Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The little things I love

I’ve always been equal parts intrigued and intimidated by the pharmacies here in Paris. Unlike the sprawling Duane Reades in New York, or even a modest Connecticut CVS, they tend to be relatively small, so it’s not about the size.

But maybe that’s just it: there’s not enough space and privacy to try to decode the promises and ingredients of all those special French salves, potions, pills, lotions and magic solutions. Plus, if I can drop fifty bucks without a blink of an eye at Duane Reade, just imagine how much damage I could do picking up an assortment of pretty jars of body lotion and special regime tablets.

Still, I love the variations of the green cross that evoke all these images.


  1. It's funny, the Paris pharmacy used to intimidate me as well. Do I go in for expensive clinical body creams? Or just for some advil? Both? It was an interesting experience, especially since I always feel like an interloper when I go in just to look at lotions or lip balms. I see the pharmacists eying me like, "does she need to be in here for something?".

    Love the symbol though, it's reassurance when you're sick (and perhaps obnoxious when you have a splitting headache!) :)

  2. I was so pleased , upon arrival in Buenos Aires, to see that the pharmacies also have Green Crosses :)
    I used to have such good shopping sprees in Paris, at the pharmacies. The bath products I brought home ! the lotions and potions .. the best of lip balms and bath fizzies came from a pharmacy.
    Happily, I do not remember ever having to buy medicine :)
    They are similar here, not as "exotic" but similar ..

  3. I remember seeing those little green crosses the first time we visited Paris. I kind of like how there's a universal symbol. If you are ever in need, you can just scan the streets for a glowing green cross. I love your collection of photos, so neat to see the different interpretations.

  4. I bought the most foot-saving shoe inserts at a pharmacie last time I was in Paris. They were 15 Euros, but worth every centim!

  5. I love that each one is just a bit different but still the universal sign...they use it in Rome, too. I was so intimidated I never actually went into one...I hear they can actually give prescriptions without a doctor (have no idea if that's true...) The signs are beautiful, a study in subtlties.

  6. Oooooo
    I took a gazillion pictures of those GREEN pharmacies last trip..
    It's not just me.
    I'm terrified of them too. It's like a visit to the doctor or the dentist- they are sooo attentive.
    And everyone seems to be buying TONS of medications!!
    Just plain terrifying IMHO

  7. Sadly, the pharmacy people know me now and the one who speaks the best English comes to the front when I come in :)

  8. I love the green pharmacy signs of Paris too.

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