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Museum of Scents: Fragonard

You’re probably disappointed in magic, if you have waited for Hagrid since 11, tried dozens of spells (and none of them works), couldn’t even turn your neighbor into some kind of animal. This is why you might not believe me at once, if I tell you that I know a place where you can witness real magic.

Perfume, number one powerful spell that exists today. I have promised to talk about the scents of Paris, and here it is!

Photo by Naf

There are many people that claim they hate perfume and are against any kind of artificial scents. Let’s clear it out right now. First of all, don’t focus on today’s perfumes only, the ones you can buy for $10 at a local store. We’re talking about real art, best perfumes of the world, taking natural scents (flowers, fruits and other natural material), extracting their soul and putting them together into a stunning bouquet. The reason why you don’t accept the power of perfumes is, perhaps, the possibility that you have never encountered a worthy one.

Ironically, Paris is not considered to be the capital of perfumery. It does hold the title of the fashion capital, but a French town called Grasse has been and will continue to be the homeland of perfumes. If you have read our Paris book list, Grasse will definitely remind you of the book Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind. If you have skipped this one, please do read it before visiting this museum. You can even watch the movie. Inspiration guaranteed.

Fragonard Museum of Perfume

Of all museums in Paris, of all attractions and restaurants, Fragonard Museum of Perfume is a must. It’s named after a famous 18th century painter from Grasse, Jean-Honoré Fragonard.

Although the museum’s collection covers more than 5000 years, telling the very beginning of the perfume story, the museum was opened only 30 years ago, in 1983.

It’s not too far away from Paris Opera House. Paris Story and Théâtre-Musée des Capucines are also not too far away, so you might want to include them into your sightseeing list for the day. There are also awesome Parisian cafes around.

The initiator of the museum was the Fragonard perfume company, which owns the museum. This is the reason why the gift shop offers only Fragonard perfumes. The building itself is worth attention and admiration. The perfume collection is housed in a Napoleon III town house, which dates back to 1860.

Photo by Cea.

The collection consists of all kinds of items and materials that have something to do with perfumery. The bottles are of particular interest. The tradition has survived till today, fantastic bottles must contain fantastic perfumes. The bottle itself is like the signature of the scent, it has to be unique and gorgeous. All the bottles you will find in the museum correspond to the mentioned criteria. Some of them even have initials and names, giving you a chance to guess who were their owners. The rest of the collection includes porcelain scent bottles, engravings, paintings, scented gloves, boxes for powders and other cosmetics.

By the way, there is a Fragonard museum in Grasse too.

The admission to the museum is absolutely free. Moreover, you will also be provided by a free tour, which will give a big amount of information on perfumery, its history and origins, scent types, means of making perfumes, and so on. You might even try adopting the profession as a hobby. Don’t worry about the French language, tours are available in English, Russian, German, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Polish, and Danish.

Tips

I am more than sure that you’ll be spellbound after the tour through this museum. If you like a certain scent by Fragonard, you’ll be able to purchase it at the end of the tour.

Warning: keep in mind that prices are quite high. It’s more than a souvenir to a friend, Fragonard perfumes are precious gifts. You can get one to your mother, sister, wife, daughter, or someone you really love.

So, when you start testing the perfumes, remember the right way of applying it. The target places to hit are the pulse points. Your pulse will constantly make the perfume spread its scent. No matter how much you spray the perfume on your hair, face, and clothing, pulse points are the most effective places.

Photo by Martin Sojka .. www.VisualEscap.es

The real scent can’t be captured if sprayed on paper. Although it’s a good way of testing a few perfumes, but if you make up your mind on which to buy, test it on your skin as well. Skin will warm the perfume, which is why it will smell differently.

Also, perfume smells differently on different people. It’s actually my favorite thing about perfumes. This is why perfumes are special, they instantly connect to you and adjust themselves.

The last important tip is the timing. You sprayed it, you liked it, you bought it. This is a wrong approach. Perfumes have successive levels. The scent will change 10 minutes later, then, it will change again at the end of the day. If you want to understand the real essence of the perfume, leave it on for a day, and if you still like it before going to bed, go back to the museum and get a bottle or two.

No one can ever tell enough about perfumes, this museum is just one circle in the chain of the scented world. Give it a chance, and you might discover a whole new universe for yourself.

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