Need encouragement? How to say "If at first you don't succeed try try again"
Bilingual Post: se sublimer (and more about the creative process)

charming way to say "eye-candy" in French


Clothing shopfront paris hats chapeau promos sales vuitton marc jacobs hermes
Hats outside a shopfront in Paris, to go along with today's quote

bonheur pour les yeux

    : eye-candy

Audio File: (check back later for Jean-Marc's recording. Meantime, help! I need your assistance translating today's example sentence. Click here to leave your translation.)

Le bonheur des yeux lui ferait-il raccrocher son cœur comme le chapeau du porte-manteau ? (Philippe Rousseau, L'Or des ecrins)

Recent Interviews:
  • Listen to Jeff Steiner's podcast and learn about how my self-published books were picked up by Simon and Schuster. Also, learn tips on moving to France. Click here.
  • New York Times writer Ann Mah invited me to contribute to her Tuesday Night Dinner. Check out what we cooked up, here.
A Day in a French Life... by Kristin Espinasse

In today's post, a few more photos from the cruise. Enjoy... and see you tomorrow with a special post, in French, from Jean-Marc.

Entering the town of Grignan, an ancient lavoir is all dressed up in columns
The clock tower shows the time, the leaves, the season.
In front of the antiques dealer's.

The bistro (where my aunt and I stole the sugar... and got caught! Click here to read the story and to learn another term "en flagrant délit".) 
Queue de Chat (c) Kristin Espinasse
Do you see the cat?
Grignan Castle (c) Kristin Espinasse
Fellow cruisers on our AMA Waterways river voyage. Remember to keep my friend Susan in mind, if you need help with travel arrangements: [email protected] 
Grignan Old Village (c) Kristin Espinasse
Terrace with a view...

Grignan Gift Shop (c) Kristin Espinasse
Guarding the goods: one of the many shop dogs you'll see in these quaint French villages. All of today's photos, above, were taken in the town of Grignan, where Madame de Sevigny wrote heartfelt letters to her daughter.

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For more online reading: The Lost Gardens: A Story of Two Vineyards and a Sobriety


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Eileen - Charlottesville, VA

Hi Kristin,
I LOVE all the photos! I really like the photo of the lavoir and the dog at the shop.
Have a nice hump day! Is there a French word for Wednesday (Hump day?)


Love Grignan.

Beautiful pictures!

Ah! Dear Marquise de Sevigne.

Jonathan Loesberg

A translation:

The sight of beauty would make him put his heart back in mothballs.

Louis Plauche'

Beware the eye candy.

Barbara - California

Always a pleasure to start my day with you Kristin. Love strolling through the sweet shops with you.


Translation: Would beauty make him hang up his heart like a hat on a coat rack?

This is a more literal translation, but I'm wondering whether the author is implying that beauty would make him want to make himself at home with that beauty (a place to hang his hat), or whether, as Jonathan above implies, it would make him want to give up and retreat (hang it up, as in give up).


Kristin - I love getting my little taste of France when your post appears in my in-box! Those little "shop dogs" are almost a breed unto themselves, aren't they? Always about the same size and stature -- and usually so well behaved. I mean, I bet you could even read a story on-camera without them nuzzling you! :-)


Julie Farrar

Thanks for all the photos. I have several of my own with blue shutters and climbing roses. On some days your pictures make me forget that there are places to travel other than France. But I feel like I've just barely begun to travel there.

Bill in St. Paul

Thanks for the pictures of Grignan. They remind me of our last trip to Provence in 2011. We'll be back but we have to do Languedoc first.

renee lerner

The pleasure of the eyes makes him hang up his heart like a hat on a rack.

julie camp

"The clock tower shows the time, the leaves, the season." The photo may also reveal direction. To quote Wikipedia:It is generally believed that in northern latitudes, the north side of trees and rocks will generally have more luxuriant moss growth on average than other sides.

Whether with words or pictures, your "stories" always engage my interest. Additionally, MY BOOKS is a rich source of reading suggestions and gift ideas. Thanks for all you are. -julie-

Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm ~ Applegate, Oregon

The beauty you captured in these photos so moved me --- to tears. Would love to tag along and “see” such loveliness through your lens. Wishing you a day flavored with sweetness!

Diane Young

"The bliss it brought him at the sight of her made him want to toss his hat on the rack and celebrate."

Thanks for the very interesting interview you did. I try so hard to speak French properly but once at an Alliance Francaise luncheon an American seated across from me said I spoke French with a southern accent. His French wasn't so hot, either, especially his vocabulary.!!

Sheila Lemann

"Eye-candy caused him to hang up his heart like a hat on a coat rack."

- Angela

Marilynn Gottlieb

This is an interesting quote - I've pondered the translation. I hope your next post tell us more about the context and what you consider to be the best translation.
I'm going with "would beauty move him to hang out his heart like a hat on a coat rack?" meaning would the sight of such beauty get him to expose his heart - ie show some emotion.

Mary L

Is this phrase colloquial in French? If so, there cannot be a word for word translation that would make sense in English, so here is my take: "The twinkle in his eye suggested he didn't have a care in the world."

Julia - Falling Off Bicycles

Love the photos, Kristin! Photos can take us places words cannot, sometimes.

Gordon Lyman

Nice photos and captions today, especially:
Clock tower -- poetic photo, poetic caption.
Lavoir -- high styled washing machine?
Terrace -- S.W. USA has cliff dwellings too, but the dwellers moved away. Perhaps they went to France like Kristin?
Cat? Maybe I see just a cat tail?


Beautiful photos, Kristin! And thanks for mentioning Tuesday dinner here -- it was so much fun to dine together (virtually :)

Robert Handloff

the gorgeous woman made him hold on to his heart as if it were a hat on a coat rack.


The beauty stopped him in his tracks!


Hi dear Kristin,
What a gift you have!
Once again you have captured our imaginations (and stolen our hearts) with these glorious photos! (am especially partial to the little dog guarding his shop!
No stealing any stuff from his owner's place!Man's/woman's best friend indeed!)
Bon journee!
Love, Natalia XO


My translation is "Would his pleasure in gazing at her make him hang up his heart like a hat on a coatrack?" In other words, has his heart been ensnared by her looks and will it therefore remain with her for good?


I love the photos Kristin! Thank you for sharing with us! They are stunning!

Julie Farrar

I finally had time to listen to the podcast. I agree with you on the thing that bugs (my word, not yours) you about France. The French ARE so reserved. I have no clue how to tell if someone actually wants to start a friendship. I find so many friendly people there, i.e., willing to help me in so many ways. But I can't tell if we're ready to take it to the next level like proposing we meet for pizza (so much great Italian food in Dijon).



Thank you Kristin for your great as always posts and beautiful pictures.

As to the translation:

My native Language is Russian. And since the language very often gives me insights into French translation (mostly due to the fact that Russian culture and language were greatly influenced by French a couple of centuries ago) I could easily understand the phrase because in Russian there is also the same expression — where somebody's heart is compared with a drooping subject, powerless enough to be hung or manipulated in any other way, and thus showing no resistance whatsoever — when met with beauty or love. Hope I was able to convey the meaning clearly. Thanks for your always uplifting posts.


Le bonheur des yeux lui ferait-il raccrocher son cœur comme le chapeau du porte-manteau ? (Philippe Rousseau, L'Or des ecrins

my translation: Would the joy from his eyes lead him to hang up his heart like a hat on the coat-rack?


p.s. i never heard of 'eye-candy'

Lorraine Lanoue

My translation: "Would her beauty hold/grab his heart the way a coat rack holds/grabs one's hat?" I can remember when living in France and gasping upon hearing "BCBG" and "Belle de loin, mais loin d'être belle..." The French have a way with words! Fun post and great pics!

Henry Drane

Would the happiness of their eyes make him abandon his heart like a hat in her foyer.


"Another try: :-) .. two translations above helped me with mine:

"Would her beauty make his heart so soft that it could be hung next to that hat which is on the rack in her hallway?"

Not poetic enough.. Lets try again and have fun with words and imaging: :-)

"Would her beauty make his heart so soft that it may be easily added to her admirers hat collection she keeps on the rack in her hallway?

Tried my best with poetic imaging and words...:-)


I like the insight provided by Francesca and I vote for Lorraine Lanoue's translation.


I love all your photos, Kristin, but my favorite is the one with the blue shutters, bench and trailing vine. And, oui, I spied the kitty :). I also loved all the insight and translations of your eye-candy phrase that your other readers have provided.

Debra Karimzad

The beauty would move him to surrender...his hat to a coatrack. His heart is overwhelmed by the beauty.


For some reason the expression "eye candy" makes me cringe. Seems really tacky. Anyone else have an aversion to that expression? Maybe it seems sexist, but I think I would feel the same about using it to describe a man.


Trying to stay poetic with my wording, rather than giving the word-to-word translation:

"He could not have enough of her — his eyes blazing with desire, and his heart melting with love."

Love the topic... :-) Makes me remember my own hat/heart collection I had in the past. Everything passes, often giving the way to some things better.


Yes, Leslie, I am with you on the feeling this "eye candy" expression provides, living you (or me) with the aftertaste that the Beauty could be devoured. Not a pleasant idea. 
:-).. anybody else feels the same? :-)

And of course the language, and the expressions we use often channel our inner world. I guess the person who came up with this expression in the first place was... :-) ..hungry?!


The beauty before him would stop and hold his heart like a hat on a hat peg


I know an American phrase that is similar: He fell without a shot fired!


Hats off to this translation! Concise and powerful. Sharp in other words.


Well, I'll try, too..."Le bonheur des yeux lui ferait-il raccrocher son cœur comme le chapeau du porte-manteau ?"

I think that in English a simpler translation- less poetic than the French, but clearer in meaning- would get the idea across... "Her beauty made him surrender his heart..."

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