I’m a little confused actually. Olivier claimed that the metro stop at the start of the walk would smell terrible, but when we got off the train at the Madeleine I didn’t smell anything apart from normal metro smell. Maybe I’m too used to it at this point. I definitely did get a delicious whiff, however, as Rebecca, Chelsea, Angela, and I passed by the flower market full of tulips and daisies. I’m so excited about spring flowers coming out!
We spent a little time at the massive Église de la Madeleine, which went through a complicated history as a Catholic Church (pre-revolution), monument to the French Army (Napoleon era), and Catholic Church (restoration).
Then it was time for a treat at Laudurée, where macaroons were invented. The shop itself was adorable, and all of our treats came in cute boxes and bags. While the other girls tried out the macaroons (which they kindly shared samples of), I opted for the religieuse rose, which is essentially a tiny rose-flavored cream puff on top of a rose-flavored éclair. The name was certainly not misleading, since eating that pastry was definitely a religious experience – just thinking about its surprise raspberry center makes my mouth water.
Once we had brushed off our pastry crumbs, we went to the Chapelle de l’Assomption, which was charming. Built in its present form in 1676, the church sees few tourists and is instead used by actual worshippers. I think we were all excited to see a nun there in a full habit, but a sudden urge to giggle because the room was so quiet meant that we couldn’t stay long.
I was a little worried about going to the Fragonard Musée du Parfum, since most perfumes give me terrible headaches, but I ended up not having any trouble there. I enjoyed learning about the natural ingredients and seeing the copper machinery used in the perfume-making process. Maybe I can handle perfume after all.