractive.

 

« Courage is grace under pressure », Ernest Hemingway

Hemingway was an American writer, author of famous novels such as The Sun Also Rises and known to have a really atypic writing-style. He famously  coined the expression « Courage is grace under pressure » which, I think, suits Lady Di perfectly. As we saw in the introduction, her life was quite chaotic in spite of its princess-like look. I think being able to go to Charles’s mistress Camilla and talking with her as calmly as she did even though she knew they had been in a relationship even before she met Charles herself is simply an incredible proof of maturity. Lots of women would have made a scandal, but she managed to keep her composure and eventually quit this relationship even though it probably was one of the hardest marriage to get out of.

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Kindness is the most beautiful outfit a woman can wear

Lady Diana was very much involved in several humanitarian causes. When a journalist asked her a question about her role in the Royal Family, she answered that she did not do politics, but humanitarian actions. Diana was a true kind soul, a selfless woman. When visiting hospices, she hugged the patients, which was not well-accepted by the Family, but meant the world to all these sick men and women. Even after being out of the Royal Family, she continued her humanitarian actions, which shows that she was genuinely kind and not only « acting as if » in order to fulfill a role given by the Royals.

 

Hoping I have been able to give you a positive image of Diana, and to show you how inspirational she still is (moreover, she shows that wearing your hair short can be beyond elegant, which lots of people tend to forget.)

TABOULOT Camile

Minimalism as a fast way to look elegant

Minimalism as a fast way to look elegant

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Jumper: Caroll / Pants: Mango

Dear reader,

Today, I want to share with you my own definition of minimalism and the reasons why it exponentially improved both my style and way of life. I started my minimalism journey around three years ago, and here is what I have learnt and gained from it.

What minimalism is not, according to me 

A lot of people seem to understand minimalism as a form of competition. Let me explain. When it all started becoming a « trend », people were really focused on the benefits of it but it is just as if today, everyone was willing to possess less than the neighbor in order to be a « better minimalist ». You won’t find any of this here, I promise.

An item with purpose → A lot of time saved and invested more wisely

In my eyes, minimalism is absolutely not about the number of items you possess, but about their use. According to me, each and every item needs to have a room, a purpose, and a use. For instance, my bamboo comb could be « too much » for a lot of minimalists, but it is located in my vanity, is used for three different purposes, and is used twice a day. Thus, it becomes one of my essentials. When you know exactly each item present in your house, you save so much time because you know what you can work with. Thus, the time saved is time you can invest actually combing your hair and not looking for the « right comb », you only own one anyway.

Quality of items you genuinely love

Minimalism, in my eyes, is also a way to be more elegant in the sense that you can invest in and care for good-quality items. If you were used to buy fast fashion on sale and  did not really love what you just purchased, these items probably tended to clutter your wardrobe, did not they? Hmm, I’ve been there too. When you get rid of all the items you do not genuinely love and feel like wearing for decades, your wardrobe is quite empty, believe me. However, the $10 you have spared on ten terrible-quality shirts add up and you can invest $100 in ONE good-quality piece you will be happy to wear, a piece that will make you feel more put together and confident.

Moreover, because you love that piece so much, you will be likely to want to take care of it, wash it properly and thus, keep it longer. Thus, you will spare even more money on the long run.

Matching outfits, effortlessly

Usually, with minimalism comes a discovery of your tastes. You tend to think twice before buying an item, and with time, you end up buying pieces that all match because you realize that:

  • there are colors you love buying more than others/that suit you better than others.

 

  • when it comes to putting a lot of money in a shirt, you are likely to choose a timeless shirt rather than a weird orange-looking one.

 

  • good-quality clothes are far easier to mix and match as silk never looks odd with jeans, but polyester sometimes does.

 

I could focus on the topic for hours but I prefer not overwhelming you and if you want, I could totally do a « Minimalism as a fast way to look elegant: n°2 » in the future. Last but not least, if you feel like you will never be able to declutter and have this blank canvas (understand, an almost empty wardrobe and house) to start with, know that it is a long process and that it is totally normal. If you want a little tip to get you started, apply the « one in, one out » rule: each time you bring a new (good quality, if possible) item into your home, get rid of another item. It is not as painful as a total decluttering session, and can do wonders with time. You will see that you will be more likely to get rid of items even though you do not bring new ones in afterwards.

Hoping I have been able to put minimalism into a new light for you, 

TABOULOT Camille

 

The myth behind the question: « What do you want to do in life ? » | In defense of those who can’t answer

The myth behind the question: « What do you want to do in life ? » | In defense of those who can’t answer

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Dear reader, 

Today, I want to talk with you about a really common myth existing in today’s society: the myth that we all should know who we want to be and what we want to do in life while being only around nineteen. It is indeed, depending on the state or the country you live in, the age at which we are usually asked this really strange question seriously for the first time. In the past, you were used to answer « princess », and then, « doctor » without great conviction, but now, it is serious, you need to make a choice. This is the end of high-school. Before, you were used to follow the regular path, doing your best and thinking « I will know when I am older ». But now, you are older, and it is time to know… but you still don’t. Do not worry, you are not alone, I have been there too and I am sure we are far more than you think. Teachers tend to diabolize the whole process by making you think your choice will dictate your whole future, but I can tell you it is a lie. One choice can’t decide of your entire life, every choice has an impact, and a series of choices taken all along your life create your life path, but no single choice ever designed a whole entire life. It would be so boring, would not it? Let’s see together the reasons why this question is absolutely irrelevant, especially asked at such a young age, and what the truth really looks like.

The myth: a question we never really answer, an answer we always keep creating

Answering this question is like being a Sisyphus of the modern world, rolling our stone, and starting again every time we arrive at the top. Let me explain. When you choose to go to college, or not, and what college you will go to, you think it is okay. You think you have finally find your « life-path ». Not at all, Darling. The next year (in France but from what I have read, things are quite similar elsewhere), you will have to choose a major, and the year after, a sub-topic to study thoroughly  After your bachelor’s degree, you will face another dilemma: « Do I want to go for a master’s degree? » And two years after: « Do I want to go for a PhD? » Do not think it will be any different in your professional life: an opportunity to work abroad in a totally different firm, a proposition to become the manager of a team you do not know; things always change, answers are always needed. 

What I want to make clear here, is that you will always be presented with choices that will bring you in different directions in life. The choice you made at nineteen was just the very beginning, and three years later, when asked the very same question, you still do not know the answer even though you technically had to give an absolutely clear and definite answer three years before. The truth is that we humans simply try to find our way through all these choices, but we never really answer the question as we keep creating the answer every single day. 

 

The truth: human nature and the impossibility of a definitive answer

The truth, as we saw before when we discussed the whole myth behind this question, is that even though you were the most well-prepared student after high-school, ready to conquer the world, your answer to the question « Who do you want to be, what do you want to do? » will still be wrong. You can plan as much as you want, at some point you will feel totally lost as life never goes as planned. I personally think it is a beautiful thing, even though frightening. It means we can always be surprised, take new chances, and reinvent ourselves regularly.

You will actually change your mind as you grow, maybe just slightly, but you will change, especially being so young. You are just starting discovering both the world, and yourself, how do you possibly want to choose the right future for you now? You can’t, my Dear, your role is to go for a discovery, not for an answer. Does it mean that growing up is a mistake, just because it means your answer will fluctuate at some point? Not in my eyes, what about you?

Moreover, through the years, you will understand that there are far more options than the ones you were given in the beginning. Maybe you thought college was the only way for you to find a job you like but you meet someone who offers you one. Maybe you thought taking this or that class was the only way for you to go study abroad, but you become a teaching assistant abroad instead. The problem is not you lacking capacities or knowledge, it is you lacking imagination, Darling. 

To finish, I would simply like to add a truth that everybody seems to (want to) forget: none of us know what we are doing. Maybe you think I have my life so well put together, the truth is I don’t. Change your mind, discover, follow your instinct, the truth is you will never know who you want to be, what you want to do, and there lies all the beauty of life. 

Hoping I have been able to help you today, 

TABOULOT Camille

The Frenchie Book Club: Les faux-monnayeurs/The Counterfeiters, André Gide (FR literature)

The Frenchie Book Club: Les faux-monnayeurs/The Counterfeiters, André Gide (FR literature)

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Trinity College, Dublin – Library

 

Dear reader, 

We usually spend time together talking about style, elegance and good manners. However, I tell you quite often that one of the most elegant thing in the world is knowledge. I hope that, through this series, you will expand your literary culture, and that we will be able to talk about the reviewed books together in order to expand our knowledge together.  Today, I want to start a series with you, in which I will review several French, Irish, British or American books (sometimes, we will cover other types of literature as well, especially Russian and Greek). As you may (or may not) know, I have been studying foreign literature in college for three years now, but I have spent a few years studying French literature before getting specialized in literature of the English-speaking world. That is the reason why I feel quite confident talking about such a deep subject, hoping I will be able to have you interested, help you understand the literary culture of my country and have you want to read these books yourself. 

NB:  This book is not available for free on the Internet, but you can certainly find a second-hand version for really cheap online or at your local library. It is also available here.

Quick presentation of the book

We will begin this new series with quite a tough, but such a beautiful novel. I am talking about the faux-monnayeurs by André Gide, translated into The Counterfeiters published in 1925 and first translated in 1927. Contrary to what we could think when reading the title, this book does not (really) talks about money, but about relationships. There is, indeed, a story about real counterfeiters, but this is a tiny little subplot. The genuine counterfeiters are the liars. 

Main topics of the book

I will be really quick on this part as giving you too much information may spoil your enjoyment of the novel (that, I hope, you will be willing to read at the end of this post).

This book, as we just saw and will study more in depth in the next part, is divided into several plots and these plots involve several characters coming from different families and social backgrounds. The main topic of the book, according to me, is « human relationships », honesty and lies. I think André Gide manages to be really honest about human nature, covering both its beautiful and disgusting aspects.

Among relationships, Gide’s favorite ones in this novel seem to be romantic relationships. He gives a deep reflection all through the book on the nature of love, and the fact that, according to him, love can never be complete as we all love something we idealize about somebody else which make it a « counterfeited love ». André Gide also differentiates sexuality from love, discussing the idealization of sex by young men and the deception it can lead to.

André Gide also covers family relationships, especially the topic of fatherhood The question seems to be « Is it blood, or is it love that makes a father a father? » and homosexual relationships. Love between two men is one of the main topics of the book. We indeed can understand from the very beginning the importance of homo-eroticism, an eroticism that will reach its paroxysm in the end the novel only…

The beautiful structure of the novel: a game of echoes

Main plot and subplots

This book is, in my eyes, a total masterpiece. When I first studied it four years ago in high-school, most of my classmates hated it, but the reason for it is, according to me, the lack of understanding of it. This book is indeed really intricate and complicated at first sight. Why? Because most people are only looking for the « counterfeiters » referred to in the title, and totally miss the whole point of the entire novel. That is the goal of the author. The story is divided in several subplots that are all about relationships and lies; the subplots are actually the ones that matter, and the main plot (the story of the counterfeiters) is only there to give structure to the text and have the reader a little lost. In this book, the main plot becomes a subplot, and the subplots become essential.

Not only a novel – a game with the narration

What I love the most about this novel, you would have understand, is the structure of it. Every story echoes the others, and they all tend to converge at some point or another. The novel is made of different plots, but also of different narrations as we are given a « classic » third-person narration as well as letters coming out of nowhere and lots of entries from  « Le journal d’Edouard » (translation, Edward’s Diary). The reader is also given lots of epigraphs (sentences written in the beginning of a chapter), usually taken from Shakespeare and that were not translated into French in the original text. This gives depth to the novel and shows the importance of intertextuality (coexistence of texts – idea that all texts are more or less interconnected) in Gide’s work.

The relationship between the author and the narrator

The main narrator in the novel is Edward (as we readers have access to entires from his diary). The writer himself, André Gide, had a diary when writing his novel Les faux-monnayeurs. It would be going a little too far to say that Edward is representation of Gide, but the parallel is worth acknowledging : they are both authors writing a diary while they are writing their books. Gide actually published his diary, entitled Journal des faux-monnayeurs (translated into Journal of the Counterfeiters)

A novel that echoes life

I personally think that this very complicated structure of the novel echoes the very complicated nature of life itself. Life is indeed unpredictable, and things never happen as simply, gracefully and easy to understand as they usually do appear in books. This is probably one of th things that disturb in this book; it is far too close to the nature of life for people who have not yet understand (or want to understand) how messy it all is.

Hoping you will want to read (or re-read) this masterpiece, 

TABOULOT Camille

 

How to dress the French way

How to dress the French way

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Dear reader, 

I want to start with this little disclaimer: I know many women who do not follow these pieces of advice at all and who are French women. However, I love getting into the stereotype of the « French style », and I personally follow these little tips to look as French as possible, even though I look more like the idea I (and many others) have of France than like most French women in reality. In my eyes, dressing « The French Way » means looking wealthier, softer, simpler and more confident.

Today, I am sharing a short list with you and there are many other areas in which you can invest in order to bring more French élégance into your looks, but I think these ones are the easiest steps to follow and the ones that will bring the greatest results.

Choose the right fabric

This one might me the most important of all. If you want to look wealthier and more put together, you need to invest in high-quality pieces of clothing. I am not telling you to for crazy-expensive pieces, but to choose the best items. I personally would avoid anything that has to do with fast fashion: not only is it cheap, but it does look cheap as well and who wants to look cheap? Moreover, it does so much harm to people and nature all around the world and who would want to support such a disaster? 

However, it does not mean you need to spend thousands of dollars on a coat. I personally go to a vintage boutique and I always find gorgeous pieces. Last summer, I found a Gérard Darel shirt for only twenty euros! If I can find a vintage boutique in my tiny little city located in the North of France, so can you.

My last tip when it comes to fabric would be to stop shopping with your eyes. Yes, it can seem a little counter-intuitive but I would highly recommend shopping with your… hands. Thus, you will be able to feel the fabric and you will see instantly if it is good quality or not, without knowing yet if it is appealing to the eyes. I personally love silk above anything else, but I also recommend satin, which is far less expensive but really beautiful as well. I own a wonderful purple satin dress which is actually softer than some of my silk shirts!

Invest in a high-quality coat

As you may know, I consider myself a minimalist. In my eyes, that doe snot mean I own only X or Y items, but it means I absolutely love and use/wear every item I own. I think being a minimalist is the best way to choose quality over quantity. This rule is really relevant when it comes to coats, especially if you live in colder areas.

The coat might be the most importance thing you wear as it is the only thing a lot of people see; you can have the most beautiful dress, if your coat does not suit you well, you will not look elegant. Your coat must be well-cut, elegant and sober. When it comes to the coat, I think you should invest a little bit more money, which absolutely does not mean you need to spend thousands of dollars, once again. You can find gorgeous coats that cost less than 200 dollars, you simply need to look  little harder but believe me, it is worth it.

Matching colors

This one totally depends on your personal style and applies only to people who share my personal tastes. I personally feel more elegant and confident when I wear a few nude colors, maybe because I am a minimalist and love my small wardrobe. I personally wear black, baby blue, baby pink and beige a lot. On the other hand, I own dark green, dark purple and red items. When you look at these colors, you understand very easily why I love them so much : they all look good together. This saves me so much time and energy Ladies! Moreover, I think the less colors we wear, the classier and most effortless we look.

I would personally recommend choosing three to five « nude » colors and either one « crazy » color (fuchsia for instance) or one to three « harder but still basic » colors (dark green or navy blue for instance). In oder to choose, you should try those different colors : the perfect colors for you should suit your natural skin tone, hair-color and eye-color. Then, it should also suit your undertones. There are a lot of explanation about in online but I can totally write a post about it if needed.

Pearls

This one is, once again, very personal. You must be notified that in 2020, pearls are so out of fashion. However, I love them enormously and I think they give a chic vibe to absolutely every outfit. There is a saying that says women should wear their pearls during the day and their diamonds at night, but I personally love wearing pearls… all the time.

Little scarves

I think this is THE accessory that spices up any outfit. I personally love my little red silk scarf. When it comes to scarves again, I would recommend vintage boutiques as they usually sell satin and silk scarves for really little money… and these scarves have a history, which I find so comforting.

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I personally wear scarves either loosely around my neck, like a shawl or tight with a little bow (see picture above).  I also love wearing them on my bag or in my hair. Options are endless, and the best way to find the style that suits you best is to try them all.

 

Dress appropriately

This seems obvious, but I am myself guilty of not following that rule from time to time. My mom always told me not to wear my heels at a soccer game. I actually did not attend soccer games, but the idea was clear : « girl, dress according to the place you are going to ».  That means that if you are invited to a cocktail, you can wear your heels, but that you should not wear them when you are attending a rugby game. When you know you will walk a lot, bring your flats with you etc. Those are intuitive rules but we sometimes tend to believe elegance to be all about heels and dresses but no. Elegance is about being dressed for the occasion, feeling at ease and never out of place. 

 

THE rule: the shorter the dress, the smaller the heel

I can’t stress this one too much. In our modern world, showing skin has become the norm. I do not want to be too conservative and strict on this as I think done with taste, everything can look good, but I think that this trend of showing as much skin as possible can lead to terrible faux-pas

Elegance is all about suggesting rather than showing and the best way to remain chic and not to dive into the vulgar is to follow this simple rule: if your dress is long, your heels can be high but if your dress is short, you should not wear more than 3cm. I think a very common misconception is to think that « heels are classy » but:

  1. All heels ARE NOT classy (we could discuss it later if you want)
  2. It all depends on the context, time of the day and outfit.

Here is why I think this rule should be learned by heart and never forgotten.

Hoping I have inspired you to dress more elegantly, 

lots of love, 

TABOULOT Camille

Five days from Dublin to Northern Ireland

Five days from Dublin to Northern Ireland

Dear reader,

Today, I start a new category on this blog: the « travel guides ». Since my boyfriend and I met in 2018, I started travelling quite often (he has been fond of traveling for years and has made me his travel buddy… for my greatest pleasure!) Today, I want to share with you our travel to Dublin a while ago as well as our day trip with the company Irish-Day-Tours.

In this post, I will share with you pictures taken on this trip, the places we enjoyed visiting and our favorite places to eat. I hope it will give you a few ideas for your future trip to Dublin!


Day one: Quick food, drinking Guinness and visiting Smithfield

Our hotel was located in the Smithfield area, so that is naturally where we spent our very first day. Smithfield is located near from almost every important places in Dublin, and within a ten minutes walk from the famous Temple Bar. In this area, one can find Dublin’s street life: restaurants, bars, coffee shops, souvenirs and everything; it is THE touristic place.

We started looking for food and found the Fresh, the Good Food Market within two minutes from our hotel (the Hendricks) : this place is a mix between fresh food and a regular épicerie. There, we bought little potatoes (Ireland being so famous for its potatoes) to eat while walking along the streets of Smithfield. I definitely recommend!

Then, it was time for a little apéro as we say in France. Ireland is known for its Guinness (a very light beer) so we entered an Irish pub and… wow. The ambience was so good, there were singers, loud music and laughs. I must say the Irish people we met were ALL very welcoming and warm. It was the first time I tased Guinness and damned… I was so impressed!

Before dinner, we took a long walk around Temple Bar and Smithfield: what struck be the most was the red brick everywhere. I love the indus look and think it is so cool (I actually have some in my kitchen by the way) and we found the streets were absolutely stunning!

 

Day two: The Guinness Storehouse

On our second day in Dublin, we decided to visit the Guinness Storehouse, which is the museum dedicated to the beer Guinness. My boyfriend being a connoisseur when it comes to beer and its history, we could not miss this spot! I must say it was absolutely wonderful: we learnt a lot about the fabrication of the beer and the reasons why it has this taste so close to (my beloved) coffee. Here are a few pictures for you to get an idea of the place, that I would definitely recommend visiting!

 

Day three: Eating vegetarian food and visiting Trinity college

Third day in Dublin. The day before, Sam had seen the museum and on that day, it was my turn to see THE place: I mean, the Trinity College. As every bookworm studying literature in college, I had been wondering what this university which had seen so many writers pass its gates looked like. After a quick drive in taxi (How cool is it to be able to talk with taxi drivers about the way they see their city and country!), we arrived in front of those (big) gates. We went for a guided visit of the university as well as a ticket for the wonderful library in which is placed the magnificent Book of Kells (can you imagine how happy I was, being just in front this wonderful manuscript?) The university is wonderful, as well as its history. If you have two hours to spend in Dublin, I think you definitely should go to Trinity College, as it is one of most wonderful places to see, if not THE must-see in my eyes.

After our (long) visit, we were definitely hungry. We decided to go back to our hotel on Smithfield as we heard of a restaurant named The Woof that seemed very good. We entered and… wow! I must say it has been my favorite restaurant in Dublin. Vegan and vegetarian food are the specialties, and I must say it is beyond good. Bonus: it is totally affordable, especially for a city like Dublin.

 

 

Day four: Visiting Grafton Street, going to the cinema and eating (lots of) Italian food

We were really tired after these three days, so we decided to take a « rest day » while enjoying our trip. That is why we woke up naturally when our bodies decided that it was time for us to move (understand: late), and went to the Italian restaurant next to our hotel (this hotel is so well-located, near from several restaurant and lots of touristic places). To be honest, I would not have bet much on this restaurant but the food was actually wonderful!

We spent the rest of the day walking in the streets of Dublin, especially in Grafton Street as we had been told in was THE touristic street. However, minimalist as we are, we did not find anything special to buy but it was still very fun to be part of Dublin’s city life.

At night, we decided to go to the cinema and watched Once Upon a Time in Hollywood by Tarantino : it was great! It was the first time Sam watched a movie in English in a movie theater, which I find so cute and I am so happy we have done it together. When it comes to me, it was the very first time I did it abroad! After the movie (which we enjoyed much), we went to another restaurant to eat… pizza this time, maybe our favorite dish of all times!

Day five: A day trip to Northern Ireland with Irish-Day-Tours

When we decided to visit Dublin, we did not think at all we would have the opportunity to visit Northern Ireland. However, after a few days in Dublin, Sam saw a flyer by Irish-Day-Tours next to the elevator of the hotel. This company offers day  trips from Dublin to several must-see places in Ireland for less than 100 – 65 euros for the Giant’s Causeway). After some hesitation, we decided to go for Northern Ireland, the Giant’s Causeway especially. The day after, we were gone! After four hours driving through Ireland with an awesome guide, we arrived at the CARRICK-A-REDE ROPE BRIDGE, which was the first place we visited on that trip. The view was absolutely awesome, the water so blue and the rope bridge… very scary, but anyway! It was really worth crossing this bridge because the view was breathtaking (as you can see on the pictures below).

Then, we stopped in an inn for lunch, and went back to the bus. In less than thirty minutes, we were at the Causeway. The legend tells that this causeway is the result of a disagreement between two giants, one from Scotland, the other from Northern Ireland. I will not go into details here, but you can find more infirmation over there. The Giant’s Causeway is as beautiful as people say, even though, as every worldly-known place, really crowded. That is the only thing I would reproach to this place, even though we both enjoyed spending time there very much.

After the visit, we spent around an hour in Belfast, where we visited a really beautiful book-shop and enjoyed a cup of coffee. When we came back to Dublin at night, we went one last time to The Woof Restaurant, and went back to France the following day.


It was a wonderful (yes, this same word again) trip that I highly recommend to anyone interested in the Gaelic culture. Having studied Irish civilization this semester, I must say this trip helped me understand the concepts as Ireland is one of these countries, the history of which is still visible today. 

 

Hoping I had you dream a little, 

TABOULOT Camille

A short history of perfume and the best ways to apply it.

A short history of perfume and the best ways to apply it.

 

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Dear reader, 

I recently wrote about the little simple things you can do today in order to feel more elegant and, most importantly, more confident (the post is over here). One of the five steps I described in this post was related to the use of perfume. I think, indeed, that perfume can instantly upgrade your personal style, elegance and confidence. In today’s post, I think we could (very) shortly cover the history of perfume before getting into some details related to the reason why we use perfume today as well as the best ways to apply it. If you are interested, let’s get started with the History part (if you want, more information right here).

A short history of perfume

I will be really quick on this one as I am quite passionate and do not want to bore you. Perfume is not a « new trend » as a lot of people think it is, it is even rather old. More than 2 000 years ago, the Egyptians already used it in order to create a link with gods. The greek meaning of the word « Religion », indeed, has to do with the meaning of the verb « link » today : Religion is the link between men and gods, and the Egyptians believed perfume could embody this link.

As the centuries passed, perfume became far more sensual and even erotic, especially in the Roman Empire, that is why the Pope forbade its use. It was then allowed again, but only for its medical purposes, especially at the Medical University of Montpellier (France), under to sharp surveillance of the Pope. Decades went by, and the Kings and Queens started using it again for more aesthetic purposes.

Catherine de Médicis, when she came from Italy to France in order to marry the future king, brought with her wonderful scented gloves. No need to tell you it gave ideas to women at court! Perfume was seen for several dynasties as a representation of power and wealth.

With Napoléon 1er, in the beginning of the 19th century, the new trend became Eau de Cologne, which he even brought with him on the battlefield in little bottles he put in his boots. His first wife, Marie-Louise, was however more fond of floral perfumes, and used a more floral Eau de Cologne. It is thanks to both Napoléon 1er and Marie-Louise that perfume became « affordable » and that is is as famous among the people as it is today.

Choosing a signature smell : the story we tell

For the purpose of this post, I wondered about my own history with perfume as, more than the complete History of perfume, there are the stories we tell with perfume. I think there are two sides when it comes to perfume : people who want to choose their perfume according to their mood, and people who have a signature smell they use everyday. I personally have belonged to both sides but, today, I am definitely more part of the ones who think a signature smell is perfect. Through your signature smell, you tell a story, your story. When you smell the perfume that resonates with you, then you know. You know it is going to be your perfume, your friend for the years to come. I personally had one, then switched to wearing different perfumes according to the seasons of the year, but have turned back to my old perfume as I missed it too much.

Having a signature smell allows you, in my eyes, to feel instantly put together. Every morning, when I spray my eau de parfum, I feel ready to start the day, it is like a little signal telling me « Camille, it is time to get started ». Having a signature smell is like feeling at home everywhere, covered in so much sweetness and confidence-in-bottle. To finish on the topic of signature smells, I will simply ask a question : is not it cool to know that, the moment you enter a room, people know you are here only by the smell of your perfume? I personally think it is and it increases my level of confidence in a considerable way.

If you are looking for a signature smell, here are a few suggestions: I personally wear Repetto, my mother wears La Petite Robe Noire (Guerlain, which is by the way the oldest modern parfumeur) and a friend of mine wears La Vie est Belle. I personally would recommend Nina Ricci‘s and Kenzo’s (Kenzo World especially) perfumes for younger girls and Chanel and Dior for women who have passed the age of twenty. It is a personal point of view and I have actually been wearing the N°5 at fifteen, but I would personally not do it again.

The best ways to apply perfume 

  • Perfume works best on warmer places, so I would recommend applying it on warmer places for the notes de coeur (the part of the perfume that can last between, three minutes and two hours) to last longer. The best places to apply perfume, according to the warmth-principle, are: behind the ears, on your breasts, behind your elbows and behind your knees. However, be careful: choose only two of these places or you risk to provoke a headache to people around you, as even a good-quality perfume can seem cheap if you spray too much of it. Once again, lees is more.

 

  • Perfume is made of alcohol, so it is important to avoid putting in on your clothes (especially when it comes to fragile materials such as silk and linen) and hair. If you want to put it on your hair (which I personally do), here is a little tip : spray it on your hairbrush, let it dry a little and brush your hair : they will smell of perfume without being damaged.

 

  • My last tip is to put a little bit of perfume on your pillow at night (once again, if your pillow is in satin or silk, I would not recommend it as it could stain the fabric). As you will sleep on it all night long, your hair will smell incredibly good in the morning.

 

To finish, I would love to add that, in France, a popular saying says that a woman applies perfume everywhere she wants to be kissed… so play with your imagination here, as all tips I gave are guidelines but not real rules.

Hoping you have learnt something new today, 

Camille Taboulot.