It was a bad day for Dr. Black. Waking up beside Miss Scarlett would have been a most delightful experience, had she not immediately attempted to asphyxiate him in a cloud of her exquisite Dior perfume, in which the notes of strawberry and pop-corn stifled the underlying emanations of dangerous narcotics. Even her kiss was a deathtrap, for on her lips she had blended arsenic with her Benefit rouge.
Later in the day, during the Doctor's morning walk round the grounds, Miss Scarlett shot her rifle in his direction. She claimed she'd aimed for a rabbit, and gestured a plea that was also a menace with her charming hands, gloved by Gieves and covered in powder. Poor Black made his way back to the security of the manor through the veranda, whereupon Colonel Mustard insisted on giving him one of his demonstrations on the relative merits of various methods of strangulation. Exceptionally, Mustard did not resort to the rope, but rather concentrated on a very feminine modus operandi involving leather handles. Prior to the lecture he had borrowed Miss Peach and Mrs. Peacock their handbags: one, adorable but lethal, by Marc Jacobs, the other one immense and of good English tweed, by Michel Perry. Then of course, he needed a fellow demonstrator...
The Doctor's aching throat made him seek the kitchen and the comfort of a warm cup of tea. He found instead Mrs. White, who assured she'd be delighted to prepare an infusion for him and sent him straight to the dining room. A few minutes' respite, at last. Mrs. White's subtle eau de parfum, fragrant with Bourbon geranium, enveloped the room, soon joined by the congenial aroma of bitter almond. Bitter almond... Is that not the smell of cyanide? And what are those bottles with a skull and crossbones doing so near the tea boxes on the shelf? Mrs. White brought in a Tea Party cake and Hédiard confits. It all looked delicious, but the Doctor explained he would have to abstain for now. Mrs White looked annoyed. As she entered the dining room Black glimpsed flashes of metal, as of blades, under the heels of her Marc Jacobs Richelieu shoes.
He took leave somewhat hastily and dashed towards the hall. He had to call for help - but the telephone gave no tone. The wire had been cut by some tool, pincers or a spanner. Without further ado the Doctor headed for the garage. It was high time to scamper away. But when he reached his Bentley, the bonnet was open and Professor Plum was bending over the engine; his suit, usually so prim, was stained with oil, and he had laid down next to him his very peculiar toolbox. He waved Black hello. In his hand was a spanner.
The Doctor had to resign himself to spending the rest of the day locked in his study. He only came out after dinner hour, for a drink in the library. Reverend Green was there already, comfortably settled in a deep padded armchair. As soon as he saw Black he reached for a candlestick - to light cigars that they savoured in the peaceful night. Green offered a curious chocolate by D.L. & Co. to accompany the brandy.
It was Dr. Black's last meal.
1- Keys earrings, golden metal, Le Printemps, 15€
2- Revolver ring, golden metal, Le Printemps, 12€
64, bd Haussmann
+33 1 42 82 50 00
Mori Ex Cacao, chocolates by D.L. & Co and Valerie Gordon, 3 flavors: Scorched Caramel, Bitter Brandied Cherry, Curious Chili, gift set $95 (single skull $40)
Product page on www.valerieconfections.com
Plymouth armchair, beechwood, purple padded leather, w 78 x h 106 x d 95 cm, 2.160€ without leather, Marie's Corner
Information: +32 10 84 96 80
Kusmi Tea mug, white china, inlaid Swarovski crystals, 39€, also available: black crossbones and silver strasses, black crossbones and pink strasses
Kusmi Tea, 56, rue de Seine Paris 6°, +33 1 46 34 29 06
Gieves gloves, punched leather, £89
Product page on www.gievesandhawkes.com
Rivière Pourpre flavored infusion, heart of spices: juniper, cinammon,
cardamom, ginger, ginseng, clove, aniseed, pink berries, ... tinged with hibiscus and citronnelle, on a bed of roasted maté and rooibo teas, 10€
Les Parfums de Table www.parfumsdetable.com
"Tea Party" cake, English pudding with candied fruits, serves 6 to 8, 39€, Fiona Cairns
China toolbox, Le Petit Atelier de Paris, 55€, exclusively at Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche, Galerie Imaginaire
Varnished leather Richelieu pumps, Marc Jacobs
Large D-Day tote bag, green tweed, Fall/Winter 07/08 collection, 970€
243, rue Saint-Honoré
+33 1 42 44 10 07
"The Kid" bag, the Stam in a miniature version, quilted leather, 990€, Marc Jacobs exclusively at the Bon Marché Rive Gauche, espace accessoires
Le Bon Marché
24, rue de Sèvres Paris 7°
+33 1 44 39 80 00
"Edgar Allan Poe", from Men of Letters and People of Substance, by Roberto de Vicq de Cumptich, David Godline Books, $14,95
The third episode in the Dior Homme trilogy
Notes of lavender (floral rather than leafy). Then smooth, delicate iris, enhanced by ambrette acting as a musky, fruity hibiscus essence, somewhere between pear liqueur and silk talc. Base notes of Virginia cedar and vetiver.
Eau de parfum spray 50 ml, limited edition, 61,67€
Christian Dior, 30, avenue Montaigne Paris 8°, +33 1 40 73 73 73
1- Living room : shoe cufflinks, rhodium-plated silver and black enamel, 95€, rifle brooch, gold-plated silver (3 µm) and diamond, 160€, revolver necklace, rhodium-plated silver and black enamel, 90€
2- Study : magnifying glass ring, rhodium-plated silver, 90€, clock earrings, gold-plated silver (3 µm), 90€, telephone pin, rhodium-plated silver
and black enamel, 130€
3- Bedroom : shoe earrings, gold-plated silver (3 µm) and black enamel, 120€, chandelier necklace, rhodium-plated silver and crystal, 180€, mirror brooch, gold-plated silver (3 µm) and real mirror, 170€
Photos: F. Mattei & B.Giraudi
MissBibi, INTRIG Collection, at the Black Block, Palais de Tokyo, 13, avenue du président Wilson Paris 16°, +33 1 47 23 37 04
1- Telephone, ultra-varnished resin with strass-inlaid, metallic dial, necklace 115€, bracelet 115€, ring 90€
2- Adjustable spanner, silvery or golden metal, necklace 105€, bracelet 125€, earrings 75€
Miss Dior Chérie, eau de parfum, 50 ml spray, 81,67€
New bottle with vintage-inspired pink atomizer.
Notes of green tangerine and strawberry leaves, after a while violette, pink jasmine, caramelized pop-corn, and strawberry sorbet, eventually fresh patchouli and crystalline musk.
30, avenue Montaigne Paris 8°, +33 1 40 73 73 73