The International Museum of Perfumery

Perfume Museum

 

Suitably replenished after a relaxed lunch in the square ‘people watching’ I made my way to the International Museum of Perfumery. A very traditional Provencal Building on the front it has modern additions at the back where you begin your fragrant journey. It really is an amazing treat for the senses. On entry you walk across a steel gantry which feels like entering the boiler room of some huge industrial building. There is then a sensory journey for you to follow along the walls, a film show in a darkened room to really get the senses going before you finally enter into a conservatory / rooftop garden which is planted with a selection of aromatic plants including patchouli, cistus, lemongrass, basil, rosemary and lavender. Crossing the gantry again you enter very traditionally styled rooms with display cases of perfume bottles and early distillation equipment, all well documented. There are perfumes to smell and lots of photos to deepen the experience. Back down the sweeping wooden stairs there are more perfume bottles, cases and advertising labels to view and ponder. You then enter the area which has lots of traditional machinery. There are different types of still, expression machinery, enfleurage slides and boilers, mixing and storage equipment which shows a fascinating progression through time and engineering development. There is also a door to a walled garden full of citrus trees which were in flower on the day I visited. It is wonderful to see these trees with flower, developing and mature fruit (living in the UK it is not a common sight for me). After breathing in the wonderful scent I embarked on the final rooms of the museum. More perfume bottles, perfumer’s organs and a timeline of perfume which bought back some memories of but the people who wore it! Blinking in the bright sunlight I headed to the square for the Fete de la Rose.

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