In the shadow of the grand Paris Opera house lies a small and unique museum. The Musée de Pafum Fragonard is not one of the big museums that everyone visits, it’s not that well-known at all in fact, but it’s definitely worth seeking out.
The Musée de Parfum
The Musée de Parfum Fragonard is located in a beautiful building which in the 19th century was the site of the Eden Theatre which hosted fairy tale ballets. It then became a centre for Parisians learning to ride the at-the-time new-fangled bicycles. In 1896 it became a store for English furniture maker Maple & Co. In 2014, Maison Fragonard, the iconic French perfume manufacture, founded in 1926, took the building over and turned it into a museum.
It’s free to enter and you can take a free guided tour which takes between 30 minutes to an hour (several languages).
You’ll discover the history of perfume and how to make it. There are glass cases containing ancient perfume bottles from the times of the ancient Egyptians to modern day. Perfume bottle collectors will absolutely adore this collection which dates back hundreds of years. There are travel cases and make up items, posters and pomanders. The “organ” of perfumes which the Master “Nose” perfumiers use to mix the raw essence is fascinating.
There’s an olfaction room, a perfume still and a perfumer’s workshop. Here you learn how to create your own personal perfume with expert guidance (cost Euros95, session lasts 1.5 hours).
The scent of orange blossom and jasmine fills the air in this lovely museum. If you love perfume, and who doesn’t, you’re going to enjoy this museum.
At the end of the tour, there’s a very smart shop where you can test the perfumes and buy. I have to warn you though, it’s incredibly hard to resist those delicious smells!
Entry is free; open from Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except January 1st, May 1st and December 25th.
Discover what to see and do in Paris at: Parisinfo.com
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