In a little more than thirty-five years, the Museum Fragonard of Paris is past the statute of establishment confidential to a cultural and tourism destination size. Enclosing several buildings the rue Scribe and the square Louis Jouvet, the volume of the site, with a rich collection of perfume bottles and antique accessories, has recently expanded to the pleasure-lovers, who can visit for free all year round.

A family history. Perfumer, hinterland of grasse, Fragonard was founded in 1926 by Eugène Fuchs, who borrows the name of the great local painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, himself the son of a master-glover perfumer to the court. At the end of the 1960s, Jean-François Costa, grandson of Fuchs, acquires a collection of the arts of perfume and creates a museum in Grasse. Over the years, the passionate enriches its collections up to open a small museum in 1983 in the heart of the capital, in a beautiful mansion of the Nineteenth century facing the Opera Garnier. Since four generations, the family – now represented by the three sisters Costa is persisting with the know-how of provence and attempts to modernise the image of the brand.

Bottles, and other treasures. Behind the high facade of the rue Scribe, volumes dedicated to the collections reach more than 600 m2. Under the painted ceilings and mouldings restored in the Second Empire, one discovers in the many showcases hundreds of objects and documents tracing the history of perfume at the same time as that of the house. Among the new acquisitions, we note that parts of ancient eastern and western as a bottle for cosmetics in the decoration of sheep heads in central Asia dating back to the Third millennium before J.-C., as well as a mirror, etruscan bronze, engraved (Fourth-Third century bc J.-C.). The chronology highlights the refinement under the reign of Louis XV with remarkable boxes of scents. A rich course, even if one regrets the absence of paintings of the masters to illustrate the topic.

Feel and know. The visit very educational is full of animations, olfactory, videos and documents to complete by the shop (of course). Upcoming appointments: “The aromachologie or how to guide their emotions by the olfaction of essential oils”, 16 may at 18: 30 by Patty Canac and “Fragrances ancient: from archeology to chemistry”, the 20 June at 18: 30 by Xavier Fernandez.

Musée du parfum Fragonard. 9, rue Scribe, and 3-5, square Louis Jouvet (IXe). Tel.: 01 40 06 10 09. Opening hours: lun. at the sam. from 9 am to 18pm.

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