It’s no secret that I am a Francophile. Regular readers of this blog are accustomed to my French-themed purchases, musings on the Parisian lifestyle, and my scouting for secrets of French women and their fabulous ways. So it was with much excitement that I began reading Jennifer L. Scott’s Lessons from Madame Chic, a collection of tips and musings on practical ways of embodying the elegance and class of the Parisian femme.
Scott, who first published the tips on her popular blog dailyconnoisseur.com, learned the art of said femmes when she took a long exchange trip to Paris in her college days. Taking up residence in the exclusive 16th arrondissement with the aristocratic ‘Famille Chic’, she is both inspired and shamed into shedding most of her American ways for their more refined European ones and is taken under the wing of their matriarch, the fabulous Madame Chic, from her first night there.
In this part memoir, part life-guide, Scott reveals some of the notorious secrets of French women as well as her own faux pas and awkward moments as she learns to embrace the style of her stylish hostess. From cultivating an air of mystery, adopting (what looks like) a no make-up look, learning the art of entertaining and honing your elegance to a ten-item wardrobe, she shares everything she’s learnt and finishes of every chapter with practical tips on how to incorporate it in your life.
The book is a very easy read. I read it in less than a weekend and posted about it on my Facebook page afterwards, and someone saw it and said the same. The tips are practical and point to the Parisian way, but aren’t anything new or ground-breaking, and therefore more suited for those who are only new to French obsessions. Despite my seasoned love and know-how of the women of the City of Light, I still enjoyed it, moreso thanks to Scott’s own memories and anecdotes than the tips I have already become familiar with.
Still, it’s easy manner, cute stories and simple strategies for living life more beautifully will go a long way, so I have happily included it in my Christmas Gift Guide (coming this week).
On your marks, get set, chase:
Lessons from Madame Chic (Harper Collins) is out now. RRP $24.99