There is so much more to Paris than its famous monuments. In fact, one of the things we at MyFrenchLife™ love most about the City of Light are the beautiful artisan businesses that line the city’s streets.
In our view these small businesses and the passionate people behind them are exactly what give Paris its magic and unique charm: les fleuristes, boulangeries, patîsseries, fromageries, et bien sûr, les chocolateries.
Enchanted by their beautiful displays and inspired by their talent and dedication, we’ve brought together the Paris Mosaic series, where we introduce you to the faces behind these Parisian gems.
Au nom de la Rose
Address: 47 Boulevard Saint-Germain, Paris 75005
Opening hours: Mon–Sat 9am-9pm; Sun 9am–2pm & 3pm–6pm
Situated on the busy Boulevard Saint-Germain, Au Nom de la Rose is perched on prime Parisian real estate. Just steps away from Notre Dame, it rests in the heart of the Latin Quarter, offering every type of rose imaginable to both locals and tourists who pass by.
Although Au nom de la Rose is part of a larger chain, its historic location in the 5th arrondissement and friendly, caring florists make it feel every bit like a mom and pop magasin. They even sell their own rose-flavoured caramels!
We spoke with Aline Bouhêret, whose youthful demeanour belies a real knowledge and passion for all things floral. A native Parisian, she graduated from the best floristry school in the city, drawing on a lifelong love for the gardens in the countryside that she visited as a child.
Aline is bright-eyed and wonderfully open, but more than that, she represents a new generation of artisans who appear to be just as determined and dedicated to their craft as the old guard. It was encouraging to realise that, even as their presence diminishes worldwide, there is evidence that the artisan tradition will continue to thrive in Paris, just as it has for centuries.
Finding Aline’s dedication to her craft incredibly inspiring, we at MyFrenchLife™ were delighted to be able to speak to her.
How did your boutique get started?
This Au nom de la Rose store opened in 2006, but the chain has existed since 1991.
Is Au nom de la Rose a large chain?
Yes, there are about 18 to 25 boutiques in Paris, and 60 in France and the rest of the world.
And for you, were flowers a passion or perhaps a family tradition?
Both! It was a passion because it was a family tradition. I grew up in front of flowers.
Could you tell us a bit more about your family and growing up with flowers?
Actually, my family, they always had flowers in the house. We had a house in the country with a huge garden, and we had a habit of working with the flowers. It kept us busy. And then there’s the Parisian tradition, which is the small gardens in the city.
Were you born in the country or in Paris?
Oh no, in Paris. I’m truly, truly parisienne.
And did you study to become a florist?
Yes, in Paris! I took the baccalaureate at a school for florists. There are others in Paris, but ours was the best known.
Could you tell us a bit about your products? Which are the most popular?
The roses, for the most part, and afterwards the artisan products, the gourmet snacks and jams. Also les roses stabilisées, which last three years.
What is your favourite flower?
Not roses, to be honest! I don’t really have one flower I like more than the others. But I do really like winter flowers like anemones and tulips, things like that.
Do you like working in the Latin Quarter?
Yes, because it’s the oldest neighbourhood in Paris! It’s truly historical and rich. Really, it has sights like Notre Dame and is just full of history at its heart.
And in your opinion, what qualities does a florist need to succeed?
You must have taste, and an aesthetic sense I think. You have to like people to do business here. And truly, you have to be able to adapt and not get stuck in one style, because the times change. And a sense of imagination isn’t bad either.
Do you love flowers? What is your favourite kind of flower? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!
Introduction // Le Furet Tanrade // Thalie // La Petite Chocolatière // FJ Fleuriste // Boulangerie Bruno Solques // Rêve // Fromagerie Goncourt // Au-delà des Prés // Boulangerie des Artistes // Les Fleurs d’Aline // Gontran Cherrier
Interview by Justine Goode – Paris Intern – MyFrenchLife™
All images © Justine Goode