Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived thru April 2001:Versinthe
By Tlautrec on Thursday, April 05, 2001 - 11:25 am: Edit

I too have been trying to communicate with Pernod-Ricard about Oxygénée. Just got this e-mail back from them:

"Merci pour votre message. Nous procédons actuellement à quelques tests en Europe du Nord avant d'élarfir ["élargir", I assume] la distribution de notre marque. Nous vous invitons à nous recontacter en juin prochain.
Salutations distinguées.
Directeur de Zone Export"

Rough translation: "Thanks for your message. We are currently moving forward with some tests in Northern Europe before expanding the distribution of our brand. We invite you to contact us again this coming June. Very truly yours, etc. etc."

Perhaps we can expect to see Oxygénée marketed soon in England and Germany? I also assume from this planned "marketing strategy" of P-R that Oxy is the real stuff rather than either a high-end pastis or a faux absinthe.

By Pataphysician on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 07:13 am: Edit

Il Dubya making the trains run on time. It fits.

By Petermarc on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 07:01 am: Edit

speaking of 'typically french' my tgv to marseille just got cancelled due to a strike...this happens about every 4 months and always on a wife was told on the phone there was a replacement train and to go to the station, we spent our lunch in line to be told there wasn't another train, and would have to pay for an upgrade to 1st class on a train running saturday ... we need george dubya here !

By Absinthedrinker on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 05:57 am: Edit

way to go Peter!

By Petermarc on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 04:41 am: Edit

hmmmmpff! i just got off the phone with her, thank you very much (ok, ok, i had to call her back)she has only been with pernod for about 4 months and there have been alot of changes in the company, so she couldn't give me much is available in some 'nicolas' (large wine-store chain) but she didn't know which one (none that i have seen)she will call me back (?) to let me know exact addresses...'is it an absinthe or a pastis?' she says it is not an absinthe because absinthe is... 'illegal in france?' i asked...yes, 'so it is a pastis?' yes...'but it says absinthe on the label' well, it is like absinthe because you can drink it with water...
i don't know about the rest of you, but that clears up everything for me :-\...'is there anyone else i can talk to who know more about the product?' she wasn't sure...'do you know there are alot of people who are interested in oxygénée?' well, it is a very small product in our line...
a nice woman who didn't know much about it...sorry, no production figures, roll-out dates, marketing stategy backgrounds...but at least there is the possibility to buy it in paris...phhewww!

By Absinthedrinker on Friday, March 30, 2001 - 02:40 am: Edit

Hi Peter

I guess you and Sandrine didn't hit it off?

By Petermarc on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 04:11 am: Edit

the louis vitton shop on the champs elysées only allows 3 bags to be purchased per wife is accosted daily on her way to work by desperate japanese who try to get her to go in and buy bags for them...i have always thought this would be a good business idea, so if any of you find yourself hard up for cash in paris, dress up nice and head to louis vitton and offer your services...(it's better than playing the accordion in the metro)

By Absinthedrinker on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 02:59 am: Edit

"this really falls under 'typically french' -have product, people want it, don't care if they sell it or not-it is baffling to the rest of the world..."

I seem to recall the same attitude manifesting itself at the recent Jour de Pub :-)

By Petermarc on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 02:55 am: Edit

the ZAP people were always a special lot (all us zinfandel lovers are, a bit, different)i heard an englishman wrote a book on zinfandel in the mid-day sun...;-)...they'll figure it out far as oxygénée, it's legal in france, too, or it couldn't be sold here...this really falls under 'typically french'
-have product, people want it, don't care if they sell it or not-it is baffling to the rest of the world...

By Absinthedrinker on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 02:46 am: Edit

seems kinda weird that they wouldn't test market in the UK where a) it is legal, b) there is an established market and c) I am gagging for it. But then marketing folk can be like that. ZAP (the Zinfandel Advocates/Producers group) held a European tasting tour recently, the only problem was they forgot to tell the Europeans, so no publicity outside of the US. Dumb or what?

By Petermarc on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 02:36 am: Edit

hooo! slow down, i was lucky just talk to someone who knew about it, specific product information may be beyond anyone's scope there...she said she would call me back, but i'm not holding my breath...what she did say is that it is still in development, that is good news, i's a start, but we've heard this story for several months now...

By Aion on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 02:26 am: Edit

did you get any information, if Oxygenee is
still produced, or if there was only one lot now
being sold out. How many bottles are still left?

By Petermarc on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 02:16 am: Edit

'laetitia casta, c'est ma santé!'...i like it...

By Absinthedrinker on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 01:57 am: Edit

Wow Peter, you got to speak to the elusive Sandrine, that is a first - you must have a great telephone manner. Do you think you could get me through to Laetitia Casta sometime ;-)

By Petermarc on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 01:24 am: Edit

i just called pernod/cusenier after dragging my feet about my french...i talked to sandrine pietrement(?)who speaks english(!)...she says the product is still under developement and it is only being test-marketed in a few places (uh, maybe only one?) she is going to call me back (at work, today, i hope) to tell me if there are any places to buy it near montmartre (actually, anywhere in paris would be good)for someone who is in charge of the product, she didn't act like she knew very much about it...the saga continues...

By Absinthedrinker on Wednesday, March 28, 2001 - 01:03 am: Edit

Thanks for letting me get on my Oxygénée high horse here Peter. After several forumites and my long-suffering French assistant had spent weeks getting nowhere phoning Pernod to find a source of Oxygénée that didn't involve a trek to the alps I gave up and wrote on behalf of my wine company. I got a letter back which confirmed that it was absinthe but told me it wasn't available in the UK (like I didn't know that) and no, I couldn't import it directly from them. When I phoned back to ask if there were alternative suppliers in France no one claimed to know anything about it (and the person who wrote to me was never available). Very, very strange.

By Petermarc on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 01:10 pm: Edit

nowhere...'oxygénée' has the most absurd marketing (ONE wineshop in bumbfuck france next to the swiss border) of a product i have ever seen...IMHO, pernod has made absinthe, say they can remove the thujone, but can't, and are afraid to mass market it at this the french, as a whole, are still afraid of absinthe...but there sure is alot of absente and versinthe popping up around paris...

By Artemis on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 01:04 pm: Edit

I don't know about Oxygenee, but I know Beltramo's does mail order - I bought some La Muse Verte from them.

By Tlautrec on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 12:55 pm: Edit

I was able to pick up a bottle of Versinthe at Beltramo's Liquors in Menlo Park, CA a few weeks ago. It's an absolutely first-rate pastis, comparing very favorably with Henri Bardouin, which is also delicious (like way better than Ricard) and can also be found occasionally at better liquor stores here in Northern California. Versinthe has a wonderfully complex spicey flavor - with hints of clove, cinnamon, cardamom, mint, citrus, anise and something slightly bitter (I believe it's gentian). None of these favors is dominant, and the blend is intense and intriguing. After sipping this stuff, my mouth felt tingly and very refreshed - much like with good absinthe.

Having tried Versinthe and liked it very well, I'd like to get my hands on Oxygénée (the other faux absinthe that has been well-received by members of this forum), but the only place it seems to be available from is Le Vinothèque, in Thonon-les-Bains, France, and they want something like $50 to ship one bottle via FedEx, on top of the $30 price. Does anyone out there have an idea of where else Oxygénée can be obtained more conveniently and less expensively?

By Morriganlefey on Tuesday, March 27, 2001 - 10:11 am: Edit

Lovely website, Vera. I find the statement "I believe beauty, like wine, attains perfection with time, when all its contemporary ideologies no longer obscure it" to be right-on.

You've got kindred spirits here,

- Morrigan

By Tabreaux on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 07:19 pm: Edit

Versinthe is a liqueur known as "anise amer". It is not absinthe. It tastes more or less like a refined, aromatic pastis.

By Heiko on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 07:01 pm: Edit

Hi Vera,

there's a very short review of Versinthe on the "Pastis and Absinthe substitutes" page of the buyers guide.

By Verawench on Monday, March 26, 2001 - 06:31 pm: Edit

SC gives this brand a very good review but I've yet to try it (I've been sticking to my usual Deva). I couldn't seem to find it in the product reviews on this site (perhaps I missed it) so I was wondering: has anyone's ever tried Versinthe? If so, opinions? critiques?

(who is new to the forum but refuses to lurk)

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