The Magical French Oil

magic oilSecond Avenue in New York City may not have the same panache as Madison Avenue, or even Lexington or Third, but it now forever holds a spot in my francophile heart.

Striding down the sidewalk the other day, I caught a glimpse of something so totally French in a storefront window that I stopped in my tracks and entered.  It was a hair salon, and they were selling Nuxe Huile Prodigeuse Or, a product I had never seen outside of France. 

It had been a staple in my batterie de maquillage in France. Tested chez des copines, forever enamoured of the little bottle of gold. A little on the cheekbones.  A little on the hair. A little mixed in with the body lotion for that overall glow.  My French friends all knew the subtle beauty secret.

I had assumed that I'd have to wait until my next trip to France to re-stock. (Because, in a moment of  extreme maternal generosity,  I had offered the rest of my precious bottle to Miss Bee, who loved the stuff SO much.)

But.... how could I have presumed that Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse Or was not available in the U.S.?  Silly me!  This is New York.  New York has everything.  

But the best part?  I entered the salon, Paris taxi queueMarianne Vera, a beehive of activity, and headed straight for the Huile Prodigeuse in the window display.  The owner approached me and didn't even attempt English.  "Bonjour, je suis Marianne, je peux vous aider?"

We started jabbering away in French, and I was happy to have a new acquaintance in the neighborhood who understood French beauty products (and maybe, eventually, my hair?).

"But... but...  how did you know to address me in French?" I asked, bewildered.  "This never happened to me in France! Despite my efforts, I am always pegged as an American."

"Simple," she replied.  "Only Parisiennes see it in the store window and stop to buy the product.  Les Americaines don't know what it is."

But now you do.

Polly is a Boston born Baby Boomer who lived on the Left Bank in Paris and is still blogging about it at Polly-Vous Francais. © 2006-2010, Polly-Vous Francais, all rights reserved.

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