SPEND A WONDERFUL CRAZY NIGHT WITH ELTON JOHN

Elton John et son groupe seront  à Toulon cet automne…Tous les détails sont dans Riviera Buzz. Elton John and his band will be in Toulon this fall…All the details are in Riviera Buzz.

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Elton John and his band are back in France this winter, playing their only concert in this region at the Zenith Omega in Toulon.

After releasing Wonderful Crazy Night earlier this year, the 33rd album of his long and prolific career, famed songwriter and pianist Elton John has been touring the US and Europe for much of 2016 in support of this new offering. Whilst he may perform a few new songs on stage, fans will also have a chance to hear some of his most iconic tunes such as Your Song, Crocodile Rock and Rocket Man.

The flamboyant singer remains one of the top-selling solo artists on the music scene, having sold more than 250 million records worldwide and scored 29 consecutive Top 40 Hits. Since he started his career back in 1969, Sir Elton has played over 4,000 concerts the world over, and still holds the record for the biggest selling single of all time, Candle in the Wind 1997, which sold over 37 million copies.

At 69, he shows no signs of slowing down, even though he recently declared that from here-on-in he wants to spend more time with his family. He and longtime partner David Furnish have two young sons, now 5 and 3, and this new tour is a way for the Tiny Dancer singer to thank his fans “who have been so faithful over the decades”.

Sir Elton’s band features Nigel Olson (part of the original three-piece band) on drums, Davey Johnstone (who first recorded with the singer in 1971 and joined the band a year later) on guitar, John Mahon on percussion, Kim Bullard on keyboards, and Matt Bissonette on bass.

Elton John and his band play the Zenith Omega in Toulon on Friday, 9th of December at 8:00pm. Tickets range in price from 67,50 € to 221,50 € and can be purchased in all the usual outlets or reserved online.

CONTACT DETAILS
Zénith Oméga
Boulevard Commandant Nicolas
83000 Toulon

Image courtesy Elton John website

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LA COLLE NOIRE, THE BEAUTIFUL DIOR SUMMER ESTATE IN MONTAUROUX

Dernier article en date pour Riviera Buzz. Latest article to date for Riviera Buzz.

Château de la Colle Noire, the summer estate of the late French fashion designer Christian Dior, has been restored to its former glory.

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In September 2015, the House of Chanel proudly announced that it had re-acquired “La Pausa”, the beautiful villa overlooking Cap Martin that “mademoiselle” had specially designed, built and decorated for her. Now, less than a year later, it is the House of Dior’s turn to celebrate the purchase and restoration of the Château de la Colle Noire, the summer estate its creator owned in Montauroux.

Located near Grasse, the splendid property set on several hundred hectares, is where the French couturier found the inspiration to craft some of his most famous fragrances (miss Dior, Diorssimo, Eau Sauvage).

It is in 1951, while at the height of his career, that Christian Dior began restoring the 12,900 square foot château, creating his “haven of peace”. There, he wrote his autobiography, Dior by Dior, entertained famous friends such as March Chagall, and planted olive trees, vines and a large array of fragrant flowers, from roses and jasmine, to lily-of-the-valley and lavender in the grandiose garden he designed.

Sadly, the place was sold shortly after the fashion legend’s death in 1957 and changed hands many times in the following decades. It even hosted rock band Oasis as they recorded their album “Standing on the Shoulders of Giants” in 1999, and was purchased back by Christian Dior Parfums in 2013.

After nearly three years of works conducted with the aid of landscape designers, Dior’s cherished residence and garden have been given a new lease of life, and have even inspired the latest fragrance launched by the fashion house, “La Colle Noire”, last May.

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Bearing the name of the 19th century Provençal château and created by perfumer François Demachy, a Cannes native whose laboratory is located nearby at the Fontaines Parfumées, La Colle Noire scent is a contemporary rose perfume which, according to the “nez” himself  “conveys all the raw and sun-drenched beauty of this region in the south of France”.

Interestingly enough, La Colle Noire is the second fragrance inspired by the stunning estate, following on from Eau Noire which was created by perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, and released in 2004.

CONTACT DETAILS
Château de la Colle Noire
220 Route de Draguignan
83440 Montauroux

Lead image of Château de la Colle Noire by DandineTravail personnel, CC BY-SA 3.0; other image courtesy Dior

Dear Doctors, Thank You For Your Beautiful Bedside Manner

Mon hommage à l’incroyable équipe médicale qui s’est battue avec et pour moi (Article publié sur IHadCancer). My tribute to the amazing medical team that fought with and for me (Article published on IHadCancer).

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I was once a normal thirty something gal with a hectic life and full of dreams. But then I heard the word “cancer” and just like that, my life as I knew it was over. I was a cancer patient faced with an uncertain future.

From the day I had found a lump in my left breast to the 5 nerve-racking days spent waiting for the results of the biopsy, I had been in limbo, unable to think about anything else.

But then, with just a few words, delivered in a calm and confident tone, my radiologist helped me feel as though I could handle whatever it was that came my way. He said, “What you have is very serious and the upcoming months are going to be pretty hard, but you are in very good hands, don’t you worry.”

All of a sudden, I literally felt as if I had tumbled into an abyss. Those few words were exactly what I needed to hear at that moment to prevent me from falling apart. I finally knew where to stand and I was ready to fight, because I realized I had a team behind me.

The following few weeks were spent going from one doctor appointment to the next, and I barely had time to digest the news, let alone come to grips with all the consequences of this new reality. But somehow, all along I felt I had an entire army fighting with and for me. Why? Simply because each professional I came across always managed to find just the right word or adopted the perfect attitude that would alleviate my fears.

The kind radiologist who gave me the results was just the first link of this human chain. The surgeon who was to remove my tumour looked like my grandfather, so I trusted him immediately, even though I was terrified. He talked in a very soft voice, using very simple words to make sure I understood him. Even though he pronounced the dreadful word “chemotherapy”, I somehow knew that I would be okay.

After the operation, he entered the room with a huge smile, pinched my cheek in a sign of affection and whispered in my ear that the surgery was a success and the tumor had not spread.

A few weeks later when I told him that I was disgusted by my scars and did not want to even look at them, he gently took my hand and made me gently touch them so that I would start to accept them.

Then there was my psychologist. Every three weeks, a young woman with a Bulgarian accent checked on me and made sure I was holding up. Little by little she became my confidant, the only person in whom I could confide in. She was very sweet but also knew to be tough when I started to feel sorry for myself.

However, all this was nothing compared to the devotion of the nurses. No matter how tough their job could sometimes be or their own personal problems, they always kept a smile on their faces without uttering a single complaint. From 7 am to 7 pm, with only a half hour break for lunch, they ran from bed to bed to attend to their patients’ needs. I used to love chatting with them during chemo sessions. They were impressed that I had worked as a lawyer in California, but for me, they were the real heroes. They went home at night totally exhausted, but at least they had a sense of fulfilment and purpose; a feeling I had never felt with my job, even though my initial goal when I went to law school was to help those less fortunate. That was a big revelation!

Sometimes all it takes in difficult times is finding the right people who will support you during the hardships. Even though having cancer was a painful experience, I got blessed with the most amazing medical team I could have hoped for. Life is all about chance meetings and I strongly believe I would never have been half as strong as I had been, without the support of an amazing support team with great bedside manner.

I could never thank all those people enough for the support they gave me. They may think they simply did what they were paid to do, but four years later, I still carry with me their kind words and strength.

ATHENS IS SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST AN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM

Souvenirs d’un long week-end à Athènes! Souvenirs from a long weekend in Athens!

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Just a couple of hours from the French Riviera, the historic Greek city of Athens is well worth considering for a weekend visit.

Athens is frantic and chaotic, heavily polluted and decayed in spots, yet despite all this, it remains a fascinating city, rooted in history and traditions. It is also modern, cosmopolitan and alive, making it an ideal location for the perfect weekend getaway.

Whether ancient ruins are your thing or not, it is almost impossible to go to the Greek capital and not climb the hill of the Acropolis (“the sacred rock”) to see the Parthenon in all its magnificence. Described by the 19th century French engineer and architectural historian Auguste Choisy as “the supreme effort of genius in pursuit of beauty”, it is unquestionably Athen’s most iconic structure. Despite having been rocked by earthquakes, shattered by explosions, and even looted for its sculptures, the monument still stands proud amid other ruins as a vibrant testimony to Greece’s Golden Age.

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After the visit, a stop at the nearby Acropolis Museum, and later at the world famous National Archaeological Museum of Athens, is almost mandatory, to appreciate all the priceless finds from excavations from here and from around the city. You will also have the chance to learn more about the story of the Elgin Marbles, the stone carvings removed by Lord Elgin and brought to London in the early 19th century, where they have been a fixture in the British Museum ever since … to the great despair of the Greeks.

The Acropolis and the Parthenon are just a few of the remains that are worth a detour. The Temple of Olympian Zeus with its 104 Pentelic marble columns, each 17 metres high, and the largest of all the Greek temples, or the Panathenaic Olympic Stadium which was built in 330 BC for the Panathenaic contest, and later totally restored with marbles for the first modern Olympics in 1896, provide for an interesting insight into the past.

While you are never far from traces of history, Athens offers much more than just archaeological sites – a stroll in the Plaka district, under the slopes of the Acropolis, will give you a taste of how vibrant the city can be. With its neoclassical mansions, its balconies with bougainvilleas and its small winding roads, it used to be a working class area, and many Greek films of the early 50’s and 60’s were filmed there. Nowadays, it is probably the nicest of the city’s neighbourhoods, with its high-class restaurants, street musicians, busy cafés, and jewelry stores. An ideal place to indulge in some of the country’s culinary specialties, such as moussaka or tzatziki, sip some ouzo, the local aperitif, or try a cup of Greek coffee, a very strong and rich drink made from finely ground roasted beans.

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Other places of interest to discover are the Athens Central Market (Varvakios Market), a big bazaar where you can basically buy just about anything, and Syntagma Square, which houses the Parliament, guarded 24 hours a day by the Evzones, the country’s elite soldiers, famous around the world for their traditional pleated skirt.

There are also plenty of activities on offer throughout the city. Of an evening, why not catch a movie in one of the city’s many open-air theatres. Or take a day trip from Athens to Cape Sounio where, perched on a rocky hilltop above the Aegean Sea, the extraordinary Temple of Poseidon offers one of the most breathtaking panoramas in the world. Or consider a cruise to the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina to enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Saronic Gulf.

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Aegean Airlines offers direct flights between Nice and Athens every Tuesday and Thursday.

GRASSE, TRULY THE WORLDWIDE CAPITAL OF PERFUME

Une bonne raison de visiter Grasse cet été! A good reason to visit Grasse this summer!

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Here is your chance to rediscover the magic years that made the city of Grasse the worldwide capital of perfume.

No other city in France is more closely linked with perfume than the small town of Grasse. It has become famous over the years for its production of jasmine, one of the most important natural aromas used by the industry, as well as other fragrances, such as myrtle, lavender, rose and mimosa.

By the 17th century, a prosperous artisanal and agricultural economy had developed, and locals also gained the reputation as being perfumers of note. But it was really with the advent of the industrial revolution and the following decades that the worldwide reputation of Grasse was consolidated; an era that is now being celebrated all summer long by the International Perfume Museum together with the International Perfume Museum Gardens.

Entitled “De la Belle Époque aux années folles – La parfurmerie au tournant du XXè siècle”, this exciting exhibit starts with the Art Nouveau movement in the 1880’s, highlighting the works of French artists such as Hector Guimard in Paris or Louis Majorelle in Nancy, who developed a revolutionary art that was as new in the materials used as it was in pattern and style, and which spread to all sectors of the luxury goods industry, from furniture to perfume.

The exhibit then moves on to the roaring twenties, which saw Emile Galé, René Lalique and Jules Cheret adopt new industrial techniques, with department stores creating in-house design studios to make these new aesthetic codes their own. It was the period right after World War I, a time of reconstruction in Europe, and women were taking charge of their professional and social destinies, undertaking intellectual pursuits that so far had been reserved for men (medicine, engineering, journalism), practising sports, or smoking in public. The slim and toned silhouette of the flapper was then in fashion, the corset fell by the wayside, and several couturiers like Paul Poiret and Jean Patou were creating trousers and dresses to complement theses changes. They also started to make perfumes that would serve as the perfect accessory. In 1914, clothing and perfumery were shown together for the first time at the World’s Fair in Lyon, and in 1921, the great Gabrielle Chanel launched her own brand of perfume, the legendary Chanel No. 5. Created by Ernest Beaux, it was the first to use aldehydes in perfumery.

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All throughout this journey in the world of cosmetics, an outstanding collection of bottles, posters and powder boxes are on display, while videos and interactive terminals provide an historical context and call on the five senses.

Simultaneously, the International Perfume Museum Gardens are featuring plants that were in style in the decorative arts at the turn of the century for olfactory or visual reasons.

The exhibit “De la Belle Epoque aux années folles – La parfurmerie au tournant du XXè siècle” runs until the 30th of September. The International Perfume Museum is open every day from 10 am to 7 pm and tickets cost €6 for the duration of the temporary summer exhibit. The International Perfume Museum gardens are open daily from 10 am to 7 pm (10 am to 5:30 pm as of the 1st of September) and the entrance fee is €4.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée International de la Parfumerie
Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon
06130 Grasse

Tel: + 33 4 97 05 58 00

All images courtesy and © Musée International de la Parfumerie