Published on 15/06/15 in Reading
…The night was moonless and thousands of stars sparkled in the sky. The limousines stopped at the door of The Pierre, leaving the guests and quickly departing to be lost in the traffic of Fifth Avenue. Nelson Kimberly greeted the people in the small round room, the Rotunda, which was reminiscent of an Italian palazzo.
Natalia had convinced the experts to make the presentation of her perfume in this room.
"It's small," they said, thinking of the thousand people who were expected to attend the event.
"We will reduce them," she answered. "I am not interested in how many, but who will come."
Maria Pia, the specialist of Public Relations was on her side.
"Follow your instincts," she told her. "Don't worry. We are all here for you."
"Look Maria Pia," she told her. "Look at this flight of stairs. I will appear here. I will come out of the door, go to the small balcony and gaze for a few minutes at the people before beginning to slowly descend the stairs."
Maria Pia brought to her mind the image with a small smile on her lips. The young Lemaire knew exactly what she wanted. Natalia took her hand and led her next door. "We will hold the dinner here, in the Cotillon."
A combination of pastel baby blue and purple colours covered the walls, in the same tone, velvet curtains adorned the small semicircular balconies, and it seemed that small candles had been placed in the crystal chandeliers. When she approached the window, she looked beyond at the golden red foliage of Central Park. The entire room looked like a stage set. Natalia had been dreaming of it for days now...
Excerpt from the novel FRAGRANCES I wrote in 1989.
It was late November, I remember, when I stayed at The Pierre. In the afternoons, I took tea in the small round room and, gazing up at the charming flight of stairs, I was inspired to write this scene. One day, I saw the chandeliers all lit up in the Cotillon and I wandered in the room. Enchanted, I looked around and began to imagine what Natalia would do.
Since then, I have visited New York several times, but I have never happened to stay at The Pierre again. Recently, however, in late November, while staying on Fifth Avenue, a voice inside me pushed me to see the small round room again. Since then, the world has changed. I too have changed. Even the management at the Pierre has changed and my favourite Taj Hotels, which I described in my last book about Idia, have undertaken it. The Cotillon has changed too; its old pastel colours don't cover the walls anymore. What hasn't changed, true to its dreamlike atmosphere, is the small Rotunda.
Image: The Rotunda at The Pierre
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