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Taking a cue from the exotic encyclopedias of the sixteenth century, which brimmed with mysterious artifacts, Jessica Kerwin Jenkins’s Encyclopedia of the Exquisite focuses on the elegant, the rare, the commonplace, and the delightful. A compendium of style, it merges whimsy and practicality, traipsing through the fine arts and the worlds of fashion, food, travel, home, garden, and beauty. A lifestyle guide for the Francophile and the Anglomaniac, the gourmet and the style maven, the armchair traveler and the art lover. It’s an homage to the esoteric world of glamour that doesn’t require much spending but makes us feel rich.
Each entry features several engaging anecdotes, illuminating the curious past of each enduring source of beauty such as the explosive history of champagne; the art of lounging on a divan; the first lacy, racy lingerie; the ancient uses of sweet-smelling saffron; Julia Child’s tip for cooking the perfect omelet; the polarizing practice of wearing red lipstick during World War II and more! Cleverly illustrated, Encyclopedia of the Exquisite is an ode to life’s plenty, from the extravagant to the eccentric. It is a celebration of luxury that doesn’t necessarily require money.
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