I have always had a weird obsession with Marie Antoinette, regardless of her track record as a horrible, greedy, negligent queen. I mean, “Let them eat cake”? It’s so mean and dismissive, but so wonderfully glamorous and catchy at the same time (though it's rumoured she actually meant the burnt pieces of bread in the ovens, called “cakes” at the time).
My love for M.A. was originally sparked by the Sofia Coppola film, a movie that’s basically just two hours of magnificent pastel eye candy with a great soundtrack. Then came my first visit to Versailles in 2009, and my second last year, which took my love affair to a whole new level. The luxury! The beauty! The ridiculous golden and crystal everything! It was all just too much prettiness, and although I thought seeing the real thing in person might dash all my illusions about Marie and her decadent life, it only made me more intrigued.
Upon doing further research, I found Marie Antoinette and I actually have very similar tastes. A woman of florals, silk and pastels, M.A. scented all of her chambers heavily with potpourri and floral sachets, and dined almost exclusively on chocolate and sweets (even for breakfast). She owned multiple rooms of clothing, and loved planning outfits, so each morning she put together looks using a little catalogue that was specially made for her, marking what she wanted to wear that day with pins. Everything she owned and used was curated and beautiful, and it’s rumoured she even used a rhubarb wash to give her natural hair a hint of pink!
I mean, I don’t have access to the luxury and riches she did, but I like to think she’d admire my more humble pastel wardrobe and mini macaron feasts.
My favourite bits to read about Marie Antoinette lately are the snippets about her beauty routine. Whether compiled from the speculation of historians and experts of the time or pulled directly from the diaries of women who knew and served her, the details I’ve been able to find about her beauty interests are right up my alley.
Based on my research, here’s a list of products I think Marie would splurge on if she were here today:
TokyoMilk Bon Bon Lip Balm in Candied Violette
It’s common knowledge that Marie loved all things sweet and floral, so I think this luxe sunflower seed oil, beeswax, vitamin E, aloe vera and shea butter lip balm scented with sugared violet leaves, crushed nectarines and honeycrisp apples would be right up her alley, especially for those long days wandering through the trails that cover the grounds of Versailles. Oh, and did I mentioned the box is decorated with delicate flowers with glittering petals?
Fig + Yarrow Floral Milk Bath
Though it was uncommon for the time, Marie Antoinette loved baths and had them frequently in a room with slanted tiles so the water drained away, dressed in a special bathing chemise designed for her by her perfumer. A woman after my own heart, she had custom muslin sachets of flowers and essential oils added to her bath water to scent it and make her skin softer.
I think Fig and Yarrow’s Floral Milk Bath--a soothing blend of sea salt, organic buttermilk powder, geranium, rosewood and jasmine--would’ve suited her bathtime needs.
Deborah Lippmann Nail Color in Blue Orchid
Though nail polish wasn’t big at Versailles, I know Marie Antoinette would have adored this perfect powder-blue spring colour from Deborah Lippmann. Based on paintings of the late queen, this particular shade of blue was one of her favourites!
All Things Tocca
Tocca is one of those brands that just gets M.A.
Packaged in incredible boxes with gold foil details and delicate patterns, all of their products look like they’ve been transported in a time machine from Marie Antoinette’s dressing table to the modern world. I especially think she’d love their Violette Perfume, a rich blend of rose, violet, cedarwood, bergamot, and black currants that truly smells like warm spring afternoons spent in a meadow.
Lulu Organics Jasmine Hair Powder
Though bathing was a frequent routine for Marie Antoinette, washing her hair was not. Most men and women at the time wore wigs, but even the wigs were often powdered and scented to keep oil and other undesirables away.
Lulu Organic’s scented hair powder is all-natural, floral, and gives light-coloured hair the perfect powdery texture. (In fact, I used it for my tall hairstyle in the photos for this post!)
Mullein & Sparrow French Lavender Body Oil
Women in Versailles in the era of Marie Antoinette often wore scented gloves, sometimes just for bed, and sometimes throughout the day as well. Though it’s likely Marie Antoinette’s gloves were lined with more simple ingredients like rose water, almond oil and wax, I think she would’ve been totally open to switching it up with this thick sunflower oil enriched with lavender and vitamin E.
Lollia Wish Products
Though I haven’t yet splurged on a bottle of Lollia’s perfume, I am completely enamoured by the hand creams and shower gels I’ve tried. My favourite Lollia scent collection, by far, is Wish. First introduced to me by Rachel, Wish is a blend of sugar cane, vanilla bean, jasmine, rice flower, amber, ylang ylang, and sugared pastille. The result is a heavenly scent that reminds me of cotton candy, hot tea, and sweet dreams.
TokyoMilk I Want Candy No. 4 Perfume
I almost went with TokyoMilk’s famous Let Them Eat Cake, but personally I prefer I Want Candy, and since Marie and I have so much in common, I think she’d support my choice.
A refreshing mixture of rose, violet, apple, and peaches, this fragrance smells like Marie Antoinette’s chambers do in my imagination. Clean and floral, decadent and light, this scent is perfect for Spring mornings lazing on a pink velvet chaise lounge with a vanilla macaron.
Fig + Yarrow Rose + Vanilla Tinted Lip Blush
Rouge was essential for the cheeks and lips in times before blush and lipstick, and Versailles was no exception. It is said that Marie used a rose and vanilla pomade stick on her lips to add a bit of dewy shine to the she’d applied rouge, so I picked a similar modern product: Fig and Yarrow’s Rose and Vanilla Tinted Lip Blush. A lightweight, oil based product naturally tinted red with alkanet root, I love adding a touch of this sweet balm to my cheeks and lips for a subtle, rosy flush.
Mullein & Sparrow French Lavender Body Powder
We already know Marie Antoinette liked to bathe frequently, but I think she’d appreciate this French Lavender powder for the days when she didn’t have a chance soak.
Designed to keep skin smooth, dry and soft, this powder is perfect for giving your body a hint of floral fragrance on non-shower days. With arrowroot, kaolin clay, and essential oils, this powder is like a dry shampoofor your body!
Did I miss anything? What luxe products make you feel like a modern day Marie Antoinette?