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Sensational Bouquets by Christian Tortu: Arrangements by a Master Floral Designer Hardcover – March 1, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

"Nature is a good guide; it teaches us everything," says master floral designer Christian Tortu. It is the perfect summation of his work. Unpretentious yet stunningly beautiful, Tortu's arrangements have drawn inspiration directly from his childhood treks through the countryside of his native town of Anjou, France.

Sensational Bouquets by Christian Tortu is at once an intimate profile of the artist--who has designed floral arrangements for Dior and Chanel, as well as for the Cannes Film Festival--and a useful guide to how he creates his exciting and unique bouquets.

Tortu always looks to nature for inspiration. There, he finds freedom: of form, of color, of scent, all mixed together flawlessly, without artifice or ostentation. Paying homage to nature's inherent sense of design, Tortu creates stunning arrangements while bending all the rules of traditional flower arranging. Unexpected plants join in clever, surprising combinations to celebrate the drama of nature--of birth and death, and everything in between. Garden roses nestle in a tangle of blackberry branches much as they would in an overgrown garden. Wild thistles poke their prickly blossoms out of a bunch of softer, rounder bred thistles and speak of a miraculous harmony between wild and cultivated plants. Green almonds, lotus fruit, and poppy capsules come together in an enthralling play of yellow against green.

As if Sylvain Thomas's sumptuous photographs of Tortu's arrangements weren't inspiration enough, the text of Sensational Bouquets reads like poetry. This book will both motivate and guide readers to toss out what they've learned about flower arranging and let nature and their own unbridled intuition dictate how they assemble their next gathering of wild and/or cultivated plants. --Robin Donovan

About the Author

Sylvain Thomas is a photographer for the French magazine Residences Decoration. His love of plants and flowers makes him the perfect photographer for Christian Tortu's designs. Corine Delahaye is an editor, writer and communications consultant for various publications, as well as a contributor to Maison et Objet, an important interior design exhibition in Paris.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Harry N. Abrams; First Edition edition (March 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810957310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810957312
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.9 x 12.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #884,024 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 29, 2003
Format: Hardcover
SENSATIONAL BOUQUETS BY CHRISTIAN TORTU is a visual treat as well as a learning inspiration for approaching that most personal craft of bringing the garden into the home - gathering and arranging flowers. Christian Tortu apparently has a following in Paris where he has a florist shop which has emphasized his creed of "All plants are born free and created equal." Having learned his craft and his passion for the natural garden from his parents as he matured in the Anjou gardens, gathering flowers from nature to place at the disposal of clients who yearn for the beauty of the garden to enter their home in ways other than window views, Tortu doesn't believe in the traditional 'sprays' of flowers place in an expensive family heirloom vase on a sterile table. Instead he combines fruit, vines, all phases of a flower's life ( bud, blossom, denuded vestige ) with grasses and all the elements found in the natural setting of his flowers. The results are lush, compact, original thoughts that are startlingly beautiful.
This is writer Corine Delahaze's first outing and she shows promise of a fine observor and poet. The photography is by Sylvain Thomas and emphasizes the closeup details as well as the free-standing wonders of Tortu's designs. The combination of text and photographs balances well with Tortu's creations. There is much more to learn about nature than just an ordinary treatise on flower arranging here. In Tortu's words "Nature is a place of total freedom. All plant life is accepted as equal." And from this humble belief Tortu lifts the spirit as well as the imagination with his artist's gift.
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43 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 11, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I enjoyed this book very much. Sensational Bouquets is rich in new thoughts about what flowers and plants represent, filled with novel arrangements, and is enriched by outstanding photography of those arrangements. After reading and viewing this book, you will never think about nature and natural beauty in quite the same way. You will be the richer for the experience, because your sense of beauty will expand as a result.
Christian Tortu grew up on a truck farm in Anjou, and is proud of his agricultural roots. Now he designs backdrops for fashion shows and the Cannes Film Festival. He operates floral shops in major cities around the world.
Let me share a little of his philosophy, as described in the many sections he wrote for the book. "Each plant is a fragment of a landscape . . . ." In his arrangements, he creates that sense of landscape in a way that I have never seen before in flower arrangements. Nature is palpable in them.
"If man were to stop rushing around for one moment, he might take a look at flowers -- and then take a closer look." I remember having that experience in the orchid garden in Honolulu. I was enthralled with the beautiful blossoms in my 20 minute self-guided tour. As I was about to leave, an elderly gentleman asked me if I would like to have some help in looking around. I agreed, and spent the next three hours going over the same ground with him. Except I saw about 100 times as much with his help. I was astonished at how many delightful orchids I had totally missed in my haste (and I had thought I was being leisurely).
"In time, his convictions would crumble, and he would realize classification is fruitless even beyond flowers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancee 123 on September 21, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was excited when Sensational Bouquets arrived, but soon realized this book was not what I had expected it to be. I assumed, incorrectly, that this beautiful book would include some "how to" information about creating similar arrangements for my own home. This is clearly a coffee table book, a gorgeous one at that, but if you are looking to learn how to re-create amazing arrangements for yourself, you won't find any help included within these pages.

This is strictly a picture book, and if that is what you are looking for, look no further this is it. However, if you desire some specific insight into how to create your own sensational bouquets, better to look elsewhere.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By P. Webb on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got hooked on his designs while in Paris. If you are ever there you MUST visit his shop(s)!!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is at best a coffee table book. I didn't realize when I purchased this book that it is a mere flower pictorial and does not lend itself to teaching anything really about flowers or how to arrange. But I give this book props for it's beauty and picture layout.
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