Greetings! When in Paris, I hardly ever NOT go to Place Vendôme, considered the most luxurious square in the world : it is an octagonal square in the 1st arrondissement of Paris located between Opéra and the Tuileries. Fun historical fact : Place Vendôme’s shape was artificially built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart who erected pedimented screens. So the buildings surrounding the square were actually front screens with fake buildings drawn on them. Today, there are also many screens due to the fact that the Ritz and the Buccelati buildings are undergoing renovations.
Place Vendôme hosts internationally renowned jewelry brands such as Cartier, Boucheron, Bulgari, Repossi, Mauboussin, Chaumet, Van Cleef & Arpels, Fred, Piaget, Patek Philippe, Breguet, Rolex, Hublot, Chanel Joaillerie, Dior Joaillerie, Vuitton Joaillerie or Buccelati, just to name a few! What is perhaps less commonly known is that these jewelers and artisans all came to Place Vendôme following in the footsteps of Meller, Marie-Antoinette’s jeweler, who moved into rue de la Paix in 1815, right next to Place Vendôme.
From the Opéra Garnier… to the road leading to Place Vendôme. This is a picture taken a few winters ago.
Being a girl’s girl, I love to attend the parties thrown by the jewelry houses every November, celebrating the Christmas decorations of the square. During the festive season, the jewelers throw parties where you can have Macarons, Champagne and plenty of time to appreciate their jewelry displays.
I have always been moved by the kindness of the salespeople, particularly at Mikimoto, Chaumet and Meller, the French name of Mellerio. Of course, the salespeople are remarkably suave, polished and beautiful, it’s part of the job description.
A couple of comments on Mellerio dits Meller. Being a family-owned jewelry brand, it is not as well known as the jewelers that belong to the LVMH or Richemont groups. As a consequence, it does not benefit from advertisements or commercials broadcast worldwide, but I suspect that Mellerio takes pride in its exclusivity like the other exclusive jeweler, Jar. During the christmas party, I did chat with one Monsieur Mellerio who was very sweet and approachable. Mellerio exists since 1643, that gives it 400 years of history.
I recall, and I hope I am not mistaken, that the teenage boy Mellerio had a stall in Versailles and met Marie-Antoinette this way. Ever since then, Mellerio has been the jeweler of many royal courts including that of Japan. You can see the galleries of tiaras and crowns inside the boutique.
I have such a remarkable souvenir of my boutique tour from three years ago that I like to go back from time to time. If you are ever in Paris, please try to make it to Meller and catch a glimpse of Marie-Antoinette’s opulent taste.
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