In my earlier days of visiting Paris, this was one of my first window shop stops after arriving in Paris: Christian Tortu’s shop on the Carrefour de l’Odeon (6th arr.). At that same time, I started a ritual of setting my bags down in my chosen ‘home’ ‘of the moment’ in the 6th arrondissement, and then headed out to grab the best people-watching seat I could find ‘of the moment’ at Cafe Deux Magots.
Once I had settled into one of Deux Magots’ green and beige rattan bistro chairs, I could officially claim, “I have arrived in Paris”! Actually, I shouted it in silence to myself, as i felt the excited air swirling around me and, yet, at the same time, a sense of calm…a feeling of ‘home’. Sigh….
Then…once I had sufficiently satisfied my people-watching fix, I would stand up with camera ready and head a few minutes away to ‘my’ landing spot in front of Tortu’s windows expecting to be stimulated by his latest creative genius stylized display of flowers. The window was proportionally huge compared to the shop size itself, allowing the floral colors to blast out in your face! I was never disappointed.
After years of including his stunning blooming bursts in my Paris arrival ritual, I found his shop was no longer there! Sadly disappointed…I, for a moment, even thought I was just jet lagged and must have mixed up my addresses!
Well, as time went on, I shifted my focus to other florists. None could quite match Tortu’s elaborate window displays but the florists were gracious enough to allow me to stop, poke my head in, not only to arouse my visual sense but also to collect some nasal whiffs of their carefully selected florals of the day. A few photos of Tortu’s windows:
Another florist shop popped up in Paris while Tortu’s shop was still in business..an even more teensy shop than Tortu’s, located on rue de Tournon. I discovered it, on my way to the Luxembourg Gardens. It was a shop of all roses, Nom de la Rose (Name of the Rose). The staff were known to scatter their petals in front of the door and on to the sidewalk on the weekends, when they were closed. Parisians, as did I, gingerly watched ours steps so as to avoid the lovingly strewn petals, leaving them intact for the next passerby to have the pleasure of seeing them too. Eventually, they closed this location, but still have a half dozen or more shops, spotted around the city. The ones I have seen are not quite the same as the original one, yet still worth a bit of admiration and sniffing, when you discover them. Here’s a link to the one in the photos: https://www.aunomdelarose.fr
If you are in the 7th arrondissement, do take the time to seek out Moulie: https://www.moulie.fr
And, then you, too, can discover a variety of others along your daily way…