Le parfum at the Palais Royal

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Art is at every street corner in Paris and often, these street corners happen to be prestigious sites. It is the case of this outdoor exhibit:” Le Parfum dans tous les sens”.

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Created by the Cardinal Richelieu in 1633, the Palais Royal and its gardens, just a short walk from the Louvre, housed royal families up until the Palace of Versailles was built. Prestigious and peaceful, the gardens are surrounded by a superb futuristic architecture with contemporary sculptures by Buren and Bury.

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Colonnes de Buren

The Colonnes de Buren were designed by artist Daniel Duren and are situated in the courtyard, near the garden and Ministry of Culture. The 260 black and white striped octagonal columns are definitely worth a visit and are one of the symbols of Paris.

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Sculpture de Pol Bury

Jardin du Palais Royal

Jardin du Palais Royal

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The gardens of the Palais-Royal are like French people’s minds: at first glance they’re symmetrical, rational, organized… Cartesian. The palace itself is very homogeneous, like in Places des Vosges. Everything looks in order. But after a while, you’ll notice a hint of anarchy, disorder, a laid back atmosphere, and sometimes even a big confusion.

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I prefer the central pond, mostly for its great chairs (check the reclining chairs article).

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But the flowered areas with benches are also nice and quieter. Sometimes, exhibitions of contemporary sculptures are displayed in the gardens, adding a touch of anachronism in this once royal residency. 

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Le Parfum dans tous les sens

Fifty large photographic panels by a group of international photographers have been mounted, illustrating the full spectrum of perfume making. Although many of the photos were striking, I wasn’t sure how they were connected to perfume. Along the sides of some of the photo frames were blocks of solid perfume dispensing different aromas like jasmine and lavender.

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By nature, perfume cannot be represented.

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Images can only evoke it and they do so by crossing over into landscapes,

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objects,

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 bodies,

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or faces by telling stories our imagination associates with perfume.

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The exhibit ends June 14 so pack your lunch bag and enjoy the scent of the day.

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