Sunday, 8 May 2016

Parisien Parfumerie

I was inspired to write this poem when I stayed at a lovely old house in Brighton called Parisien Parfumerie. One of those beautiful terraced buildings that look tiny from outside but have never-ending exquisite bijoux floors, permanently sea salt frosted sash windows and high Georgian walls.  Modern and stylishly refurbished in a beautiful old Parisian style, it is available to rent here and I highly recommend it.

Some explanatory notes on the poem:

My Lord is Brighton refers to
King George IV - he built the amazing Brighton Pavilion as his own personal pleasure palace and was a notorious womaniser. However, towards the end of his life he became depressed and very overweight and was ridiculed in public sketches produced by local artists of the day. When I visited the Pavilion and was able to wander through the spectacular rooms listening to an audio guide relating his life story, I was lost in the sadness and magnificence of his legacy.

My Lady is Paris refers to Marie Antoinette - I chose her for a few reasons [in addition to needing something relating to Paris]. Many years ago I read an account of her final days, the failed attempts to escape her imprisonment during the French Revolution, the brutal murder of her closest friend at her lowest ebb [her baby son had just recently died], a mockery of a trial on a nightmarish scale and eventual death by guillotine.

However, she was also a complex character, her lifestyle excesses most definitely helped to provoke the popular unrest that lead to the Revolution but, there are many reports of her kindness and gentle nature.

She was also obsessed with perfume and apparently created her own containing Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Iris and Rose [reputedly her favourite scents].

Pier, pebbles, salt and sea
I am Parisien Parfumerie

My beauty dwells not in sight but nose
Orange blossom, jasmine, iris and rose
My Lord is Brighton, fierce and proud
Loved by a sad King, lusty and loud

My Lady is Paris, Le Sacre Coeur
Loved by a girl Queen, le parfum des fleurs

Pier, pebbles, salt and sea
Close your eyes and remember me

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