Hidden among the shops around Opèra and by Galeries LaFayette, there’s a store called Fragonard with beautiful fragrances inside. However, in the back entrance, there is much more to be found with access to free museum tours of the history of perfume fabrication and the Fragonard brand.
These tours happen in French and English and are free! The duration of the tour is about 30 minutes and you get to see perfume bottles worn by people in the era of King Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette. You also learn how the perfume is created from flower petals and other resources to create the aroma and how it is then bottled.
Pro-tip- you get a discount for in-store purchases by taking the tour!!!
Some short lessons I learned while taking the tour regarding fragrance.
- You don’t want to rub your wrists together to spread perfume after spraying because it’ll actually diminish the smelling particles.
- In Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette’s time perfume was used because they didn’t regularly bathe.
- After experiencing the smell test portion of the tour, I learned how difficult of a skill it is to be a perfumer and have the right nose for the job.
- A bottle of Fragonard perfume will last you about 8 years (depending on usage, of course!) because their bottles are opaque.
- Fragonard was found in 1926 and is still run by the original family today!
Thanks for reading! I hope you get a chance to take this tour and experience the intricacies of French perfume making and history.