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Fragonard Perfume Museum

The Musée du Parfum Fragonard is just a 6-minute walk from Relais Madeleine, near the Palais Garnier. Discover the art of French living, explore a unique collection of antique perfume bottles and a perfumer's laboratory in the ambience of an 18th-century apartment, and take advantage of a range of products offering excellent value for money.

Who is Fragonard ?

The Fragonard perfumery was founded in Grasse in 1926. Located in Provence, 40km from Cannes, the pretty town of Grasse has been considered the world's perfume capital since the 17th century. Situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps, Grasse's temperate climate provides the ideal alchemy for growing the flowers needed to produce exceptional fragrances. The historic perfume factory in Grasse is well worth a visit. Even today, everything is produced in Grasse.




Grasse

The Fragonard Museum

In 1950, the perfume house began collecting antiques related to the world of perfume. Since then, Fragonard has never ceased to be interested in heritage.
Access to the museum is via 9 rue Scribe. The museum is free of charge and occupies the second floor of an 18th-century apartment. The visit begins in a very pretty Louis XVI-style salon, with gold-gilded woodwork.






Perfumer's cabinet: These include references to the animal notes used in certain perfumes: beaver, civet (top). Today, modern processes make it possible to reproduce animal essences with synthetic molecules.


The cold enfleurage technique was developed in Grasse for certain flowers, such as jasmine, which cannot be heated. The flowers are placed one by one in a wooden box (above foreground), in which an odorless grease has been spread, and then covered with a glass plate. After 24 hours, the scents are absorbed by the grease. The operation is repeated several times with new flowers, until the grease is saturated with fragrance. The fat is then extracted and washed with alcohol to obtain the "absolute". This technique was later replaced by more modern processes.
In the background of the photo above, we see a still. Flower petals are placed on a perforated tray at the top of a tank containing water, which is then brought to the boil. The steam then released captures the floral essential oils, and travels along a serpentine coil incorporating a refrigeration system, where it condenses. The water is then separated from the essences. Two substances are produced: eau de parfum and essence de parfum.
 

The perfume organ is the piece of furniture used by the creative perfumer, known as the "Nose". In general, a nose can work around 3-4 hours a day on olfactory creation, due to the sensitivity of the human nose to olfactory exhaustion.

The origins of perfume go back to ancient Egypt, where important perfume factories flourished in Alexandria. In those days, perfumes were used in a religious context, similar to today's use of incense in Christian practices. A 5000-year retrospective of the history of perfumery unfolds before you: from Egyptian kohl jars to Greek amphorae, from lekythoi to pomanders, from perfume burners to bottles of rare beauty and singular shapes, as well as travel boxes... All this is skilfully orchestrated by an educational staging, enhanced by short film sequences highlighting emblematic figures such as Cleopatra and Marie-Antoinette.


Left, Khol vase - 3000-2820 B.C. Right, Alabastron (an ancient vial used to contain perfumes or oils) - 5th - 2nd century BC.



Extracts box. Wood and embroidery, France - Mid-17th century


Perfume bottles - France - England - 18th century


Perfume set with the coat of arms of Marie Antoinette, Queen of France


Embossed metal utensils. France - 2nd half of the 18th century


Chinese snuff bottle - China 18th century

Discover Fragonard products

One of the highlights of the store beneath the museum is the opportunity to smell a wide range of exquisite scents, allowing you to appreciate the complexity and diversity of the fragrances.
Because Fragonard has not adopted the classic codes of the cosmetics industry, product prices seem less affected by expensive marketing. Perfumes, body care, soaps, scents and gifts are presented and offered at very affordable prices.




Le musée du Parfum Fragonard
9 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 17:30 and Sunday from 9:00 to 16:30​
https://musee-parfum-paris.fragonard.com/




 
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