High culture is a quintessential part of Paris’ personality, and nowhere is that better expressed than in the city’s wealth of world-class museums. From art-world heavyweights to modernist stylings, here are six of the City of Light’s top museums.
Fragonard Perfume Museum (Musée du Parfum Fragonard)
9 rue Scribe, Paris, Ile-de-France
Located on the site of the former Éden-Théâtre—a popular 19th-century theater—the Perfume Museum opened to visitors in 2015. Its one-of-a-kind collection focuses on the traditions and history of perfume-making and showcases everything from ancient Mesopotamian artifacts and historical perfume labels to copper stills. The museum also offers a number of interactive attractions, including an olfaction room where visitors can sniff different ingredients and test their noses and a functioning perfume laboratory.
Advanced bookings are not required for this free attraction, which makes it simple to plan a spontaneous, drop-in visit. The museum can be woven into bespoke Paris walking tours or combined with other sightseeing stops in the area.
Things to Know Before You Go
The museum is free to visit, and complimentary guided tours (available in English and French) are offered every 20 minutes throughout the day.
The Musée du Parfum does not have a cloakroom, so it’s best to avoid bringing large bags or other cumbersome items.
You can purchase scents, accessories, soaps, cosmetics, and other souvenirs in the on-site gift shop.
How to Get There
Given its central location near Opéra Garnier, Fragonard Perfume Museum can be reached by numerous forms of transit. The Opéra transit hub is served by Métro lines 3, 7, and 8, and includes connections to lines 9, 12, 13, 14, and the RER A and E. Alternatively, use bus routes 20, 21, 22, 27, 29, 31, 39, 42, 52, 53, 66, 68, 81, and 95. The site can also be reached on foot, by car, taxi, or rental bike.
When to Get There
The Fragonard Perfume Museum is open Monday to Saturday. It is closed on Sunday and on Dec. 25, Jan. 1, and May 1. The venue also hosts a perfume apprentice’s workshop every Saturday. Olfactory talks are held on one Thursday each month. You can research your options, and book workshop tickets in advance, online.
Other Attractions for Perfume Lovers
In addition to Fragonard, Paris is home to a number of other vaunted and traditional perfume houses. If you wish to continue your perfume tour of the City of Lights, Goutal, Frédéric Malle, Guérlain, and Diptyque all have outlets nearby.
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