If you’re in Paris on a budget but still want a dose of culture there are many unusual or quirky free museums in Paris well worth a visit. One of these is the Fragonard Perfume Museum which is essential for anyone interested in the history of perfume making in France.
The House of Fragonard was set up in 1926 by entrepreneur Eugène Fuchs who wanted to sell perfume directly to tourists. The perfumery is still family run and onto its third generation. They have sales outlets in Grasse and Eze as well as Paris.
Entrance to the museum
You’ll find the free museum in Paris tucked away in the district of Opera at 9 Rue Scribe, just a few minutes walk from the Opera metro stop. On entering you’ll receive a pamphlet and also the option of joining a free guided tour of your language.
The premises are made up of the museum which is upstairs and the shop which comes at the end of the tour when you head downstairs. It is a small museum so it doesn’t take long to visit but it has an interesting collection of perfume paraphernalia, and the tour guide gives a run down of perfume through the ages.
An exhibit inside the museum
After learning about perfume making techniques, such as distillation, absorption and extraction you’re invited downstairs to experience a number of different Fragonard perfumes to put what you’ve learned to the test.
Perfume from the Fragonard Museum
Once you’ve smelt about six different perfumes and been sprayed with a couple, it may be difficult to distinguish which perfume’s top notes, heart notes and base notes you like best. However, if you’re sold on a particular one there is the option of purchasing. Bottles come in a range of sizes and for travellers the 15ml bottle is perfect.
As well as perfume, the Fragonard store has cosmetics, soaps, home scents and gift packs. The perfumes and products are all sold at factory prices, so they make great souvenirs. So as well as smelling nice you’ll be wiser about how the perfume you’ve just bought has been created too!