From the Publisher
"An entrancing biography"--Elle (France)
6 Page illustrated feature on the book, including front cover picture.--The Times Magazine, August 5, 2006
"Interesting and well-written."--French Magazine, Augsust, 2006
"De Feydeau's lively account gives the reader an additional twist on the life and times of Marie Antoinette and her influence on two of France's continuing major industries- fashion and scent." --The Washington Times
"Rhapsodic and piquant...full of information." --The New York Review of Books
Feydeau, a professor at the Versailles School of Perfumers, draws on the papers of perfumer Jean-Louis Fargeon to reveal the secrets of his luxurious creations for Marie Antoinette. A native of Montpellier, Fargeon moved to Paris, becoming an apprentice to one of the city's most fashionable perfumers. Fargeon won the queen's favor with a gift of exceptional scented kidskin riding gloves and rapidly gained her confidence; he treated her secret pregnancy-related hair loss and became her loyal friend. Tracing Marie Antoinette's extravagant expenditures and far-fetched follies amid increasingly enraged public opinion, Feydeau charts the fall of the house of Versailles, Marie Antoinette's decline during her imprisonment and Fargeon's own fate. While the perfumer declared himself to be a Republican, he was also a wealthy man with royal connections and thus a natural target for the Revolution. While arrested, he managed to escape trial. Feydeau's modest tome is sympathetic to Marie Antoinette; rather than provide much historical context, it spotlights the intimate life of the palace, excelling chiefly in explanations of fascinating 18th-century beauty secrets, from black adhesive taffeta beauty spots to swan's down powder puffs. Botanical appendixes list the ingredients and methods of Fargeon's influential unguents. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.