Elodie Van Zele, blogger for Chut Mon Secret

Filled with dreams of new possibilities, Elodie Van Zele left Paris to settle in the heart of Marseille. Six years later, this professional journalist who heads up the successful Chut mon Secret blog, is still making those dreams a reality and dreaming new ones, always tuned in to the city's heartbeat. Focus on this unique resident of Marseille.
By Mélissa Darré

A true philanthropist

What are the little everyday things that make you happy?

I'm one of those people who don't drive. My fondest pleasure is strolling through the streets of Marseille and discovering new things. Taking time to observe the city.

Your motto?

If I invented one, it would be: "Share with others and life will be more beautiful". The more one gives and receives, the more beautiful things one can create.

What's your favourite time of the day?

Early in the morning. My work is sort of a whirlwind. I love that peaceful time, when I'm alone to go for a run and look at the sea.

What's your cure for the blues?

I love to eat. If I'm down, I indulge in one of Clément's delicious pastries. He's called the "Sweets Handyman". He makes incredible cakes!

Une vraie philanthrope
Photography: José Nicolas

A neo-Marseillaise

What are your favourite places in Marseille?

My favourite is the Viaghji di Fonfon, the brainchild of Alexandre Pinna in the Vallon des Auffes. You sit on cushions on the ground to eat tapas and drink wine while watching the sunset. It's delightful. I also love the Jardin Montgrand with its interior courtyard, huge trees and chairs of every colour. It's a place to escape the rhythm of the city.

What is a typical regional gift you might give to a friend from another country?

I adore Le Pois Chic, a Marseille designer who creates cushions and fouta towels with the names and locations of iconic places in the city printed on them. They make truly original gifts.

The aspect of Provence that's most charming?

My parents were Parisians but I spent part of my childhood in the Provençal Drôme. I love its amazing fragrances. Walking in Provence, you're surrounded by natural scents, like those of fragrant lime trees and delicate cherry trees.

The smell and sound that you associate with Provence?

For the smell, the orchards in springtime when the trees begin to flower. And for the sound, the birds singing.

Une néo-Marseillaise
Photography: José Nicolas

A friendly blogger

How did your blog start?

When I arrived in Marseille, I had a CV but no network. It wasn't easy to find work. So, I started my blog. I did it for myself, first of all, to share the secret spots I'd found with new arrivals as well as with people from Marseille. That's where its name comes from: each article is like a secret whispered in the reader's ear.

What subjects do you prefer?

I like the unusual, the offbeat. These secret spots and young designers who don't get a lot of press. The goal was to meet these people who put their whole heart and energy into their designs, their projects, their evenings.

What do you like about being a blogger?

Since I'm a journalist by training, I like having things on paper. But with the blog, if I find a place that I like, I can talk about it right away. Not two or three months later. And then of course there's the connection with people. When people tell me that reading one of my articles is like a little escape, I'm satisfied.

What would be your dream job?

I'm a film buff. My father was a producer and then a director, and I also worked in the industry. When I was little, he used to take me to La Villette, before it even existed, to see Jacques Tati's films. I loved it so much that I've always dreamed of being a script girl. These days, I've integrated my love of detail into my writing, just like in a script.

Une bloggeuse bienveillante
Photography: José Nicolas

An elegant beauty lover

What makes a woman beautiful?

A beautiful woman has a look that's both chic and refined, with delicate movements.

What beauty ritual sums you up?

Every morning, I apply cream to my whole body. I inherited that from my grandmother, who used sweet almond oil and always told me how essential it was for beautiful skin. I also use honey, brown sugar and lemon masks to brighten my skin.

What beauty product do you always have with you?

An intensely fragrant oil for my skin, synonymous with the holidays. It's my security blanket.

What's your little indulgence to make you feel your best?

I feel most feminine when I wear heels. I think I can do anything. Since I don't drive, I wander all around Marseille perched high on my heels. I have them in every colour, so life seems like a rainbow to me.

Une beautysta élégante
Photography: José Nicolas

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