Le LABO Shop – Weird Science
Stephanie Wells writing for VINGT Paris
Le LABO Shop is a specialized concept store for the scientifically-inclined, but this laboratory is more akin to Jonathan Adler than Dr. Frankenstein. The inventions and experiments of French-American scientist David Edwards (who also happens to be Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Harvard), bring science to street-level. Le LABO Shop’s chicly plexiglassed design belies a warm and highly informed staff who gladly explain the ins-and-outs of their mad scientist’s latest brainchild.
The LABO’s current invention is “Le Whif”, which Edwards developed with Thierry Marx, a double Michelin-starred chef at Relais-Château de Cordeillan Bages in Pauillac. Le Whif allows the pleasure of literally inhaling chocolate without the post-dessert guilt. As an alternative to the fondant au chocolat, and for the same caloric content as air, delicately inhale a puff of fine chocolate powder (choc/choc, choc/mint, etc.) onto the tongue. The chapstick-sized inhalers are available separately, or in mix and match flavour assortments. Recommended pairing with coffee (available on site plus a Whif for 3 Euros. Whif 1,30E each).
Le LABO Shop also stocks American popular science magazines and books, as well as French publications – including those by Edwards (aka Séguier) and Jay Cantor (aka Plessis).
Bookending the boutique are a public gallery and laboratory space where Edward’s concepts are refined.
Next for Le LABO Shop is “Le Bel-Air”; a living air purifier housing gerbera daisies, philodendron, pothos, or chlorophytum. Named “Best Innovation of the Year 2008” by Popular Science magazine and slated to launch in April 2010, this high-tech method of opening a window will run at 13,500 Euros.
Got a science geek in tow? Need to keep one entertained for a few? Take a Whif if you’re near the Louvre. You might catch a bedraggled scientist dropping in to say hi to the doc. Le LABO Shop will soon offer cooking classes and tastings, which begs the question: what’s the recipe for perfumed air?
Le LABO Shop
4 rue du Bouloi