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A Scented Palace


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The untold story of Marie-Antoinette's perfumer - now in paperback

About the Author

Elisabeth de Feydeau obtained a PhD in the history of perfume at the University of Paris-Sorbonne. She is a professor of the Versailles School of Perfumers and cultural adviser to France's great perfume houses, including Christian Dior,Thierry Mugler, Chanel, Guerlain and Lancaster. She is the author of several books, including Diptyque, The Guerlain Novel and The Herbarium of Marie Antoinette, which has been translated into several languages. She was awarded the Prix Guerlain for this book in 2005 and was made a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 2011.


"An entrancing biography." - Elle, 'A subtly distilled life. Fargeon's impressions of Marie Antoinette are particularly compelling, in part because of their intimacy and his keen senses, but in part because he is a witness who, despite a vocation that depended almost entirely on an aristocratic clientele, believed ardently in the ideals of the Revolution.' - Judith Thurman, The New Yorker, 'Rhapsodic and piquant...full of information.' - New York Review of Books, 'The book's heroes are Marie Antoinette, Perfume and Fargeon in that order, but what emerges is a powerful evocation of a lost world.' - Erica Wagner, The Times, "De Feydeau introduces the events leading to the French revolution, including Marie Antoinette's vast expenditures. Learning about Jean-Louis Fargeon's personal relationship with the Queen and all about the fragrances that he compounded is particularly relevant for me and my line of work. It is also fascinating to read about the various ingredients, many of which are used to this day." - Evelyn Lauder, Vanity Fair, 'Feydeau's descriptions of Versailles Palace's obsessions with coiffure, fashion, perfume and cosmetics are alluring.' - Sam Leith, Daily Telegraph, '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.' - Washington Post, 'Interesting and well-written.' - Rebecca Chappell, French Magazine

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