Just as you need to stow away your winter clothes for your spring ensemble, you might be thinking to change your scent to something more suited to springtime. A free guided tour in this perfume museum can help you find your flowery fragrance of choice.
“Located in the Opéra Garnier quarter of Paris, the Musée du Parfum Fragonard (The Museum of Perfume) welcomes both amateur perfume lovers and connoisseurs for a free guided tour unveiling the manufacturing secrets of perfume and its extraordinary history from Antiquity to the present day.”
You will be taken downstairs and be given a brief history of the Maison Fragonard, the perfume capital Grasse, and the methods for extracting flower essence to create perfume.
They also have a unique collection of perfumery-related objects of art which dates to the time of Marie Antoinette. The guide has interesting tidbits on how the purpose of and access to perfume changed from the time of the Egyptians to the present day. The unique bottles would make you want to have one of your own!
Of course a perfume museum should excite your olfactory sense, and that’s what exactly happens in one of the rooms. You will be asked to smell and recognise different essences such as lemon, citron, rose, jasmine, lavender, orange blossom etc. If you find yourself tempted to put some of the fragrant balms in your skin, you’re not alone. Finally, you will put your nose and memory to test by guessing the composition of 3-4 Fragonard perfumes while getting some tips on how to wear perfume. If you are interested in furthering your knowledge in perfume, they offer a 1.5 hour workshop.
Even though Maison Fragonard is one of the great perfume houses of France, you might not see that much marketing as other famous brands. They explain that since almost around 80% of the price of the most marketed perfumes account for the cost of advertising (this dailymail article even puts it as high as 97%!), they want the price of their fragrances to be less costly. It works because you will find 50ml eau de toilettes for only €18 each and their classic parfums from €28 (15ml) to €89 (120ml).
They also have soap which will smell good and look good in your bathroom:
So next time you visit Paris, skip the excessively marketed perfumes in Galleries Lafayette and check out the Fragonard perfumes. Your nose and wallet will thank you for it.