Divine Mercy Sunday

April 24, 2017

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

1 Peter 1 3-9

A la Madeleine

July 22, 2011

The Bride says:
On my bed at night I sought him
whom my heart loves –
I sought him but I did not find him.
I will rise then and go about the city;
in the streets and crossings I will seek
Him whom my heart loves.
I sought him but I did not find him.
The watchmen came upon me,
as they made their rounds of the city:
Have you seen him whom my heart loves?
I had hardly left them
when I found him whom my heart loves.

Song of Songs 3:1-4b

Veni Sancte Spiritus

June 12, 2011

Embrace the unexpected.

April 27, 2011

Jean Louis Henri Bousquet has a knack for names. “But,” you may ask, “Who is Jean Louis Henri Bousquet?” Good question. Jean Bousquet is the founder of one of France’s best-known fashion houses, Cacharel.

A native of Nîmes in the Provence region of France, Bousquet moved to Paris in the mid-1950s and officially adopted the name, Cacharel, which he took from the local word for the garganey, a small migratory duck (Anas querquedula) of the Camargue river delta. In 1962, he founded his fashion house and gave it his new name, Cacharel, a name that precisely captured the spirit of his terre natale.

In 1978, Cacharel, in partnership with L’Oréal, launched its first fragrance, Anaïs Anaïs. A distinctly provençal name, Anaïs provided a brilliant choice for Cacharel’s first fragrance and a perfect nod to his beloved Provence. Both Cacharel and Anaïs infuse his brand with his Provençal heritage.

“The delicate and ultra-feminine Anaïs Anaïs,” with its blend of “sweet rose, voluptuous lily, creamy amber and powerful sandalwood,” and “trace of frankincense [that] seals the accord for a sensation of pleasure and intrigue”[i] resonated well with modern young women, and within two years of its launch, Anaïs Anaïs became the leading perfume in Europe.[ii]

The perfume’s success and the enduring cachet of its name contribute much to current familiarity with the name, Anaïs, around the world.  Perhaps Cacharel’s greatest intuition was that the name, Anaïs, is itself a sort of fragrance. Anaïs acts as a metonymy for perfume, taking the positions of both signifier and signified. Cacharel underscores this insight by doubling the name, Anaïs Anaïs, like two spritzes from its porcelain-esque bottle.

Like a fragrance, Anaïs resists definitive interpretations, guarding an air of mystery and intrigue, and hinting at different geographies, languages, names, myths, and histories. An exact etymology is virtually impossible, but certain notes can be discerned.

Top notes or first impressions of the name, Anaïs, are its Provençal and Catalan resonances. Anaïs is often cited as a Provençal and Catalan name for Anne. The particular sound of the name evokes the histories, cultures, languages, dialects, and geographies of Provence, Catalonia and Andorra, whose Mediterranean regions give Anaïs its sweet floral notes.

Top notes also include the various first impressions evoked by the name that, nevertheless, lead to false etymologies. They are mere suggestions, hints, and impressions, and dissipate quickly. Nonetheless, they constitute part of the experience of the name and deserve a brief mention. The impressions could include the Greek water nymph, Danaïs (Naïs, an opera by Jean-Philippe Rameau, was performed in Paris in 1749); the Persian goddess of love, Anahita; and the ancient Irish word for joy and goddess of love, Ainè. Anise, the flowering plant, shares sonorous qualities with the name, Anaïs, and lends to it a certain spicy texture.

The top notes of Anaïs, therefore, are Provence and Catalonia and their respective languages, cultures, and histories; Greek water nymphs; ancient Persian and Irish goddesses of love; joy; anise; femininity; sweetness; spice; mystery; intrigue; softness; and virtually all other individual first impressions evoked by the name.

The middle or heart notes of a fragrance emerge just prior to the dissipation of the top notes. In the case of an etymology of Anaïs, these notes prove more credible.

The first heart note of Anaïs is Anne of which it is certainly a variant form. All Annes can be traced back to Byzantine devotion to Saint Anne, the mother of the Blessed Virgin Mary, which began in the Byzantine Empire from very early times. Emperor Justinian built a church to Saint Anne in 550, in which her relics were enshrined in 710. From that time forward, Greek girls and those of adjoining nations who looked to Constantinople as their head, were apt to be christened Anna, and the name spread westward.[iii] Saint Anne is the patron saint of many occupations and places, notably grandmothers, mothers, women in labor, Brittany, and Quebec. Her feast day is celebrated on July 26. Anne carries regal resonances as many queens were named Anne or a variant thereof.

A second heart note of Anaïs may be the name, Isabel, as Anaïs may be the shortened form of the composite name, Ana-Isabel, or Anne-Isabelle in French. Isabel is derived from the Old Spanish name, Elisabet, whose initial syllable, El-, taken for a definite article (“the”), was dropped, and the final syllable, -bet, was replaced by the more common ending, -el. During the Middle Ages, the name, Isabel, spread from Spain to France, England, Italy, Portugal, and Germany.[iv] Saint Elizabeth, the first saint of this name, was the mother of John the Baptist and the cousin of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The feast of Saint Elizabeth is celebrated on November 5. As in the case of Anne, many queens were named a variant form of Elizabeth or Isabel, lending the name a regal quality.

The middle or heart notes of Anaïs are Anne and Isabelle (Ana and Isabel), Saints Anne and Elizabeth, motherhood, and royalty.

The base notes of Anaïs are the ancient words that bring depth and solidity to the name. Anne comes from the Hebrew word, Chaanach, which has the aspirate at each end, signifying favor, mercy, or grace.[v] From Chaanach we get Hannah, and from Hannah, Anna, by way of Greek and Latin. The name, Hannah, is first made known to us in the Old Testament in the name of the mother of the prophet Samuel.

Elizabeth comes from the Hebrew name Elischeba. Elischeba was the wife of Aaron, Moses’ brother. At the period of the Exodus, it had become common to include a dedication to the Deity in the name by beginning or ending the name with a word of divine signification. The Hebrew word, El, a shortened form of Elohim, was the divine title known even before the special revelation to Moses in the burning bush. The Hebrew name, Elischeba, means, “God hath sworn.”[vi]

The base notes of Anaïs are God’s favor, mercy, grace, and promise.

True harmony exists among the notes of the floral-oriental Anaïs, and a trace of grace seals the accord.

[i] <http://www.cacharel.com/_en/_int/home.aspx?lg=en&exo=&&gt;

[ii] Nicholas Rowell, Pierre Chandon, and Klaus Wertenbroch. “Parfums Cacharel de L’Oréal 1997-2007: Decoding and Revitalizing a Classic Brand.” INSEAD Case Studies.  INSEAD, 2007. Web. 12 Dec. 2010.

[iii] Charlotte M. Yonge, History of Christian Names (London: MacMillan and Co., 1884) 41.

[iv] Chantal Tanet and Tristan Hordé, Dictionnaire des prénoms (Paris: Larousse, 2000) 241.

[v] Yonge, 39.

[vi] Yonge, 33.

© Anaïs Saint-Jude, 2017.


November 25, 2010

Rejoice always. In all circumstances give thanks.


November 23, 2010

She came to me
She did
‘Tis true
My fairy godmother
Told me
All I must do
To live a life
Free and true
She told me true
I swear
You see
Everything life can be
Is hidden inside a fairy tale
Blows where it will
O’er hill and dale
‘Tis true
‘Tis true
Said she to me
The fairy tale’s the place to be
All that lives and breathes our air
Is found in fairy tale
Safe and fair
Sleeping Beauty
The Princess and the Pea
A life well lived
If lived
Said she
Is lived inside a mystery
Mysteries whisper
Mysteries whirl
Slip inside the curl
Of the fairy tale wave
And ride and ride
Until the grave
Remember always
She said to me
The sweetness of the mystery

© Anaïs Saint-Jude, 2017.


November 17, 2010

The light of dawn floated quietly into her room.  She lay there, draped in dream. “Something for you,” he whispered. “Thank you,” she smiled, admiring its brilliance. Then, bewildered, she awoke.

© Anaïs Saint-Jude, 2017.


November 9, 2010

Sitting in the Lane Reading Room at a large oak desk, the table lamp’s incandescent light cuts through the light of day’s end wrapping around the room. Someone is whistling downstairs. Dictionnaire culturel en langue française sous la direction d’Alain Rey spills across four volumes on a shelf to my left. I type the date of the play’s first performance in Paris: November 9, 1668. You cross my path again.

© Anaïs Saint-Jude, 2017.

On your birthday

November 5, 2010

How does one give a gift to she who is pure gift? Never, my darling, could I give you a gift so great as ever to come close to the gift you are to me. Please accept all my love, my sweet girl, as my everlasting gift to you. Still, that love is water from the well of you.

© Anaïs Saint-Jude, 2017.