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Find Unusual Paris Museums

Updated on January 28, 2011

Interior of the Fragonard Museum of Perfume near the Opera Garnier in a 19th century Parisian mansion

Interior of Fragonard museum of perfume
Interior of Fragonard museum of perfume | Source

Musées des Parfumeries-Fragonard (Museums of Perfume)

Musées des Parfumeries-Fragonard (Museums of Perfume)
9 Rue Scribe, 9th
Tel: 01 47 42 04 56
39 Blvd des Capucines, 2nd Tel: 01 42 60 37 14
www.fragonard.com
Free entry
Steps from Palais Garnier (Paris opera) and the grand department stores, perfume lovers can explore the world of fragrance and discover 3000 years of perfume-making history in the perfume house of Fragonard. The museum has two locations, a Napoleon III mansion on rue Scribe and Theatre Capucines on the adjacent boulevard. On show is an exquisite collection of perfume bottles along with photos, laboratory utensils and a mini factory. A boutique selling luxurious French scents completes the experience.

My Experience at the Fragonard Museum

The Fragonard Museum of Perfume is one of my favorites. The Fragonard Company has been at the top of French perfume production since 1926. A visit to their Museum is an experience in luxury and an experience in the history of perfume-a product that is synonymous with French fashion leadership. In this museum you may sample perfumes you have never seen before. You will learn how the essential oils of flowers grown in the south of France are mixed to create classic and new perfumes. And, you can buy perfumes in simple jars or truly classic small vases. The people in charge of these museums, which are also stores, are the most polite, attentive and fashionable examples of French civility. You will be overjoyed with the experience, I guarantee, and return to your native land with examples of the best of French perfumes.

Another view of the interior of the Fragonard Museum of Perfume

Source

My Introduction to The Unusual, Off-The-Beaten Track Museums of Paris

For first time tavelers to Paris it make sense to see the best known sites, like the Louvre, Versailles, etc. But if you have time or are on your second or third visit, you may be looking for something unusual to tell the folks back home about, or just to raise your own level of Parisian consciousness.

Paris is a city of museums because its citizens are proud of their city, because the wealthy like to have their names forever joined to the glory and glamour of Paris, and because there is so much history and art to record.

There are certain museums I can't get enough of and certain ones that are less exciting to me. I'll list a wide variety, since what leaves me cool may spark your imagination. For example, I love history and especially French history. Therefore, the Musée Carmavalet, the museum about the city of Paris situated in an ancient mansion is high on my list on every visit to Paris. On the other hand, you may like the Musée de Magique because you are a magic buff, while for me a quick peek on one trip has been sufficient.

Oh, and the Musée des Arts et Métiers (Museum of Arts and Crafts--but more truly a museum of the history of science, technology and crafts) recently became one of my favorites. It seems that I am somewhat of a romantic where science is concerned because I find myself almost in tears and wafted back to a completely other time when I stand in front of a room full of glass cases containing the actual equipment of the man who not only discovered ogygen but who also, one might fairly say, founded the entire framework of precise measurement which at the basis of all modern science. I mean of, course, Antonie Lavoisier, a true genius, also a man of business and great generosity, who had the misfortune to be too optimistic about the rational path of the French Revolution, be singled out as a victim by some of the crazed thugs who got power during that upheaval and met his end on the guillotine. Such tragic drama, linked with genius moves me and makes museums speak to me in living terms. I do recommend reading the history of Paris before and after your trip to that city; such reading adds an astonishing depth and understanding to what one sees.


One of the halls of the Museum of Technology (Arts et Metiers)

Museum of Technology (Arts et Metiers)

The Musée des Arts et Métiers is located in the ancient (but well-preserved, spacious and beautiful) priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs on rue Réaumur in the 3rd arrondissement only a short walk north of The Marais. It contains over 40,000 objects including an original version of Foucault's Pendulum. But it also contains the earliest scientific tools such as astrolabes; numerous weights and measures; the evolution of computers (from the abacus to Cray supercomputers and the first IBM and Apple desktop computers and smaller models), the evolution of the science of transport (from bikes to cars to satellites and mars landers); a history of communications and construction and much, much more. There is substance to the notion that the French were the first to invent many of the most useful technologies and discover the most useful substances, from the hot air balloon, to radioactivity, to the first measurements of invisible gases such as oxygen, and, of course, still photography and movies. The first models or relevant laboratory equipment is shown in this museum.

Jacquard Loom in the Museum of Technology (a very early computing machine - 1801). The machine in this museum is an original working loom from the early 1800s.

This loom was invented in 1801 by Monsieur Jacquard for weaving textiles. The loom was controlled by holes punched in paper, similar to the punch cards used in early IBM computers.
This loom was invented in 1801 by Monsieur Jacquard for weaving textiles. The loom was controlled by holes punched in paper, similar to the punch cards used in early IBM computers.

Antoine Lavoisier's Laboratory from the mid-1700s. These are the actual instruments that were used to break the ground for accurate, scientific modern chemistry

I don't use the term awesome easily, but looking at the instruments that created truly modern science, I was in awe. Lavoisier was rich and spent a huge fortune for these instruments. Sadly, he was killed in the Revolution.
I don't use the term awesome easily, but looking at the instruments that created truly modern science, I was in awe. Lavoisier was rich and spent a huge fortune for these instruments. Sadly, he was killed in the Revolution.
A Cray Supercomputer from 1985. Not made in France, but used there. Another earth-shaking invention contributing to discoveries in meteorology, medicine, astronomy and space exploration, and code-breaking.
A Cray Supercomputer from 1985. Not made in France, but used there. Another earth-shaking invention contributing to discoveries in meteorology, medicine, astronomy and space exploration, and code-breaking.

The Music Museum/Musee Musique

Source

Welcome to the Music Museum!

Musée de la musique

Welcome to the Music Museum!

CONCERTS EVERYDAY (2:00 PM TO 5:00 PM)

From Tuesday to Saturday, from 12 noon to 6 p.m.
On Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Closed Mondays

If you love music, this museum will warm your heart and leave it quivering.

Click below on the masterpiece of the museum and views of a visit to the museum:

DIAPORAMA : THE MASTERPIECES OF THE MUSEUM 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

DIAPORAMA : VISIT OF THE MUSEUM2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Recently renovated, the Music Museum is a unique site within the Cité de la musique that harbours a collection of musical instruments, works of art and scale models covering four centuries of the history of Western music and presenting an overview of the main musical cultures throughout the world.

Temporary exhibitions complement this global view of the music tradition and place it in its historical context through a diversity of subjects.

An audio itinerary and daily performances by musicians in the Museum offer the visitor the opportunity to hear some of the instruments on display. General or thematic guided tours conducted by specialist educational guides address all members of the public and enable a better appreciation of the wealth of the collections and exhibitions.

Read more

Musée National du Moyen Age/Museum of the Middle Ages (See below). The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestry

The most lovely, adored, perfectly preserved, yet enigmatic series of Renaissance tapestries. A premier experience for any art lover or lover of medieval symbols.
The most lovely, adored, perfectly preserved, yet enigmatic series of Renaissance tapestries. A premier experience for any art lover or lover of medieval symbols. | Source

Musée National du Moyen Age (Museum of the Middle Ages)

Musée National du Moyen Age (Museum of the Middle Ages)
6 Place Paul Painlevé, 5th
Tel: 01 53 73 78 00
www.musee-moyenage.fr
Leave the 21st century behind and step into a spectacular gothic mansion filled with medieval treasures. Near the Sorbonne, this museum houses the heads of the Kings of Judah (circa 1220), unearthed during renovations to the Galeries Lafayette department store, along with religious artefacts, sculptures, paintings and a large collection of objects relating to everyday life. The highlight however, is the celebrated Lady and the Unicorn tapestries, with allegorical representations of the five senses. Brought to light by the writings of George Sands, they are worth the trip alone. The former abbey sits atop a Gallo-Roman bathhouse and is set in a garden inspired by the Middle Ages.

Musée National du Moyen Age (Museum of the Middle Ages). View into the interior courtyard of this authentic structure from the Middle Ages in the center of Pari

View of the interiora courtyard of the Museum of the Middle Ages, also known as Cluny.
View of the interiora courtyard of the Museum of the Middle Ages, also known as Cluny.

A stained glass window from the Museum of the Middle Ages-one of a great number of windows on display.

Museum Nissim de Camondo

Musee Nissim de Camondo
Musee Nissim de Camondo

Musee Jacquemart-Andre. Tea or brunch in an elegant Parisian environment

Musée Jacquemart-André

158 Boulevard Haussmann, 8th

Tel: 01 45 62 11 59

www.musee-jacquemart-andre.com

Crammed with Rembrandts, Botticellis, 18th century furniture and objets d’art, this splendid 19th-century mansion has the intimacy of a private home and is a favourite address of discerning art lovers. The former owners, Edouard André and Nélie Jacquemart,created the finest private collection of art in Paris and left it all to L’Institut de France. Once their formal dining room, the tearoom is one of the most beautiful in Paris, slung with 18th-century tapestries and red velvet drapes. Sip tea and enjoy a patisserie under the ceiling paintedby Tiepolo before taking a stroll through the classic Parc Monceau nearby. Wine buffs may prefer to walk along the street to Les Caves Augé (116 Blvd Haussmann), the oldest, most charming wine shop in town. There’s always a bottle open for degustation.

I truly adore this small museum. Walking the narrow stairs into the beautifully appointed rooms does give the feeling of being in someone's home in the 18th century. The official description above is right on and, as it notes, you are close to the Parc Monceau nearby, which offers a truly Parisian stroll.


Exteriior of the Museé Jacquemart-André

Parc Monceau near the Museé Jacquemart-André. A place to rest in the midst of Paris; the primary noise is birds. And you can bicycle.

Magic Museum entrance

Museum of Magic

Open: Wed, Sat, and Sun only. Where:Magic MuseumCost:€9; children €7; magic school for children €20Opening Hours:Wed, Sat & Sun 2pm-7pm
Open every day during French school holidays (exc Jul & Aug)

The museum is open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. They even have classes on Saturdays which cost 20 € a lesson, or four classes for 60 €. The address is 11 rue Saint-Paul, 75004 Paris. M° Saint Paul. Guided tours are provided in a number of languages. For more information call: 01.42.72.13.26. Not only will you have fun, the afternoon will disappear right before your eyes!

Comments

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    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 

      7 years ago from Orange County, CA

      I wish I'd known about these wonders when I was in Paris. Linking this to my Louvre hub and voting this Up and Useful.

    • rebekahELLE profile image

      rebekahELLE 

      7 years ago from Tampa Bay

      excellent hub! Next time I make my way to Paris, I want to visit some of these museums. There is so much to see and do while in Paris. You've published a beautiful, informative hub! thanks for sharing. :]

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