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The Fragonard Perfume Museum Paris is a small museum dedicated to the world of perfumes. Originally opened in 1983, the Perfume Museum in Paris 9 was renovated in the last years by the historical fragrance-maker Fragonard and reopened as the Fragonard Musée du Parfum.
Considering that Paris is (together with Grasse) the world capital of perfumery and locals’ love for perfumes, the French capital could not stay with a museum dedicated to perfumes for long!
The Fragonard Perfume Museum of Paris is always free. The Perfume Museum is one of the best free museums in Paris so you cannot miss this wonderful museum!
Fragonard Perfume Paris – The Story
Parfumerie Fragonard was founded in 1926 in Grasse (South of France). Today, this family business is one of the last representatives of the perfumes’ craft tradition in the French capital.
In the fifties, Jean-Francois Costa (the father of the current managers) started collecting precious objects related to the world of perfumes and its history. This collection by a perfume-passionate is today the heart of the Museum’s collection.
Fragonard Museum Paris Part 1: How to Make Perfume
To visit the Perfume Museum it is necessary to join a guided tour in English or French. The guided tour lasts 20 minutes and it is free.
During the first part of the tour, scent lovers discover Fragonard’s “savoir-faire” and how perfumes are made. In theory, anybody can be a maître parfumeur, it is a matter of studying and training. In France there are three schools dedicated to this art located in Paris, Versailles, and Grasse. Students try to memorize all the possible scents linking each one to a personal memory.
Fragonard Museum Paris Part 2: The History of Perfumery
During the second part of the visit the guide tells visitors about 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, for example, that in different historical periods perfumes had different uses and purposes. We also learned that until the beginning of the 19th century, perfumes and their bottles were unique (made especially for one person). It was also at that time when the concept of male perfume and female perfume appeared for the first time. Until then, there were only summer perfumes and winter perfumes, without gender differences.
The visit ends at Fragonard’s shop on the first floors where scent lovers can appreciate Fragonard’s most iconic perfumes. It was funny when the guide proposed us to try to guess the main scents for each perfume.
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 an excellent option because tin protects perfumes from light, heat, and humidity much better than glass.
Fragonard shop proposes interesting offers if you buy different perfumes.
Fragonard Perfume Museum was a beautiful discovery. The visit was very interesting and its location is very beautiful. If you are interested in the world of scents, this is the museum for you.
Paris Perfume Museum – Practical Info
The Fragonard Museum is tucked away in an elegant square of Paris 9, not far from the Opéra de Garnier. You can find this museum at 3-5 Square de l’Opéra Louis Jouvet, Paris 75009.
You can reach the museum by metro, Opéra metro station (lines 3, 7 and 8).
The free guided visits are in English and French. They start every 15 minutes and they last 20 minutes.
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