La Fee Verte – discover the meaning of the green fairy

Jema Hewitt La Fee Verte

La Fee Verte, or the Green Fairy, is the spirit of absinthe and the essence of artistic inspiration. A creative muse and a fictional woman we can only dream to be…

Dear Green Fairy (La Fee Verte):

I hate absinthe. No offence, but it is quite possibly the most disgusting concoction I have ever ingested. Yet, when I look at the many wonderful pictures painted of you over the years, I can’t help but want illustrations of La Fee Verte on my wall. Those special absinthe spoons and glasses are lovely too but having them around when I have already said I hate the stuff will make me look like a pretentious idiot, so I’ll remain spoonless and admire you from afar. You stand for liberty, artistic freedom, creativity and inspiration and that makes you Mooky in my eyes.

La Fee Verte Quotes:

“What a slut.” George Moore, British art critic [Haha! But… slut shaming, Mister Moore? Shame on YOU.]

“The emerald hour–
when the poet’s pain is soothed
by a liquid jewel
held in the sacred chalice,
upon which rests
the pierced spoon,
the crystal sweetness–
Icy streams trickle down.
The darkest forest
melts into an open meadow
as waves of green seduce.
Sanity surrendered,
the soul spirals toward
the murky depths,
wherein lies
the beautiful madness–

Peggy Amond – “Rimbaud’s Poison”

“Absinthe is the aphrodisiac of the self. The green fairy who lives in the absinthe wants your soul. But you are safe with me.” Bram Stoker – Dracula

La Fee Verte Best Known For:

Being the personification of absinthe, and considered a muse for the poets and artists of Bohemian Paris. (And being portrayed in Moulin Rouge by Kylie Minogue).

La Fee Verte Least known for:

Being booed out of an auction house in London! Degas’s painting L’Absinthe sparked a fresh wave of Francophobia in England.

A short history of La Fee Verte:

The Green Fairy, or La Fee Verte, is more than a fancier name for absinthe. She is a muse who personifies creativity, transformation and liberation, being the subject of beautiful posters that promised all these things, as well as the drink.

La Louche (which translates as “the watering”) is said to free La Fee Verte, who lives in the absinthe bottle. Drinkers describe the ritual with beautiful, mystical words but to put it simply, a perforated spoon is rested over an absinthe glass with a shot or two in it, and a sugar cube is placed on top. Slowly, iced water is poured over the sugar and the drink turns from bright clear emerald to a milky white-green (known as louching). Drinkers say it is the manifestation of the transformation that will occur in their minds.

La Fee Verte famously inspired people such as Van Gogh, Charles Baudelaire, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Arthur Rimbaud, Pablo Picasso and Oscar Wilde- and has also been described as the Goddess of Artistic Rebellion! Certainly, Rimbaud’s poetry was unlike any heard before in 1890’s Paris and he openly ridiculed the accepted ‘rules’ previously adhered to, heckling other poets reading in public. At only seventeen, Rimbaud is thought to be the first person of his time to publicly support women’s rights and later he even dared to suggest that the black population had rights too! (Scandalous, for the 1800’s.)

Despite initial shock (and the banning of the drink in the twentieth century – it is still banned in the US), absinthe and green fairy-related art now has a huge following. Even today, many artists and writers dedicate their work (though, unlike a few French artists, not their lives) to the mysterious emerald-coloured being who lives in an absinthe bottle.