No. 5

The famed No. 5 produced a revolution in scent. A difference in tone for the passerby. It heralded a way forward for a country that had already seen its fair share of scents. Mostly bad until the turn of the 18th to the 19th.

Every corner is like a new scent. From the barren mixology of the 19th to grandeur of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré. A turn tells a story, of buildings still old but some new. Or a twist on an old favourite. Art Nouveau being re-realised by a younger generation, schooled in old ways enough to recreate a building and have it sit in the landscape so perfectly. As if nothing had ever changed.

Doorway to doorway.

Classic, wooden, steel, weighted, electronic, automatic and hand pulled. Each a signature of the wealth, the security, the culture, the history.

And in all of this a freedom.

Of movement.

Of race.

Of gender.

Not without its troubles but in all, to pass through.

Never succumb to peril.

Culture is not a thing that you inherit. It's what you provide on a daily basis. All the tourist attractions in the world that people visit here will not replace what it is. And what principles those attractions were built on.

And as you take your photo with your finger on the Eiffel, dancing in the streets next to a famed bistro, sipping an espresso at a corner store, raising your arms in front of a church on a hill, never ever forget what its built on.

Liberté, égalité, fraternité





Justin Batchelor