People I love

Friday, 2 March 2012

Lady Ophelia, the Rose of Zurich

Week 9 of Darcy's Postcard Challenge finds Lady Ophelia in Switzerland.

There are many interesting things about Switzerland, both political and cultural, but I found the history of the Givaudin company most interesting. They produced household chemicals and toiletries, and flavourings for the food industry....and I always thought the use of these chemical additives was a more modern thing!
In 1895, Leon and Xavier Givaudin opened a new headquarters in Zurich. They were expanding their company to produce bespoke "perfumes", and their recipes were top secret. Even in our modern times the Givaudin company has produced for top clients such as Calvin Klein and numerous celebrities.

"Dear Miss Lillian,
Well it seems Richard has taken to heart your concerns about the amount of time we are spending in countries plagued by war. So he has brought me to the only truly neutral place he could think of "Switzerland". He chose to bring me to Zurich after receiving a mysterious letter from here, and on arrival we were escorted to the new headquarters of the Givaudin brothers. They make food flavourings, but are branching out into custom made Ladies perfumes. They presented me with an enormous bottle of something that smells of roses. Very beautiful. As we had already sent you Edelweisses, I asked if we could get you a bottle of Edelweiss perfume as a gift? The gentlemen looked quite shocked, and asked if I wanted to see you covered in flies? Leon laughed, and gave me another bottle of the rose scented one, to present to "your very special English Rose". Richard is sending it by courier, so it does not get damaged in the post.

Yours affectioately
Effie XXX

p.s. Hope your feeling better now the "Frost" has past"
"My darling Effie,
you are such a sweetheart. The rose scented perfume will be just fine. Edelweiss(plural as singular) have an odour that is designed to attract flies in order to pollinate them. What we see as white petals are, in fact, velvety leaves. The actual flower parts to this pretty little plant are the tiny yellow dots. It would be impossible to extract a scent from such minute florets.
The letter Sir Richard received was probably notice that the fragrance he ordered for you was ready to collect. The Givaudin brothers are renowned for their desire to keep their recipes secret, and every new product is greatly sought after. So it is a very generous gift you are sending me.
Yes, I am feeling much stronger this week now that the "Frost" has PASSED, thank you. Although I have attended many funerals of both young and old alike, but the Spring heralds new life. So, like the edelweiss, we must turn our faces to the sun and smile.

your ever-loving Governess
Miss Lillian xxx

p.s. Did you know that the Edelweiss is from the same family as the Sunflower? Vary strange relations indeed!"

The images on my page are: A bottle of Rose d'Or, an envelope postmarked Zurich, and an image of Zurich, all from 1895. The photo is Leon Givaudin.
I had already painted an Edelweiss on my Austrian card, so I painted a Sweet Briar Rose to represent the perfume on this one :D
Enjoy :D XXX
Photobucket

40 comments:

  1. Gorgeous postcard and book! Love your story too!

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  2. What a delightful post....Austria and Switzerland two of my fav places in the world ;)
    xoxo Sioux
    P.S. would not delete your comment it was right on many levels! LOL

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  3. Great postcard and book.

    Nicki.xxx

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  4. l love the rose with all the details on it. reminds me on spring YAY

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  6. Really interesting as well as beautiful card. Learning so much during this challenge...thanks for sharing!!

    Hugs,
    Abby

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  7. that is beautiful, love the soft colors I can almost smell 'em.

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  8. Beautiful post Gina,lovely card and your story is so sweet! M

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  9. Oh good, I got my fun facts for the day! I love your flowers. So pretty on a winter day.

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  10. Lovely as always! ♥
    And I thought while reading about Edelweisses something was wrong and read the PS three times thinking something was wrong but didn't see it...
    Ha, wasn't aware I was reading your blog and was supposed to look for errors!!! Well done! :)

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  11. Delightful addition this week and thank you for the history lesson! Lovely work.

    Janet xx

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  12. Another gorgeous flower, Gina! Always love the story. :)

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  13. love your flowers, and thanks for the info.its nice to get to know all things we find out.

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  14. Not only beautiful art work but very interesting read today thank you for sharing and your roses are delightful, love the Journal page as well just lovely Dawn xx

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  15. Again a beautiful flower, loving to read of Lady Olivia and Sir Richard. Caz

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  16. gorgeous rose, love the info about Edelweiss and the Swiss perfume company...where do find all this from lol you come up with such good stuff.

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    Replies
    1. Wickie lol....but then I double check the net :D

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  17. Wonderful card and as always a great story. A xx

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  18. Gina, your story is magical. It transports. Your illustrations to go with just magnify the experience. You are gifted. *smiles* Norma

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  19. I have created a somewhat similar book from years ago ... it was so much fun and enlightening. Love your postcard and post.

    Hug and Happiness to all.

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  20. A delightful letter, exquisite design. Greetings and happy weekend.

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  21. Beautiful flower! Love the pages your putting together each week.

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  22. tres jolie...rose d'or...what a beautiful fragrance for Miss Lillian...loving your soft pastel flowers...FAB...aloha.

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  23. Lovely work! Is that true about the edelweiss and the sunflower? Valerie

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    Replies
    1. Apparently...news to me too :D

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  24. Another gem... you fill us with facts every week and entertain delightfully!

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  25. Love the softness of the card- Didn't you find it interesting that Switzerland DOES not have a national flower?

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    Replies
    1. Very surprised...they must have some beautiful alpines :D

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  26. another amazing creation... and story. r u a history buff????

    hugs :)

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    Replies
    1. Yes...but Wikipedia is very helpful lol

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  27. Really delicious Sweet Briar Rose.

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  28. i learn something new every week, and the thing about edelweiss is this weeks new fact, gorgeous work Gina, I've done the doings in the secret what not - just doing you a quick little thing me jig too and will mail on Weds. Both should be back with you by Friday latest,
    dx

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    Replies
    1. so excited .....:D Sssshhhh :D

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    2. be quiet then - or the cat will be out of the baggage!

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  29. Beautiful rose postcard and such a sweet and loving story this week. Enjoying this correspondence very much.
    Jen x

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  30. Such fun you are having with this -- I am enjoying it all so much. xo Donna

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  31. Yes, we must turn our faces to the sun and smile

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  32. Another fabulous page in your project.

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  33. Beautiful flower drawing. love your story

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