15 December 2020

Perfume me


"Shall I perfume you?"

In France, perfume is such an integral part of the culture that it’s a verb. 

The offer for a light misting was coming from the exuberant Versailles-born Christian Louis, whose charming shop nestled under a Place des Vosges archway is my personal favorite small Paris parfumerie, worth a visit on its own. With its copper stills and colors of the Côte d'Azur it exudes a feel of bygone days mixed with a touch of a miniature Willy Wonka factory. It is, simply, a realm of beautiful scents, all created by Louis, holder of the prestigious title and position of one of France's rare Master Perfumers. Louis, whose workshop is in Grasse, will carefully scope a newcomer up and down and expertly match one of his creations to their "type" - reciting the ordained perfume's essential essences with passion (“orange peel, black pepper, wild rose, tuberose!”). And amazingly, he's never wrong.

France has been the Oz of beautiful fragrances for centuries. Its most iconic brands - Guerlain, CHANEL, Nina Ricci, Fragonard, Lancôme, Yves Saint Laurent, Sisley, Hermès, Jean Patou, Miss Dior - are known the world over. Yet every year, a new crop of débutantes enter the market, making the choices seem endless. Where to start? Most find it easier to play it safe and stick to the classics.
 
But Paris affords the luxury of under-the-radar smaller, still exclusive parfumeries that take the time to fix you up with a scent that’s uniquely you. Or help you choose a one-of-a-kind gift. And when you finally settle on The One that will endear you to your loves and loved ones' memories forever, as perfumes tend to do, don't forget to say, "Parfumez-moi!" - BPJ
 

 
 
Worth discovering:
 
Parfums et Senteurs du Pays Basque
Christian Louis Parfums
18 Place des Vosges 75004
 
 Frédéric Malle

37 rue de Grenelle 75007 
 
Jovoy Parfumier
4 rue de Castiglione 75001
 
Serge Lutens
142 Galerie de Valois 75001

 Annick Goutal
12 Place Saint Sulpice 75006
 
L'Artisan Parfumeur
32 rue du Bourg Tibourg 75004
 
Marie-Antoinette
5 rue d'Ormesson 75004
 
Discover the secrets of perfume making:
 
The Alchemist Atelier
36 rue Étienne Marcel 75002
 
Create your own perfume:
 
Le Studio des Parfums
23 rue du Bourg Tibourg 75004

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