The ladies' world of old Odessa did not resemble that of other Russian cities. Women from St. Petersburg, Moscow, and other cities remarked on the extraordinary (to them) combination of noble aristocrats and merchant families in high society. While ladies from the merchant stratum did not feel very comfortable in society's salons at first, the women of Odessa freed themselves of social prejudices much sooner than their contemporaries in Russia's two main cities. Moreover, the wealthiest wholesalers' wives quickly overtook their noble rivals, and their homes became the centers of the local beaumonde.  

      One of the brightest examples of the burgeoning bourgeoisie was the great Odessa beauty, the Greek Ariadna Evstratyevna Papudova. Her marriage to Konstantin Fotyevich Papudov was a profitable alliance of two major business families. Papudov exported grain and his charming spouse reigned at balls, masquerades, and social events. All the great social lions fell in love with her—not only in Odessa, but in Paris: from the richest Odessites, Marazli, to Baron Rothschild, who gave Ariadna the Palais de Sagan on the Champs Elysees. When she gave balls at her enormous house on Sobornaya Square, she invited 500-600 guests. Ariadna died over a century ago, yet Odessites to this day refer to the house as Papudova's House.

Based on the book "Odessa memories" written by Nicholas V. Iljine