The model for Sargent's Madame X, Virginie was originally from New Orleans and moved to France after her father died in the battle of Shiloh. She was introduced to high society and managed to captivate a gentleman who wed her and was very proud of making such a great match. She was considered one of the beauties of the time with fair skin, chestnut hair, a wonderful figure, and a graceful way of moving.
She was very impressed with herself and sought to preserve her finest moment of beauty by commissioning John Singer Sargent, the wonderful American painter, to immortalize her. And he did. Sargent painted the arresting Madame X in a gorgeous black two-piece evening dress with one golden strap slithering down her shoulder in a most provocative style.
Virginie had her likeness done several times again and never with the flair and memorableness of Madame X. So, she was always disappointed by any of the other attempts.
Again, there are tales that when the ravages of time began to tear at Virginie, she became a recluse having lost the only treasure she possessed, her beauty.
Possets has done a Madame X (and squared and cubed) but how about the lady behind the portrait, the girl from New Orleans? Virginie Gautreau starts out with that most New Orleanian ingredient, molasses. We follow that up with a truly winsome, sensuous, and sweet musk. Finally, to finish it up we have layered a thick crust of strong and bitter chocolate which is the perfect foil to dark sweetness and perfume. Here is where chocolate becomes more than simple chocolate and where molasses turns into more of a liquor than a candy base. Foody, musky, resinous.