The Château de Malmaison, Joséphine de Beauharnais' former abode, is hosting a special olfactory discovery itinerary on the castle's grounds called Jeu des Senteurs until mid-September 2011. These smelling "games" were inaugurated at the beginning of the summer and have been prolonged. They are open, but not limited to visually impaired visitors....
Braille pannels are on hand and there is a focus on a tactile approach to the examination of plants.
In particular, one will be able to experience the scents of the exotic plants and fruits that Joséphine made sure were brought back from the country of her childhood, Martinique. Other flowers are roses, of which the Empress originally named Rose was a devotee, and her collection of scented pelargoniums.
The collections are recreations of the original libraries of plants that were assembled by Napoleon's wife. They have been fully documented and repertoried in, for instance the beautifully illustrated rose compendium, Les Roses by Redouté. This has enabled curators to reconstitute the ensemble of varietals that the Empress was interested in after the castle was brought back to life.
Avenue du Château
Tél. : 01 41 29 05 55
Image: Château de Malmaison Museum