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PRINT September 2020

DEAR MARIE

Marie Laurencin, La femme-cheval (The Woman-Horse), 1918, oil on canvas, 24 3/8 × 18 3/8". © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

DEAR MARIE,

I haven’t come across a single mention of what perfume you wore. Perhaps Le Rose de Nicole Groult or Le Bleu de Nicole Groult, scents launched by Nicole Groult in her (and your) roaring heyday, some in flacons designed by her husband for Daum? Hard to believe you wouldn’t know notes of either—lily of the valley, lilac—on your pulse points. Nicole Groult synchronized the beat for the happiest moments of your life, as her name does this letter.

Le Rose de Nicole Groult glass perfume bottle, 1923. Photo: Perfume Bottles Auction.

She dressed a staunch, arty syndicate: Dorothy Parker, Virginia Woolf, Sara Murphy, Olga Picasso, Marie-Laure de Noailles, Madge Garland; all grooved wearing Groult. I’m looking at a receipt (“20 décembre 1920”) for eight items of clothing for you from her fashion salon, 29, rue D’Anjou, Paris. After all the turd-buggered wartime slaughter—fresh air, fresh rhythms. Gabrièle Buffet-Picabia, never your biggest fan (she

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