Paris is since many years the world capital of perfumery so the city could not miss a museum dedicated to Perfume. Originally opened in 1983, the Perfume Museum has been recently renovated by historical fragrance-maker Fragonard and reopened as the Fragonard Musée du Parfum.
Parfumerie Fragonard was founded in 1926 in Grasse (South of France). It is today one of the last representatives of the perfumes’ craft tradition in the City of Lights. In the fifties, Jean-Francois Costa (father of the current managers) started collecting precious objects linked to the world of perfumes which constitute today the heart of the museum’s collection.
Fragonard Perfume Museum – the visit
During the 20 minutes that lasts the guided visit, scent lovers discover Fragonard’s “savoir faire” and how perfumes are made. In theory anybody can be a “maître parfumier”. In the three French schools dedicated to this Art (Paris, Versailles and Grasse) students try to memorize all the possible scents linking each one to a personal memory.
The second part of the visit is about the perfumery’s 3.000 years of history, from Ancient Egypt until our days, through beautiful ancient objects, images and short videos. It was interesting to learn that in different historical periods perfumes had different uses and purposes. I also learnt that until the beginning of the XXth century perfumes and their bottles were unique (made especially for one person). At that time also appeared the concept of male /female perfumes (until then perfumes were unisex) or the summer /winter perfumes.
The visit ends with Fragonard’s shop where scent lovers can appreciate Fragonard’s main perfumes. It was funny when our guide proposed us to guess together the main scents that each perfume had.
As you can see Fragonard’s perfumes are sold in tin (Ti) bottles. This was due to the lack of glass after the Second World War. Tin turned to be a nice discovery because tin protects perfumes from light, heat and humidity much better than glass.
Fragonard Perfume Museum was a beautiful discovery. The visit was very interesting and beautiful as well as its location. If you are interested in the world of scents, this is the museum for you.
Nouveau Musée du Parfum Fragonard
IXth Arrondissement. 3-5 square de l’Opéra Louis Jouvet, M. Opéra L7,8,3. Tickets: guided free visits in English and French every 15 minutes.
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