Women Smokers in Paris... This May Be Seen in All the Smart Hotels, Cafés and Restaurants
The habit prevails everywhere. In all the smart hotels, cafés and restaurants I have entered, and they are many. I have seen at tea time, after dinner, and after supper late at night, correct-appearing women of all ages, with equally correct men, sit calmly lighting with growing gestures, their tiny Russian cigarettes.
Other women, women one counts out, do the same thing differently. Their gestures are more pronounced, their attitude more coquettlsh — their pretty feet are perhaps crossed, revealing dainty embroidered lingerie skirts and lace stockings to match their gowns. They make much of the pretty poses taken in the frequent lighting of their gold-tipped cigarettes from the wax taper held by an obsequious attendant.
It is a living picture, and an interesting one — like a page from a French novel. When first I saw women of conventional manners smoke in a public room it was at the beginning of my stay here. I was sitting alone over my tea in the palm-shaded, flower-decked, tearoom of a great hotel, idly listening to sweet music from a hidden band.
Just opposite me sat two women, unmistakably English, and, after the manner of many traveling English-women, rather dowdy in dress. A puff of smoke caught my eye; one had lighted a cigarette, the other was carefully selecting one from a carved sliver cigarette case. I looked about with interest, wondering what was going to happen.
At the next table, I saw as I turned my head, a beautiful dark-browed woman, splendidly gowned in embroidered white cloth and wearing draped gracefully over her ams, a long, straight ermlne-llned velvet scarf. She lifted her hand with a slight gesture which brought a waiter to her side with a tiny tray of cigarettes. Daintily she selected one, lighted it, then leaned back luxuriously into the soft depths of the big easy chair to watch serenely the wreaths of smoke float above her head. — Lompoc Journal, 1908
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