[ilds] RG Justine 1.13 -- Jamais de la vie

David Holdsworth holdsworth at rogers.com
Thu Apr 26 09:07:09 PDT 2007

Marc Piel wrote:

"Jamais de la vie" with an "s".
It does not seem to have existed. I looked for it 
years ago.
Marc Piel

william godshalk wrote:

> As far as I can tell from a google, Jamaie de la vie (i.e. never, 
> absolutely not) is not the name of an extant perfume. Yet Justine wears 
> it, as does Constance in Sebastian. The narrator of Justine writes, "I 
> don't know why" (1.13) it's called Jamaie de la vie. I suppose his 
> ignorance should act as a spur (like Lady Macbeth).

No one has brought up (unless I missed it) the suggestion in Mike Diboll's
book that the name of the perfume 'Jamais de la vie' may be a reference to
the telegram sent by De Lesseps in 1882 "Jamais les Anglais n'y pénétreront,
jamais, jamais!" as the British moved to occupy the Canal Zone. If this is
correct, it would lead to a wonderful reading of Darley's innocent "I don't
know why" at the outset of his relationship with Justine and the Hosnanis.
Can someone more knowledgeable than I comment?

David Holdsworth

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