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Lessons From Madame Chic: The Top 20 Things I Learned While Living in Paris Paperback – November 17, 2011

440 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Scott spent six months in Paris in 2001 as part of a foreign-exchange program. What she observed and learned fills this book. Many of these style secrets—for instance, how to eat and what to wear—can be found elsewhere, but Scott’s 20 tips cover much more than the traditional diet-and-exercise and style-and-beauty. Extremely readable short chapters include recaps of the major points discussed in them, and those points include always looking presentable, realizing that clutter is not chic, cultivating your mind, and living life as a formal affair. Each of those lessons features tidbits Scott picked up from her two Parisian families, here called the Chics and the Bohemians. Throughout, two words appear most often—quality and passion. --Barbara Jacobs --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Personable, anecdote-filled and studded with lifestyle tips... its vivacity and sincerity have struck a chord among women who would like a French role model of their own, but don't have a year to spend apprenticing with one in Paris." - The New York Times

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 210 pages
  • Publisher: Jennifer L. Scott (November 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0615552935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0615552934
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (440 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jennifer L. Scott is the New York Times bestselling author of Lessons from Madame Chic, At Home with Madame Chic and Polish Your Poise with Madame Chic (Simon & Schuster) and creator of the blog The Daily Connoisseur. She is a contributing writer for Huffington Post Style and has been featured on CNN, BBC, and CBS News, and in The New York Times, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Newsweek, and The Daily Mail. She lives with her family in Los Angeles, California.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

190 of 200 people found the following review helpful By Simply Luxurious on November 6, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Jennifer L. Scott's Lessons from Madame Chic is certainly a must-have for Francophiles, but it is also a wonderful resource for anyone who wishes to cultivate a more simply luxurious way of living. Through beautiful narrations, Madame Chic's lessons are shared in three different parts on the subjects of Diet & Exercise, Style and Beauty, and lastly, How to Live Well.

Based on Scott's time as a foreign exchange student in Paris as a young woman, she is now a mother of two young daughters, happily married and living in southern California, so she converses with her readers from a relatable platform. Immediately upon reading it again, I was reminded of another author who shares her insights and tips on living well with inspiration from the French - Mireille Guiliano. Scott's tips are weaved skillfully into her experiences and time with Madame Chic and her Parisian family, so much so that you feel you are having a conversation with a trusted, yet wiser girlfriend.

And the beauty of discovering her book was that it didn't have to end once I finished reading it. As the founder of the blog The Daily Connoisseur, readers are able to enjoy a regular dose of inspiration and YouTube video instructions on how to continually integrate the fine art of French living into their every day lives.

The re-released edition of Lessons from Madame Chic (279 pages) contains the same content I initially raved about in my review in April, but is now adequately accessorized with illustrations found throughout the entire book from the talented artist and designer Virginia Johnson.
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263 of 299 people found the following review helpful By Khezla Durr on December 16, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book tremendously and found the chapters on skin care and makeup especially interesting to me personally. The author comes across as honest and candid about her feelings regarding her experience with French culture. Several things she says have also been discussed in Mireille Giuliano's books, so there is consistency.

However, I could not help but think about how much easier it would be for Americans to have a better work-life balance if so many people I know didn't have to work overloaded jobs at 50 and 60 hours a week to keep from getting laid off, plus deal with 2-hour daily commutes, and bosses who complain vigorously if a person leaves one's desk for anything more than a trip to the restroom or the company microwave to warm a frozen lunch, never mind a refreshing lunchtime walk. This is why we have gyms and home exercise videos, to replace what the French people get naturally in the course of a day's business. Also, it would be easy to turn out beautiful, gourmet meals and have an uncluttered house if the working women I know only had to work part-time like the lady of the house for the French host family of the author. The habit of the Frenchmen to pick up after themselves is a big help to the uncluttered look of a house, as well. How gallant of them.

The big secret of the French weight control seems to be lots and lots of walking and stair climbing. We're just not set up for that. Things here are laid out in a spacious manner conducive to driving and many, many areas, both commercial and residential, are too dangerous to walk in, whether because of pit bulls, no sidewalks, or demographics. The neighborhoods compact enough to walk in for any food marketing are generally older, and simply not safe.
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125 of 143 people found the following review helpful By SwissMiss on March 19, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I just bought the Kindle version of this book over the weekend. It is a short read, and I skimmed over the last half of it. I enjoyed the concept, and I'm thoroughly impressed that this book began as a self-published title. It has received a lot of reviews and acknowledgment (an article on!). I have also lived in Western Europe as an exchange student to Switzerland, and I wanted to see if Ms. Scott's observations/experiences were similar at all to mine.

Overall, this book is a good primer for those looking to bring refinement and simplicity to their lives. I agreed with many precepts and already utilize nearly all of her tips in my own life. Thus, I did not necessarily learn anything new from this book. However, for someone who has not traveled much or someone who wishes to give a book to someone looking for a more European/upscale lifestyle this book has much to offer.

For some however, this book many not resonate due to the banal advice. The grammatical errors and the colloquialisms detracted from Ms. Scott's overarching messages of elegance, grace, and formality as well. For instance, in the Kindle version, the word "tenant" is used when describing a Parisian lifestyle approach. From the sentence context, "tenet" would have been the correct word choice. These kinds of oversights can be easily forgiven when someone understands the spirit of the book. However, to me and other bibliophiles, this kind of mistake might be distracting. This is not to criticize Ms. Scott's efforts to make seemingly difficult lifestyle changes accessible; rather it is merely a comment or warning for readers who might be looking for sophisticated French cultural commentary or analysis.

On the whole, I enjoyed this book, and I have started reading Ms. Scott's blog The Daily Connoisseur as a result.
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