That N word … & perfume … but something does not smell nice …

Shall I say it?

Jean-Paul Guerlain

Shall I say it?

The N word: Nigger.

If you call anyone a nègre (French version) here in France you can be taken to court for racism or inciting racism.

This past week (Friday, October 15) French fragrance, make-up and skincare creator, Jean-Paul Guerlain (70), said the word on national TV.

Monsieur Guerlain, being interviewed on France 2’s 1 p.m. news by anchor Elise Lucet, and speaking of the creation of his Samsara perfume said: “For once, I worked like a nigger. I don’t know if niggers really worked that much.”

Elise Lucet, an experienced journalist, did not react.  No one reacted until the remark was picked up on Twitter 24 hours later. Now, all hell has broken loose here.

Jean-Paul Guerlain has since apologized, but not only has France’s Finance Minister, Christene Lagarde, called the remark “pathetic, senile and crude” and said that she hoped that his apology was sincere and gracious, but the anti-racist group, SOS Racisme want to press charges against him. (Guerlain had apologized in an email to the TV channel.)

The house of Guerlain was founded in 1828 and from then until 1994 it was controlled by the Guerlain family. In 1994 it was taken over by the LVMH group (Louis Vuiton Moët Hennesy). Jean-Paul Guerlain, in his apology had expressed the hope that his remark would not harm LVMH.

I want to add that here in France a ghost-writer is called a nègre.

And also that President Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni holiday each summer at her family’s ‘little chateau’ along the Mediterranean coast in a spot called Cap Nègre – Cape Nigger.

I don’t think the name refers to ghost-writers. Do you?

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

4 Responses to “That N word … & perfume … but something does not smell nice …”

  1. 4
    Ameribrit Says:

    Guerlain is more concerned about business than apology. The apology is hollow. The first comment was bad enough but the true character of the man is exposed by the qualifier. I do not agree he should be prosecuted but Guerlain should be shunned. Mike.

  2. 3
    Mike Gledhill Says:

    Your Comments Guerlain’s remarks are appalling. To say that he worked like a nigger is bad enough but then he reinforced the insult with a qualifier. I do not agree he should be prosecuted but he should be shunned. His apology is worthless.

  3. 2
    Maxi Malone Says:

    Poor choice of words by Guerlain … should have put his brain in gear before shifting mouth into motion.

  4. 1
    Jo Wake Says:

    What a faux pas. The law is the same here by the way.

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