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Fragrances from afar

Fragrances from afar

The lion of Iberian Leather comes to life
in the Tuileries Garden
and the sparrows of Eau de Memo
keep him company on Rue de Rivoli.


Lying up above, looking down on the small world around him, this lion seems to have found his place. He is the longstanding host of the Tuileries Garden, keeping watch night and day, motionless. An imaginary kingdom. People walk around him without getting too close, fearful of his supposed ferociousness. The other animals come by less and less. Tonight, it is deserted. Alone here, he searches deep inside himself, he meditates. A true statue. As if by dint of spreading out, his thoughts have frozen him... He dreams of far off places, of venturing to distant lands. He dreams he is a bird, wings outstretched in the mad song of the sky. He dreams of new horizons, of new flowers that would fill his life with fragrance and revitalise his body.

Like flash of lightning in the night, a breath of wind blows through the garden and carries a scent to his nostrils that he does not recognise, but makes him shiver. A kind of revelation. He thinks of all the animals he has seen, all the forests he has crossed, all the landscapes that have nurtured his days. He thinks of the sea breeze, the odours of the earth stirred by the sun and the rain, the smell of the trees that have always been by his side, but he cannot place this particular aroma. Never has a fragrance had such an effect on him, penetrating him so deeply. Something has changed in him.

A new air blows over him, makes his mane tremble, setting the lion into motion. Now standing and driven by a new force, as if an inner voice had come to wake him, he begins to growl. What fire has been ignited inside him? He moves, unfolding his limbs. A first step, then a second. No more inertia. He has left the garden and is heading toward Rue de Rivoli. The giant is out. A very rare occurrence. Something that hasn’t happened in a very long time, or maybe never before. One can sense he is breathing differently. Everyone lines up to watch him pass by. Some are afraid. But although he is growling, he is not necessarily in search of prey. He is no doubt in search of freedom, on a quest to find the extraordinary note that has fired his passion, the odour that calls him from afar...

As he saunters along, the sparrows call out to him. He stops and lifts his head to observe who is flying in the air above him. As if drawn to a mysterious note emanating from the lion, the little sparrows swoop down and land before him on the sidewalk, without an ounce of fear. Curious, one of them scampers over to ask the giant:

— You are not known to hang around in the streets. Where are you going?

— I am chasing my heartbeat, I will see where it takes me. Something is waiting forme somewhere, I can feel it.

— You smell like a beautiful dream...

— But... it’s true, I had... a kind of revelation. An odour is calling me, waiting for me somewhere. It has captivated me, I have to find it, I have to follow it.

— Wings always manage to find the secret of the horizon...

— What do you want?

— We are giving a little concert tonight. You can come with us if you like! And after we will help you find your treasure.

Deep in the night, in the glow of the city lights, the lion walks behind the flock of sparrows: the world and all of its beauty are captured in this image.

Fragrances from afar


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