The scent of Paris
As you walk around Paris's many neighbourhoods, let yourself be led by your nose. In Molière’s country, even if you do not speak the language, your nose can appreciate its multitude of scents.
Paris has been described as the joy of living in a myriad of little things: the scent of a cup of coffee and croissants in the morning, the smell of hot bread, the enticing aromas in the food markets, the bouquet of a bottle of wine shared with friends, the trail of mythic perfumes wafting over the doorsill of luxury boutiques, the incense in houses of worship in a country that believes only in life.
Paris is the mingled scent of books and bouquets of flowers and the baked goodness of children's afternoon snacks in the city's magnificent public gardens. The exquisite chocolate, spicy scents of the latest pastry shops, and the savoury deliciousness of Michelin-starred restaurants and impromptu picnics in park squares. It is the mineral fragrance that wells up in the foyers of Haussmannian buildings, the alcoves of palace hotels, and its boutique hotels. Always, Paris is the odour of the city's wooden school benches, and the lighter, cheerier scents of its working-class neighbourhoods.
Here in the most visited and celebrated city in the world, you need not concern yourself with life after death – After all, the Père-Lachaise cemetery is the largest park in the city. Paris has always known how to live and laugh. The only thing you no longer find is that nostalgic scent of dusty museums, which have all been renovated.
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© Text and photography courtesy of EnVols