Deyrolle Reopens its Cabinet of Curiosities, and I Want One.


When I was living in Paris, I used to walk by the Deyrolle shop nearly every day, and longingly peeked into the windows at the veritable cabinet of curiosities inside (the storied boutique has been selling taxidermy from lions to butterflies, mineral and fossil relics, and books since 1831). But in all that time, I never had the guts to go in because it kind of scared me that it was full of dead animals, frozen in time to look like they were wandering in their natural habitats.

Ok, I admit it; I was more afraid of my embarrassing French than the stuffed animals.

Then in February, a devastating fire forced the shop to close, and I feared I’d never have the chance to test my courage and mon accent and go inside. Luckily, renovations have finished and Deyrolle is open again!

Just in time to help celebrate the beauty of the natural kingdom, Alexander McQueen’s show in Paris last week presented a zoo of taxidermy along with the clothes, which made me long for the rue du Bac, and the smoky café on my corner, with views onto the bouquinistes selling vintage Vogue covers and used volumes of Hugo and Moliere on the Seine. It made me long of course, for the dusty Deyrolle shop. They do have a nifty website but it does little to transport you to that classically Parisian store with its gold lettering on the storefront, and the expensive objets inside which I always coveted.

Maybe on my next trip I can pick up one of the gorgeous exotic birds which would perfectly fit in with my hectic New York lifestyle: a pet silent, requiring no food or maintenance or outdoors space, and that leaves no mess! Parfait.


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