It is often said that you can tell a person by their shoes; trainers, stilletos, brogues, boots, sandals….all give a very different impression of their owners. However, if there is one thing even MORE telling than footwear, it must be one’s choice of stationery. Though it might not seem important, what a person writes on and with is as expressive as the clothes they wear, the books they read, the way they style their hair….and crucial to making a good impression, nevermind being a source of pleasure in its own right.
So I think, everytime I visit ‘Melodies Graphiques’, an Aladdin’s cave of stationery on rue du Pont Louis Phillipe, 4eme. Inside this elegant boutique, aptly located next door to an antique musical instrument shop, old fashioned quills rub shoulders with thick, cream-coloured notepaper, slim ‘cahiers’ with vintage school book-inspired covers, and handmade cards and party invitations. Buttery-soft leather-bound journals in a symphony of colours fight for space with wax seals, framed calligraphy, and delicate japanese-style notebooks, not to mention the deep pile of wrapping paper imported from Florence at the very back of the store.
My personal favourite item has got to be the ‘essui encre’ or ‘ink wiper’, a small round fabric pad made up of multiple layers of felt, sewn together with a button in the middle, for wiping down fountain or quill pens after use. Useful and beautiful, a very rare combination. Not to be found here are biros, A4 lined paper, pritt stick or any of the usual paraphernalia sold by ordinary stationers; this shop is strictly reserved for the extra-ordinary.