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Rediscovering Paris' most scandalous salons with Ellen von Unwerth - CNN

At 250 years old, Lapérouse is one of the most the prestigious, glamorous restaurants in Paris.

Overlooking the Seine from the left bank, it was a favorite meeting place for the likes of Victor Hugo, Gustave Flaubert and Emile Zola, who frequented the private rooms on its second floor to discuss literature and politics.

But that's not all that happened in these "petits salons."[What's it like to have the Louvre all to yourself?]

A private rendez-vous with the Mona Lisa

"Rich men would come and visit their mistresses in those rooms," says German photographer Ellen von Unwerth. "So you can just imagine all the scenes and the scenarios going on."
Read: Under the covers with Marina Abramović and Riccardo Tisci

While the times may have changed, many remnants of the restaurant's past remain untouched -- like a room of mirrors, etched with names and hearts.

"One very famous thing is that rich men would spoil their mistresses with jewelery," she said. "They were given diamonds and the best way to prove it's a diamond? You scratch it on the mirror, and if it scratches it means it's real. Otherwise, it's just glass."