Saturday, December 8, 2007

French Blooms in Barcelona

When Bernard came to Barcelona 4 years ago from his native Paris he worked in the world of Communication, according to him, something entirely different from what he’s doing now. But the concept behind Au nom de la rose spoke to him. It said, “Open a franchise in Barcelona.” And in November 2006, he did just that.

The darling shop on the corner of Valencia/Enric Granados looks like a little bit of Paris. Or like a little bit of Paris in a corny movie. But the flower petals strewn on the sidewalk and the color-coordinated roses in zinc buckets call out to you. They say, “Take me with you, your friends will be astounded, your loved ones will love you more. You will be living la vie en rose.” Their siren-song is irresistible.

The color groups are spectacular – choose from red/dark pink, white/cream/light pink or orange/salmon/yellow or mix them up even more with the unfailing good taste of the staff. The arrangements, from round bouquets to single blooms in colored baskets or tiny zinc buckets are impeccable and there are options for all tastes (well, only good taste really,) and budgets. There are rose-scented candles, candies and linen sprays to go with if flowers aren’t enough. Presents are presented in petal-strewn paper bags with their sweet logo and bouquets are wrapped in simple white paper with a single bloom tied into the knot that closes the package. So enticing are the options that one starry-eyed fan sent a bouquet a day to his beloved while away on a two week business trip.

The first Au nom de la rose opened in 1991 in St. Germain and now there are 43 shops in France and the fever has spread to Belguim, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Lebanon, Russia, Greece and on Monday the 10th, the stiff upper lipped British will surely squeeze out the tiniest of smiles when they pass by the first shop in London. It looks like Bernard was right, Barcelona did need a simple, elegant theme florist - since October 15th they’ve been wooing innocent by-passers at their new location on carrer Ganduxer too. In the next few years, look for shops in Madrid or Valencia as the word gets out all over the country. If you register as a frequent shopper (do it, because you’ll become one,) you can use your discount card at any Au nom de la Rose in the world. And that’s handy because your French might be rusty or your Greek non-existent, but if you’re invited to someone’s house while on a trip, you can always “say it with flowers” (thanks FTD.)

Au nom de la rose:
Valencia 203
tel. 93 451 1650
m-sat 9h - 21h
sun 10h - 14:30
Ganduxer 26
tel. 93 201 3280
m-f 9h - 15h/17h - 21h
s-s 10h - 14:30h

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