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At Memo Paris we’re nomads, and our fragrances are the journeys that we take from one magical destination to another, whether it is Ireland, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Russia, the US or, Africa. But eventually the journey leads us back to Paris, home to our flagship store on Rue Cambon, and to three of our fragrances Quartier Latin, French Leather, and Eau de Memo.
It’s also home for Memo Paris co-founder and creative director, Clara Molloy, who grew up in the centre of the French capital. The beginnings of the brand can be found along the banks of the Seine, down the lively streets of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and among the city’s many bookstores, cafés and galleries. Here, Clara shares some of her favourite addresses to visit when in Paris.
Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway are just a few of the artists and writers to have frequented this historic bistro in Paris’ 6th arrondissement. Its art deco style rooms and pretty terrace, which looks out onto rue Jacques Callot, have also long been a meeting place for local Beaux Arts students and nearby gallery owners. It's an institution, a place that has not changed for the past 30 years at least. No designer could recreate its atmosphere; it has its own charm.
L’Écume des Pages
Open almost every day until midnight, L’Écume des Pages, a bookshop at the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Présis, is a veritable treasure trove for night owls and dreamers who, having stumbled out of a dinner or even drinks next door at the literary hangout, Café de Flore, find themselves almost instinctively among its bookshelves with a sudden thirst for the written word. I love that it is open late at night : you see books in a different way when it is dark outside.
Galerie Kamel Mennour
Kamel Mennour’s three Parisian galleries (47, rue Saint-André des Arts, 6 rue du Pont de Lodi and 28 Avenue Matignon) display the works more than thirty different young contemporary and internationally recognised artists including Claude Lévêque, Anish Kapoor, and Cameron Jamie. Kamel Mennour explores contemporary art in may ways, with artists that always tell subtlely their stories.
Shakespeare and Company
Everything about this eccentric English-language bookshop draws you in, from its rickety floors and narrow labyrinth-like corridors leading to cosy rooms lined with endless rows of books. If you’re lucky Agatha, the resident cat, may even curl up beside you as you delve into a good novel. Located on the banks of the Seine, in Paris’ bohemian Latin Quarter, it is no coincidence that our namesake perfume, Quartier Latin, evokes the familiar musty scent of book pages with its distinct sandalwood scent.
Caveau de la Huchette
Le Caveau de la Huchette is a jazz club in the Latin Quarter of Paris dating back to 1949. Stepping into this underground cave is like being transported to another world, especially when the music starts. It made a recent appearance in the 2017 Hollywood movie La La Land. Le Caveau has a sometimes melancholic but always beautiful Parisian touch.
Not far from café La Palette you will find another Parisian institution, Brasserie Lipp, which has been serving traditional French cuisine since 1880. Decked in wall to wall mirrors and smooth leather benches, Lipp’s immaculate décor, service and authentic menu are just some of the reasons customers have been returning for the last 138 years.
Le Balzar was created in 1890 and they have the best crème caramel of the world. I have always preferred bistros to restaurants. And this one is in front of the Ecume des pages. So now you know how a typical night out in Paris goes for me: Brasserie Lipp and then L'Écume des pages. Or you will find me at Le Balzar and then the library in front of it : Librairie Compagnie, they have a good poetry department.
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Image credits: La Palette; Marie-Anne Bruschi (L'Écume, Shakespeare & Co, Brasserie Lipp); Fabrice Seixas (Galerie Kamel Mennour)