"Merry" Antoinette: A Marie Antoinette Christmas Guide Guide for 2011
Christmas is the season for gifts and giving, and what better gift for that special 18th century history lover than a little bit of Marie Antoinette?
I had so much fun putting together a Marie Antoinette Christmas gift guide last year that there was no question of doing another Christmas post with plenty of Marie Antoinette Christmas gifts for your friends, family, and hey, maybe even a little something for yourself!
NOTE: The stars are not with me today! I was proofreading this guide when I discovered that the Chateau de Versailles boutique is shutting its online doors until the new year, when it will be re-opened. I apologize for this inconvenience.
Home Decor and Accessories
Marie Antoinette's private rooms were her sanctuary, a place to retreat with her favorites from the exhaustive court at Versailles. Why not spice up your own sanctuary with some home accessories fit for the queen?
lovely brown cushion cover to reflect the personality of Marie Antoinette through its warm colors, elegant style, and bold use of one of her monograms contrasted by a feminine red. If you're in the mood for something a little more subtle, this floral cushion cover from the Boutiques de Musees bears the design of one of the wall hangings set in the Queen's Bedroom at the chateau de Fontainebleau. And what living sofa or bed would be complete without a monogrammed cushion inspired by floral detail from Marie Antoinette's own headboard?
But maybe you're looking for a Marie Antoinette home accessory gift that is more functional. Look no further than these practical but still pretty gifts.
Marie Antoinette loved to entertain, although she never had to worry about the effects of soda cans set on her fine tables! You can be both stylish and reassured with these charming Marie Antoinette inspired cork coasters.Both can be purchased at the Boutiques de Musees.
Jean-Michel Bouleau's exclusive collection for the Chateau de Versailles boutique includes an abundance of beautiful and useful Marie Antoinette monogram inspired items. My favorites in the line include this strikingly pink Marie Antoinette umbrella, which will really make a splash (no rain pun intended!) with its bold colors and fine detail. You can brighten up your kitchen with a fully usable pink Marie Antoinette tea towel. And this Marie Antoinette mouse pad will add that perfect touch of Marie Antoinette to your computer area with its simple monogrammed design.
Candles make wonderful ambiance for any home. These candles are sure to add a little of Versailles to your own chateau.
An elegant Trudon candle, directly inspired by a bust of Marie Antoinette, would make a perfect display for the holidays or a private party. Or why not try this striking scented candle, accented in gold with the main gates of Versailles? As an added bonus, it's scent is orange blossom, one of the favored perfumes of the French court. This porcelain candle is directly inspired by the designs used in one of Marie Antoinette's travel kits, and features a gold and floral pattern complete with the queen's elegant monogram.
Fashion and Fashion Accessories
Marie Antoinette's name will be forever intertwined with that of fashion, and there are countless fashionable Marie Antoinette items that make perfect gifts for that special someone. Jewelry, purses, and even dresses are just some of the gifts to choose from this holiday season.
If you want to get a little scandalous, why not gift a piece of jewelry inspired by something infamous? The "Queen's Necklace" line developed by the Grand Palais features several jewelry pieces inspired by the scandalous diamond necklace from The Diamond Necklace Affair. The pieces, which include a bracelet, a brooch and understated version of the necklace itself, are made from silvered brass wire, simulation gemstones, and pearls.
Carry the queen with you when you use this chic Marie Antoinette purse designed by Jules Pansu and matching carry bag. Both feature the white monogram of the queen on an elegant brown and red fabric background. And this black and white matching porcelain necklace will complete any queen-inspired look!
"The Trianon Gown" by vivelareine on Etsy is a wonderful and yet affordable dress inspired by the light, loose gowns favored by Marie Antoinette at her private retreat. Redthreaded on Etsy offers her own lovely take on the chemise gown, and offers alterations and custom features at an additional price. If you're shopping for a younger loved one, they're sure to love this pretty take on an 18th century gown by bonnybluearts on Etsy.
Bath & Beauty
Marie Antoinette loved to bathe, and often enhanced her baths with a variety of perfumed concotions. She, like most upper class women of her time, was also a frequent buyer of perfumes and perfumed goods. Treat yourself or a friend this year with these wonderful scents and bath treats!
With a name like Rose Queen, how can anyone resist? This new LUSH bath bomb is packed with beautiful rose petals and releases a rich floral fragrance in the water. If you're looking for perfume, LUSH carries an affordable solid Orange Blossom perfume stick. Orange blossom was one of Marie Antoinette's favored scents, and among the more popular scents at the court of Versailles. Marie Antoinette also enjoyed hints of vanilla in her perfumes, and this LUSH Vanilla puff dusting powder is a fun way to keep your skin soft and smelling sweet.
Lubin's Black Jade claims to be the revived formula of one of Marie Antoinete's perfumes, hidden away by Pierre Lubin, an apprentice to Marie Antoinette's favored perfumer, Jean-Louis Fargeon. Whether or not this tale is true, Black Jade is a rich perfume fit for royalty, and a great present for anyone who enjoys a full floral scent.
There are so many books to be read about Marie Antoinette and her world, one could write a book solely of recommendations! Since that isn't quite practical, I'll stick to recommending some new books of interest.
The Expert Cook in Enlightenment France by Sean Takats is a new release dedicated to the men and women behind the French cuisine of the 18th century, showing how the cooks behind these meals worked and improved in the world of Enlightenment France. In Dairy Queens: The Politics of Pastoral Architecture from Catherine de Medici to Marie-Antoinette, Meredith Martin discusses the often ignored but essential history behind the royal and aristocratic pleasure dairies of France, providing new insight into Marie Antoinette's maligned Trianon dairy and more. If you're buying for a younger reader, or enjoy youth reads yourself, Marie Antoinette 'Madame Deficit' by Liz Hockinson is an excellent choice filled with interesting illustrations and a balanced look at the queen's life..Juliet Grey's new novel, Becoming Marie Antoinette, is the first in a new trilogy about Marie Antoinette and is an excellent choice for historical fiction readers.
This concludes my 2011 holiday guide! I hope you've found something you or a loved one will enjoy, and Ibe sure to check back for Marie Antoinette book bargains and news in the coming holiday season!