Grandmamma and Grandpappa Lowenbrau, The Danger Twins, Great Aunt Eunice, Little Wendy and Mother were the first to notice the smell.
“Oh my days! What’s died!”
“Don’t look at us!” said the danger twins.
Other visitors to Napoleon’s tomb started to sniff at the air dubiously.
“Eunice!” Grandmamma had noticed Eunice sheepishly clutching a small paper bag.
“Show me what is in that bag!”
Eunice unfurled the top…
A noxious odour flooded the tomb and people began rushing for fresh air, knocking Eunice who dropped the bag over the railing where it burst on the top of Napoleon’s sarcophagus.
One small cheese bounced out.
“Oh mon dieu! C’est la Époisses!” screamed a horrified patron.
General pandemonium ensued as the crowd, detecting the unmistakable odour of the world’s most rancid cheese rushed to the doors.
The Lowenbrau family stood stunned as Eunice produced biscuits and a cheese knife.
“Apparently it was Napoleon’s favorite cheese.” Said Grandpa enjoying the irony.
“Anyone for a cracker?” said Eunice as the decontamination unit arrived.
“Well that is just typical.” said Mother.
This is a photo I took of the wonderful roof of Les Invalides where Napoleon’s sarcophagus rests. It was originally built for Louis XIV as part of the chapel attached to the hospital for injured soldiers. It was converted after the revolution to house Napoleon’s tomb but the wonderful roof and many other Louis XIV details remain.
Époisses is considered to be the worst smelling cheese in France. It is so pungent that it is forbidden to carry it on public transport or bring it into public buildings. Napoleon was said to have loved the cheese and enjoyed eating it with Chambertin wine. Its flavour apparently well outweighs the inconvenience of its rancid smell.