Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Visit to the Sennalier Store

While looking for art supplies in Paris, a few people have recommended the Sennelier Store located at 3 Quai Voltaire. There are a few others places to buy supplies, like the BHV department store which I recommend, but I wanted to check out Sennelier.

For those who work in pastel, it would be like a pilgrimage to go there. It is in a great location, along the Seine across from the Louvre between antiques shops and near the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts. What a great spot.We took the 24 bus which runs along the river and got off near the Musee D'Orsay and walked back. Despite the being an overcast day, it was great being out walking along the quai.

The storefront is small and tucked between a couple of buildings. The window display was very creative and eclectic. It seemed a little intimidating to enter. At first, I wasn't going to go in, but I thought they might have a medium I could use with the water based oils I'm playing with.

Walking in, you feel a bit overwhelmed as it is crammed with every shape, size and color of pastel you would want. Inside it is small. There is a counter on the left, shelves in the middle and narrow aisles on either side of the middle row. There were 3 salespeople in there, but no one else.

I took a quick look around and then asked in my best French if they had a  "liquin like thing for water oils". The guy seemed to understand me as he pointed to some drawers in the corner. I looked in the drawers myself and it was just paint. I heard another salesperson say to him to look in the bottom drawer. Maybe she understood my question better. The salesguy didn't say anything to  me. So, I looked in the bottom drawer myself and found a medium for water based oils, just what I was looking for. I paid my 6.70 euros and we left.

When we were outside, we both commented on the lack of service and friendliness in the store. I really hadn't thought about it or had any expectations before entering, but when they didn't even meet NO expectations, we were a little surprised. Oh well, maybe they get foreigners in there all the time. I'll stick with BHV from now on.


  1. This bummed me out.

    Tim and I had a great experience there years back.

    Maybe they suspected your preference of oils over pastels ;)

    1. Maybe I was a little harsh. But, they hardly wanted to give me the time of day. I might have had that telltale oil smell on me. But I did find what I wanted which they didn't have at BHV.


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