Scents and Sensibility: A Perfume Walking Tour of Paris, Part III
In the Marais, our first stop on this part of the perfume walking tour of Paris is l’Artisan Parfumeur (34, rue des Francs Bourgeois, in the 3rd Arrondissement). It has a boho apothecary vibe and fragrances like Timbuktu for the guys or Chasse aux Papillons for the gals. For your home, it carries candles in elegant containers with antique gold lids. For traditionalists, nearby is Fragonard (51, rue des Francs Bourgeois, in the 4th), a perfume house with over 100 years of history.
Heading over to the rue des Archives, you’ll find the antidote to the world of luxury fragrances, Etat Libre d’Orange (69, rue des Archives, in the 3rd). The shop appeals to the subversive antiluxe personality, so don’t expect fancy bottles, shiny counters or French models to be waiting on you—sort of a relief, actually. With names like Delicious Closet Queen, Sex Pistols and Fat Electrician, you’ll experience perfumes that strike right between the eyes. Our favorite is Tilda Swinton Like This, so you get the idea. It’s a fragrance revolution of the first order.
As you head to the Places des Vosges, you’ll discover Mariage Frères (30, rue du Bourg Tibourg, in the 4th), a luxury tea shop. Fragrant teas are blended into exquisite combinations, and the shop is filled with miniature Japanese teapots. You’ll feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland, so “drink” and enjoy.
A girl’s trip to Paris would not be complete without a walk down the luxe avenue Montaigne. First, stop into Dior (30, avenue Montaigne, in the 8th), our favorite, where we love the original fragrances like Diorella, or Diorissimo or Miss Dior, both introduced by Monsieur Dior. Dior’s Eau de Sauvage is also a men’s traditional favorite. The new formulation of J’Adore, called l’Absolu, was recently unveiled and contains a “pure version” of the essences of the original fragrance, currently the world’s best seller.
Caron (34, avenue Montaigne, in the 8th) is a traditional luxury house that has released a number of fragrances, many that helped introduce perfume to the United States over the past 75 years ago: Narcisse Noir (1911), Infini (1912), Tabac Blond (1919), Fleurs de Rocaille (1934), Royal Bain (1941)—all still in production today. The Nina Ricci boutique (39, avenue Montaigne, in the 8th) is also a French couture house, with the signature fragrance l’Air Nina Ricci. As you head toward the Champs Elysées, Hayari Couture (3, avenue Matignon, in the 8th), a private atelier of bridal couture designer Nabil Hayari, features the boutique fragrance Only for Her, inspired by the jasmine from his childhood garden.
After the avenue Matignon, we’ll be turning up the street toward the rue Saint-Honoré, passing the presidential palace. The Hermès flagship (24, rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, in the 8th) features fragrances like Calèche for women.
The last stop, Colette (213, rue Saint-Honoré, in the 1st), is for the cult-like fashion crowd, as many Paris trends in beauty, fashion and music begin here. You’ll find fragrances created by fashion designers like Roger Vivier and Balenciaga, American heritage products, or new organic collections. At Colette, people-watching is part of your experience, too. Here, the fashion personalities of Paris enjoy a quick bite and gossip about the latest news from the fashion world.
Etat Libre d’Orange
Pikke Allen, aka ARTIFICE, travels the time warp between Hollywood and Paris, where she is a writer/blogger/Creative Consultant for both US and French luxury lifestyle brands. Her bobo credentials were earned designing costumes for theatre, film and television. Her passion for all things fashion brings her to museums, designer ateliers, runway shows and the Paris shopping beat, where she confesses all about boho bargains or luxury shopping secrets. You can read more of Pikke’s fashion tips, trends and shopping confessions at Styliste Privée.
Editor’s note: Did you know our Paris walking tours are available as pdfs that you can print out, and as apps for your iPhone and Android devices? And they start at just $2!