PERFUME IS A JOURNEY
What is the essence of modern floristry? We stroll through the new generation of Parisian floral designers to discover it.
The art of floristry by Claire Boreau, founder of Nue
A background in the art market. A family of master butchers passionate about literature. Claire Boreau, founder of her own workshop, Nue, is no ordinary floral designer. “Floristry is a bit lyrical, in a way. There is a manual dimension to it. A poetic one, as well. Flowers are incredibly evocative”, says Claire. What is floral design about? “Flowers are able to amaze people, to embellish a place and give it a soul. They cannot go out of style as they are closely linked to our quest for both beauty and nature. Plus, today, changing jobs is not unusual anymore, which means that floristry is now practiced by people from diverse backgrounds. They bring their own vision and ethics sometimes, it is a very positive thing as it pushes existing florists to renew themselves and be more than ‘merchants’.” The prerequisite of a modern floral arrangement? “Do not take it too seriously, just ‘make’. The most beautiful bouquets are created by children. They do not think about it: they make it!” And what about perfume? “Perfume is essential. We expect our food to be flavourful. Bouquets must be fragrant, too! I love to work with garden roses when they are in season. They are aromatic and very ephemeral, which gives them a lot of charm.
L’Eau d’Issey Pure Pétale de Nectar makes me think of naked branches, a cluster of cherry bay flowers, which heady fragrance is a combination of honey and bitter almond, and a fresh rose picked at dawn. In short, it reminds me of a corner of my grandmother’s garden!”
Memories and sensations
“My first memory linked to flowers? A hyacinth offered by my dad when I was a child, over watered – the stem was bowing down under the weight of flowers. I remember its perfume, spreading in my room”, recalls Claire. “I am working in my grandfather’s former workshop, at the very back of my grandparents’ garden. This place is filled with memories, too… I am inspired by emotions, not images. When I feel happy, or listen to a cheerful song, my bouquets are like fireworks, full of colours. When I feel a bit down, my arrangements are rather melancholic… I just let go…” Her creative world? “Spontaneous, changing, enthusiastic.” With a strong relationship to nature. “I am always missing nature, even though I work with flowers every day! When you feel close to it, nature allows us to put things into perspective. It sets me free as much as it intimidates me. It arouses my curiosity and calms me down at the same time.” What is next? “I am very fond of cooking. I am currently working on a very interesting project with Céline Pelcé, a talented food designer. I love when different areas cross paths and start a dialogue, it adds a lot of fun to work. My wish is to keep on learning, meeting amazing people and have fun while working!”
Credits : David Paige
A fragrant walk in Paris
Let us continue our journey with some of the most wonderful florists based in Paris. First, there is Muse, brightening Montmartre with its romantic compositions by Majid Mohammad, who makes flowers dance. Then, going south, we come across Debeaulieu, located in the very trendy “SoPi”, in the IXth arrondissement. Influenced by art (the Flemish painting of the XVIIth century, …) and his love for interior design, Pierre Banchereau arranges dazzling bouquets and collects beautiful, original vases. We finish our perfumed tour in the Marais with Castor by Louis-Géraud Castor, a former art dealer who came back to nature to explore simple, harmonious forms. Once again, a true symphony of colours and fragrances awaits us… And if you want to extend the aesthetic pleasure of flowers, why not immersing yourself in the exquisite book by Sixtine Dubly (journalist, curator and cofounder of the “Collectif de la fleur française”), Flowers: Art & Bouquets? To keep on dreaming…
Muse, 4 rue Burq, 75018 Paris, France. www.muse-montmartre.com
Debeaulieu, 30 rue Henry Monnier, 75009 Paris, France. www.debeaulieu-paris.com
Castor, 14 rue Debelleyme, 75003 Paris, France. www.castor-fleuriste.com
Flowers: Art & Bouquets by Sixtine Dubly (Assouline), www.assouline.com/products/flowers-art-bouquets
Credits photos :
David Paige: image 2