Opera singer and co-founder of Léo et Violette, Violette Polchi reveals her Paris loves.
Despite a packed schedule filled with rehearsals and performances, Paris-based opera singer Violette Polchi has still carved out enough time to launch a special line of accessories designed for a digital generation who never leave the house without a laptop or tablet. Exclusively for Paris Inspires, she reveals her Paris loves.
If Paris were a fashion accessory, what would it be?
It would have to be a large multi-purpose bag just like the one Mary Poppins had, the type which women can keep all sorts of special gems or secrets. A kind of metaphor for Paris’ different neighborhoods, which each boast their very own idiosyncrasies
Which spots typify Paris for you?
1/ Rue Lepic des Abbesses in Montmartre and the 18th arrondissement because it reminds me of my youth and the weekends we spent going to the market, wandering among the stall holders and enjoying street musicians’ music floating past. 2/ The Auteuil Glasshouses with its Palm house. As soon as the weather gets colder it’s the perfect place to enjoy a little warm air and the guaranteed feeling you’ve escaped to the tropics. 3/The Musée de la Vie Romantique, Paris’ Museum of the Romantics on Rue Chaptal, because it provides a relaxing a breather from the frenetic pace of Parisian life. It’s a calm and relaxing spot right in the heart of the 9th arrondissement with a beautiful little garden that makes for the perfect spot for sipping on a tea when the sun’s out.
Rue Lepic, Metro Blanche.
Serres d’Auteuil, 3 Avenue de la Porte d'Auteuil, 75016 Paris.
Musée de la Vie Romantique, 16 Rue Chaptal, 75009 Paris. Tel.: 01 55 31 95 67.
Which typically Parisian traditions do you like?
Parisians seem to constantly complain about Paris and the metro system, about too many people or too much rain… Yet, even after a short escape from the capital most of us can’t wait to get back to our Parisian habits!
Do you have any particularly moving memories of Paris?
How would you describe the typical Parisienne?
She has a very distinct look that’s light, chic and elegant. That and a clever instinct for capturing the moment by mixing timeless pieces with what she wears.
Describe your beauty routine, what makes it very Parisian?
My beauty routine is very Parisian because it’s spontaneous and unique. Let me explain: for me beauty is as much about how we take care of ourselves and the food we eat as it is the makeup we wear. I only ever use vegetable oils, like coconut or Argan oil on my hair, or rosehip, sweet almond oil or aloe vera gel on my face. Sometimes, to make sure I meet my skin’s needs I play chemist and blend a few different oils together. As far as makeup goes, I have three go-tos: Lancôme’s Hypnôse mascara, a bronzing powder and a beautiful lip color which I wear lightly or layered more heavily depending on where I am going.
Do you have any particular beauty no-no’s?
It’s all about balance, nothing’s set in stone. It’s always best to just make the most of what nature has given us, playing up individual strengths and to dare to be bold.
What thought gets you out of bed on a difficult morning?
I love mornings. I make breakfast, have some tea and think about the day awaiting me and what I want to achieve. So much fills my mind. The only rule is that the sun must be up.
Are there any phrases that make you smile?
“Feet on the ground, head in the stars,” which in practical terms translates to: smile and use your energy to achieve your hopes and plans. Anything is possible, you just have to keep striving.
Do you have any particular beauty habits?
So I don’t get sick in the winter, I find that there’s nothing quite like a little dose of Ravintsara essential oil, which is known to stimulate the immune system. There’s nothing better, no matter whether you diffuse it or massage it onto the body (diluted in a little vegetable oil).
Where do you like to take tea?
Claus, a little breakfast place. You can get the best brunch in Paris there with eggs, open-faced sandwiches and even a Super Breakfast Bowl made from rice milk yogurt, oats, avocado, goji berries, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, sesame seeds and blueberries. It’s lactose-free, gluten-free and a wonderful whole food.
Chez Claus, 14 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 75001 Paris. Tel: 01 42 33 55 10.
Where do you go for lunch with friends?
We love to go to Oenosteria, a real little Italian place in the 6th arrondissement. They have really good cheeses and cured meats on the menu, plus it’s simple, friendly, warm and inviting.
Oenosteria, 40 Rue Grégoire de Tours, 75006 Paris. Tel.: 01 77 15 94 13
Where’s your favorite place for a stroll with friends, kids or your love?
I prefer not to have a set itinerary. For me an outstanding walk is one that is spur of the moment, well, as long as you have tennis shoes on!