Right around the time that I re-imagined what I wanted ParisienSalon.com to be, a publisher sent me a copy of Jennifer L. Scott’s “Lessons from Madame Chic: 20 Stylish Secrets I Learned While Living in Paris.”
The timing couldn’t be better. After all, ParisienSalon.com was now all about enjoying life like a Parisian, and who better to share her tips on how to do so than the editor of The Daily Connoisseur. Ms. Scott has been talking about the art of fine living since starting her blog in 2008.
I devoured Lessons from Madame Chic, eager to master the art of la vie Parisienne. The 20 lessons are covered in three parts: diet and exercise, style and beauty, and how to live well. None of the lessons offered here are revolutionary. On the contrary, it’s their utter, beautiful simplicity that makes them so easy to bring into your life on a daily basis. But don’t mistake this tome as a beauty book, despite chapters on how to wear makeup, always making oneself look presentable, and cultivating a ten-item wardrobe.
No, the heart and soul of this book is to give yourself permission to savor life. It’s about treating yourself well and not depriving yourself of true quality. And this, I think, is the ideal of life in Paris.
We Americans have a saying: stop and smell the roses. It’s a reminder to slow down life and take a moment to actually enjoy it. That’s all well and good, but la vie Parisian requires no reminders. If we live each and every day savoring the moment, then we’ve achieved the lifestyle that we so envy in the French.
Paris apartments are small. Some are très, très small. That means tiny refrigerators and a lack of closet space that would send most American women into a heightened state of panic. But look at the trade-off. Parisians buy their food fresh almost every day, instead of relying on processed products cluttering their shelves. They don’t consume, consume, consume … something we Americans tend to do without noticing what we’re consuming. And they cultivate a sense of style admired (and envied) around the world without stuffing their wardrobe with every single piece of clothing they see in a magazine, or hording a collection of shoes that would have Imelda Marcos salivating with envy. They simply buy high quality staples that never go out of style, and manage to get endless looks by simply mixing, matching and accessorizing.
I used to think I had to move to Paris to live my life like they do, but as Ms. Scott shows in her book of 20 lessons, I can live like a Parisian no matter where I am. Even in Miami.
Want to win a copy of Lessons from Madam Chic? We’re giving away one copy of this wonderful book to a random reader. All you need to do is leave a comment below, and I’ll select one winner on Sunday (January 13th). Enter your comment below.