Thursday, August 9, 2007

Monsieur Guerlain et Moi

Those of you who know me, know that in my younger days I left NYC for awhile and worked with some very famous perfumers in France. It was my pleasure to sniff out various single notes and let the perfumer blend them however he wished to. Here I am with my best pal, Jean-Paul Guerlain. This picture was taken early on in the process, and Jean-Paul used to tease me a bit by waving test strips around and hiding one behind the scent bottles. Then we'd work for a short while, maybe get an "idea" about some future fragrance, then we'd go have a leisurely three hour lunch followed by a catnap. I learned so much from this wonderful man. He always calls me "Monsieur Dee Shedweek" and I call him "JP-Baby." Which just cracks him up. We joke around a lot, and keep in touch, even though we're both semi-retired. He still has an office on the Champs Elysees, and I have my part-time spokesmodel gig.

A sad note:
In the summer of 1998 Jean-Paul was shot by burglars who entered his home and terrorized his family, and I was not suprised to hear he had put himself in harm's way to protect others. He had surgery, and recovered very quickly, but I don't recall if they ever caught any of the ten or so robbers.

Among his creations: Parure in 1975 ( in homage to his mother.) Nahema in 1979, Jardins de Bagatelle in 1983, Derby in 1985, Samsara in 1989, Champs Elysees in 1996. (My first experience with Samsara was when a stunning blonde girl who resembled Grace Kelly wore it on her wedding day. It suited her perfectly.)