Carla Bruni decided she simply had to marry Nicolas Sarkozy when the French president dazzled her with botanical brilliance during a walk in the Elysee Palace gardens.
In an interview with BBC World Service radio, France's first lady said she was spellbound when Sarkozy, better known for his edgy energy, started to list off flowers by Latin name during a courtship promenade.
"He was giving me all these details about tulips and roses and I said to myself: 'My God, I must marry this man, he's the president, and he knows everything about flowers as well, this is incredible'," the Italian-born Bruni said.
Sarkozy married the singer and former supermodel in 2008, a few months after divorcing his previous wife and Bruni is now pregnant but less ready to wax lyrical about their soon-to-be-born child.
"There isn't much to say. So many women are expecting a child, it's so uninteresting for French people," she said.
Bruni and Sarkozy first met in 2007 at a dinner held by a mutual friend, just months after his election victory and the departure of his former wife Cecilia.
Bruni, who has been romantically involved with the likes of Mick Jagger and Eric Clapton, said she liked to lead a quiet life in the slower moments Sarkozy can set aside, but that he too had added a bit of rock and roll to her existence.
"Being able to change your life from one day to another, being able to learn new things at the age of 40 -- that's really rock and roll, most people wouldn't go for this sort of change," the 43-year-old Bruni said.