Friday, September 28, 2012

La Seduction (paperback)

Financier Gateau chocolat by Carol Gillott Gateau Chocolat, watercolor, 9" x 11"
La Seduction by Elaine Sciolino
La Seduction is out in paperback if you didn't catch it 1st time out

An American friend, who worked at Restaurant Guy Savoy for 3 years, made an observation I've never forgotten - 'Everything in France is layered'. I think of this each time I cut into a piece of French pastry.Elaine Sciolino's La Seduction, cuts through the complexity of French culture, politics, mores and most of all the layers of 'La seduction'. My copy is a mess of yellow markings. You won't be able to put it down.
You can 'bite' a chunk at Amazon
Sciolino mentions those petite details of seduction in an interview with lingerie queen Chantal Thomass. As New York Times Paris bureau chief for 5+ years, no one is out of her reach including a gastronomic 3-star chef Guy Savoy - she even gets to have a meal with his mother in the country
This little blurb in an old Elle magazine sums up the books premise, 'Sexy, mais pas trop' (Sexy, but not too much) Suggestion in seduction is everything. Elaine's book came out in France too. Who doesn't need to know more about seduction?
Wear something you can take off. You can take a class on exactly how to take it off seductively in France.
Perfume is an essential in the game of French seduction - but all the senses come into play.
Obvious makeup is a non, non.

But traitment/skin treatment of the peau?
Absolutement oui
Much is summed up at a dinner soiree given by a French friend, so Sciolino can ask questions (with the essential politesse) of French experts in all arenas of the arts of seduction.
You'll be enthralled.
Sciolino dissects the French seduction the way I cut into a piece of cake to know it and paint it, layer by layer. And her bibliography is a goldmine on essential Frenchness. Many books we've discussed here like: Deluxe, The Perfect Scent, What French Women Know, French Women Don't get Fat, Almost French, The Essence of Style.

The only oversight was the seductive powers of the French dog.


  1. Now I know why the scarf is so popular in France.

    1. The scarf is essential to catch croissant crumbs.
      That's my theory and I'm sticking to it!

  2. Seduction? No need: you had me at "Gateau Chocolat, watercolor, 9" x 11""!!!

  3. There is an elegance in this French sexy, mais pas trop, art of seduction, as well as in la politesse franç well as in your gateau chocolat...

  4. Jeanette is right: What could be more seductive than your Gateau Chocolat watercolor? ;-)

  5. I used to love friend gave me many little smaples before she moved..I am hooked on a cream I found in Italy..very pas cher..and have found it here in Little Italy:)

    The prettiest thing by far is your auarelle.

    1. name that italian cream svp!!

      where does one put it by the way?

  6. I love love love that La Séduction book!! :) And you're totally right about France being full of layers!

    x Milsters


  7. In today's Wall St. Journal, there is a quote from Diana Vreeland:

    " The first thing, my love, is to arrange to be born in Paris; everything else follows quite naturally."

  8. LOVE the painting of the gateau! I've been resisting reading La Seduction -- do I really need another book telling me how much sexier everything is in France? -- but I trust your judgment. And I trust that it's not too late for me to learn something useful, after all these years.

  9. Love the watercolor & those Fauchon lips :)
    You always put together a great photo essay!

  10. How we all need little hints on finesse!
    When I first went to France I was quite bowled over by little details of how scarves were knotted etc etc.
    Felt very English and gauche.
    Of course you have read Nancy Mitford's The Pursuit of Love.
    Every English girl's primer about Paris
    "You must be the daughter of an English lord......."

  11. lovely watercolor, Carol, and I love all your yellow highlighted notes. I think it all has to come naturally, though, doesn't it--I mean, one can't just learn how to be so French, now, can one?

  12. Love the painting. I can taste all the layers :) Love all the comments too. Fun post.

  13. Your painting is terrific! its perfect!

  14. Danielle10:44 AM

    Sleepless at 4 ce matin,
    i went to paris breakfast for solace.
    What a treat.
    Bonne journee

    1. R in Austrailia8:08 AM

      I often forward all the PB emails to work, and go through them in my lunch break.
      A wonderful way to break up the day!

  15. Glad to be of service Danielle! :)

  16. New here and so glad to have found you!
    J'adore the watercolor of the gateau.
    I am Californian and living in Montpellier (France) for a year with my young family. I'm having so much fun exploring the country, and your blog. Merci!

  17. THANK YOU Dana!
    come back and visit again


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