The Naughty Socialite    Fragrance Profile: Hermes 24 Faubourg
October 1, 2011

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By Beth Schreibman Gehring
Co-Founder, creator and artist of A Dozen Roses, Sandy Cataldo, signing bottles
I am a very naughty socialite.  I play the game of society my own way and I love being the rebel. My mother was quite the opposite and was brought up to be incredibly well to do until her family lost all of their money in the middle of the great depression. She had grown up in Urbana, Illinois, the granddaughter of one of the fine gentlemen who brought the University to Champaign, and had been utterly and completely spoiled for the whole of her young life!  When her parents decided that they needed to move to Shaker Heights, which was/is a lovely city just east of Cleveland my mother was appalled. There wasn’t enough help as far as she was concerned and she was forced to go to a “completely horrible” school named Hathaway Brown, an all girls prep school that is still one of the most fashionable in Cleveland. She had to live with her grandmother, a woman who could out chill the Queen. There was no longer enough china or sterling and definitely not enough imported French soap or perfume. My mother was completely miserable. 

I guess that within a fairly short amount of time my very patrician grandmother decided that she’d had enough of my mothers moaning and groaning so one day she dragged her kicking and screaming to the nearest soup kitchen.  “Barbara” she said, “You are going to spend everyday working here after school and you WILL come to see just how good your life is."   Of course she did as she was told and the rest is history. She told me when I asked her about her passion for charity work that it was the children that she met in the soup kitchen that completely changed her life forever.  She stopped complaining when she saw just how happy they were with such little means.

She stepped into her power at that moment and became heavily involved in rebuilding the foundations of our city.  Make no mistake, she was always the proper princess even until the day she died. In all of the years that I knew her, I never saw her use the wrong fork or glass and there was never a hair out of place. The moment that she woke from quadruple bypass surgery she begged me for her lipstick, pearls and Shalimar. She bathed in beautifully scented oils every night and she had complete disdain for showers. She could tell a wickedly dirty joke and she absolutely loved them. They just don’t make broads like that anymore; she was just so wonderful! 

My mother eventually became the President of many of the organizations she served but until the day she died her heart belonged completely to The Cleveland Orchestra, probably because she was completely tone deaf and she longed to be able to play an instrument.  She served on The Women’s Committee of The Cleveland Orchestra Board for decades and of course because I was her daughter I was forced to serve on many boards as well and protesting all of the while.  I’ll never forget the day that I was kicked out of the Junior League because of my refusal to go to noontimemeetings. You’d have thought that I’d robbed a bank by her chilly response.  The night that I ditched my Assembly ball date to go smoke pot with the cute preppy boys at the party was the final straw. She put her pretty foot down and demanded that I become a fully functioning member of high society. 

I must admit to loving the fashion shows and the glitz and glamour that go along with beinginvolved in quite a few top shelf organizations, but until recently I’ve never stepped up my role to be anything other than a volunteer. I received the call from the nominating committee from the orchestra shortly after she died. “You’ve been nominated to be the President.  We hope that you’ll say yes”.   Well, I can tell you right now that after saying no for the 4th time that all of my familial guilt crept in.  So taking a deep breath I said "yes" to the persistent voice on the other end of the phone and then I did what any red blooded perfumista would do after agreeing to take on such a daunting task. 

I went sniffing!
I knew that I needed a new fragrance, something that suited this Herculean role that I’d stepped into and that I could charge like a talisman to help me feel glamorous, powerful and sophisticated. I knew that I needed to find a fragrance that would allow me to feel like I belonged. So for a month I danced with the Serge’s and jitterbugged with the Creeds. I tangoed with the Bonds and waltzed with the Fords but nothing would do until I met Hermes 24 Faubourg and it was love at first sniff.  I knew instantly that it would be perfect.

Hermes 24 Faubourg is a very beautiful perfume.  It’s named after the flagship store in Paris and we all know the richness and luxury that can be found behind those doors. Hermes scarves are legendary and when I was a child I coveted an Hermes saddle, a beautiful thing that was built by hand out of the softest sweetest leather.  It makes sense that a fragrance bearing the name of such a beautiful legacy would encompass so many of its aspects. Theminute that I put it on I felt relaxed,  fabulous and dare I say it, completely grown up!

24 Faubourg is sweetly floral with lots of Jasmine and ylang ylang but it also has a very indolic quality that lends a subtle sexiness that reminds me of my favorite riding gloves.  There’s even a mineral quality to it smells like sun warmed gold and sea glass.  I think that 24 Faubourg is classic and very French and is ultimately one of the most womanly fragrances that I’ve ever worn.  It’s just right for this period of my life with its emphasis on striding into my own power. These days  you’ll often find me tying on one of my mothers Hermes scarves and donning her pearls and sapphires in preparation for a board meeting.

One strategically applied spritz of 24 Faubourg and I begin to feel up to the challenge of leading the most remarkable group of women thatI’ve ever known. 2 sprays and I’m more than prepared to tackle the new world order.

I bought my bottle of the EDP at Bergdorf Goodman’s, but I’ve also seen it at Neiman Marcus.  Do promise me that you’ll definitely splurge on the 24 Faubourg Body Cream and the Shower & Bath Cream. They're impossibly luxurious and if my mother were still alive she’d be finding it in this years edition of her Christmas stocking.

Hermes 24 Faubourg is a beautiful perfume and I know that you'll enjoy it. Spray a bit of it on your wrist and let it warm to your body. You'll be amazed by the sweetly amber'd nuances and wowed by the one-two punch of the citrus. Try it and let it help you create the life you've been dreaming of!