Gourmet Fair

Perfume: the Journey from Fragonard

The article is followed by a Gourmet Gazette Slide Show

Into the 19th century mansion that houses the Fragonard Perfume Museum. ©Fragonard Parfumeur. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

Paris, France — A small perfume bottle in the shape of a bird in porcelain, gold, enamel and agate fashioned in England in the 18th century by the French jeweler Charles Gouyn, a whimsical perfume bottle in the shape of a champagne bottle and myriad objects from Antiquity related to perfume. These are among the rare and exceptional objects on display at the Musée du Parfum de Fragonard. It is one of the great Parisian places bringing together myriad French arts and crafts and showcasing the history of perfume. The Grasse-based perfume maker Fragonard re-opened the doors of its perfume museum in Paris last March 14th to reveal once again one of the finest and largest collections of old and ancient perfume bottles and containers in the world. The museum is nestled into a 19th century private mansion, replete with wall moldings, parquet floors and chandeliers, just footsteps away from the Garnier Opera House and the visitor is plunged into Paris of the Second Empire in the finely appointed rooms on the first floor of the home where the Costa family, the owners of Fragonard, share their fabulous collection with the world at large.

Close-up of a display of perfume containers at the Fragonard Perfume Museum. ©Fragonard Parfumeur. Handout via The Gourmet Gazette

The house has been creating perfumes since 1926 and it was at the end of the 1950s that Jean-François Costa acquired a collection dedicated to the arts and crafts of the perfume making process spanning two thousand years of history. His daughters, Agnès and Françoise Costa, who have been directing operations for the past 20 years, made additional acquisitions in 2019 upon the enlarging of the museum. Unguent vases from Ancient Egypt, glass bottles from the Roman era, the museum exhibits some 300 unique objects, paintings and objects and tools used in the perfume making process.
©Trish Valicenti for The Gourmet Gazette
The visit is guided and free of charge Mondays to Saturdays from 9am until 6pm and from 9am until 5pm on Sundays.
9 rue Scribe
75009 Paris, France
Tel: + 33 (0) 1 40 06 10 09

A Gourmet Gazette Slide Show

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