Paris has a lot of surprise spots. L’ Oriental is one of them. Hidden in the elegant galleries of the Palais Royal Garden, just five minutes from the Louvre there is a little unusual shop.
It has been there since 1818, so it’s one of the oldest establishments in the French capital. It has a very small space completely filled with pipes of all kinds. When you look more closely you see that there are not only pipes, but also a lot of tobacco-related objects, as well as antique jewelry. In short, this is a small museum, which exhibits paintings, engravings, cigarette-holders and tobacco pots.
Since 1999, the house is run by Rakel van Kotte. She was originally a non-smoker but has finally set about it, for the customers and by taste. She is friendly and always has for you good advice. I looked in there once intrigued by the photo of the Pope John Paul II in the shop window. I don’t regret.
Rakel van Kotte told me about the Pope’s visit to this shop thirty years ago. Also Luciano Pavarotti was a customer of this store. If you want to have the original souvenir from Paris take a look there ! The address is 19, galerie de Chartres (Palais-Royal) 75001 Paris