Doors Open Day at The Osmotheque

On Saturday, September 19th, the Osmothèque perfume conservatory will open its doors to visitors. Part of the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine program, the event gives a chance to discover the Osmothèque and its activities. As part of your tour (the entrance is free of charge), you can explore 4 rooms organized by olfactory themes, rose, vanilla, bergamot and patchouli. Then you can smell various natural and synthetic materials used in perfumery. Finally, you can visit the famous cave d’Osmothèque, a climate controlled cellar where the conservatory stores its 3300 fragrances.

coty chypre ad

The most interesting part of the visit for many would be the perfumes, and quite a few jewels are available. For instance, in the patchouli room, you can smell Coty Chypre (1917), Réminiscence Patchouli (1970), and Rochas Mystère (1978), in addition to modern patchouli examples like Thierry Mugler Angel (1992) and Dior Patchouli Impérial (2011).

In the bergamot room, Eau de Cologne de Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène (1820) will sit alongside the original formula of Guerlain Jicky (1889) and Les Parfums de Rosine Nuit de Chine (1913). Nuit de Chine vanished decades ago, so smelling it would be a treat. To my knowledge, Eau de Cologne de Napoléon à Sainte-Hélène is the only perfume the Osmothèque sells, and if you like fresh colognes, it’s highly recommended to ask for it.  Givenchy Eau de Givenchy (1980) and Sisley Eau de Campagne (1975) will also be on display, all in the original versions.

Once you’ve had enough of bergamot and patchouli, you can smell the rose dominated creations like Coty La Rose Jacqueminot (1904), Jean Patou Joy (1930), and Guerlain Nahéma (1979). The first version of Yves Saint Laurent Paris (1983) will be another draw in the rose room. Finally, Coty Ambre Antique (1904), Rigaud Un Air Embaumé (1912), and Coty Emeraude (1921) will provide a vanilla scented page of perfume history. If I can make a recommendation, do start with the bergamot room, then rose, and save patchouli till the end.

During the day, it would also be possible to meet perfumers who will explain the intricacies of their work.

The open door day is taking place on Saturday, 19 September 2015, from 10 am to 5:30 pm. The Journées Européennes du Patrimoine events get very crowded, so I recommend to arrive as early as you can.

Osmothèque Conservatoire International des Parfums
36 rue du Parc de Clagny
Tel. 01 30 55 46 99
[email protected]



  • SolangeN: Beautiful perfume scents are now only sniffable in a controlled museum environment — sounds like a dystopian SciFi novel… September 10, 2015 at 7:48am Reply

    • Victoria: I prefer to look at the bright side. There are plenty of beautiful perfumes available at Sephora. There are numerous wonderful artisanal perfume lines. We can complain reformulations, but there are still hundreds of wonderful fragrances available. September 10, 2015 at 8:28am Reply

  • Jovan: I just came back from Paris and had a private session at The Osmotheque with Stephanie Bakouche Kouidri. Stephanie was kind enough to accommodate me and my 4 girlfriends by flying in from Grasse to share with us all of the wonders of The Osmotheque.

    I am still able to smell my perfume sample of Muguet des bois which Stephanie pulled out for me.

    I spent two glorious weeks in France and the HIGHLIGHT of my trip was meeting Stephanie and getting to visit The Osmotheque!!! September 10, 2015 at 9:15am Reply

    • Victoria: They organize such visits so well, and you really get your money’s worth, not just in terms of smelling a lot but also learning about perfumery, materials, history. Stephanie Bakouche Kouidri is so knowledgeable. September 10, 2015 at 11:36am Reply

  • irem: What a treat. Makes me sad to be soo far away in the Midwestern US.
    Your recommendation Bergamot-Rose-Patchouli follows the evolution of a classic perfume: top notes followed by heart notes melding into the base. September 10, 2015 at 9:52am Reply

    • Victoria: Coty Chypre is such a dramatic, strong perfume that smelling it first might make it harder to appreciate the more delicate colognes in the bergamot room. I can see both how it could have inspired a whole family and why it wasn’t a commercial success. September 10, 2015 at 11:38am Reply

  • Rebecca: Honestly, I went to the open house last year and it was a very difficult experience. It was well organized and the people were great but it was massively over-crowded and there was 45mn of wait for each area. We never made it to the perfume rooms.

    We were there early afternoon so perhaps it might be okay early in the morning. We were very disappointed but hope to return for some less crowded event. It really is an awesome place. September 10, 2015 at 10:07am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you for a reminder. I meant to make a note and completely forgot. Yes, you were too late. Pretty much Journées Européennes du Patrimoine event gets crowded, and since the Osmotheque is in Versailles, and the day being Saturday, I’d say that you should plan to visit as soon as they open. September 10, 2015 at 11:40am Reply

  • behemot: Too bad I cannot be thereon September 19. It is a really magical place. September 10, 2015 at 12:11pm Reply

  • limegreen: I wish somewhere nearby would have a “bergamot room” for me to visit! (drooling) September 10, 2015 at 12:40pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’d love a bergamot room of my own. 🙂 September 10, 2015 at 12:46pm Reply

      • limegreen: I reread your Bergamot Note (to make myself feel better about not being able to be in Paris), and was blown away by your reminder about how omnipresent bergamot is in so many perfumes!
        I only recently tested La Pausa and would not have picked up on bergamot being a presence but it’s there to balance the iris, just as you pointed out. 🙂
        No “room” but I have a “bergamot quarter of a dresser drawer” to visit!
        I’ve been on an Italian bergamot fragrance kick — loving Acqua di Parma Oud and Zegna Essenza Florentine Iris. September 10, 2015 at 1:04pm Reply

        • Victoria: It’s one of the most used perfume ingredients, mostly because it’s so versatile and you can add different effects easily. Bergamot in 28 La Pausa is a particularly nice variety, by the way. It smells velvety yet peppery.

          I have a sample of AdP Oud someplace, so I should wear it this weekend. September 11, 2015 at 4:57am Reply

          • limegreen: I thought the AdP Oud would be just ordinary (how many ouds do I need to smell?) but I love Iris Nobile and the Blu series, so I tried it. It was so interesting that the oud was paired with bergamot rather than rose, and then I couldn’t stop smelling my wrist (and a little goes a long way). 🙂 And it works in the warm weather as well as cool weather, so surprising a discovery for me. September 11, 2015 at 9:10am Reply

            • Victoria: I also liked their Bergamotto, which was another twist–bergamot with lots of amber. September 11, 2015 at 12:11pm Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I wish I could be in Paris for this and also to see it once again. September 10, 2015 at 12:49pm Reply

    • Victoria: I don’t go as often as I should, but it’s true, it’s only a short train ride from Paris to Versailles. September 11, 2015 at 4:51am Reply

  • Neva: Mystere de Rochas – I think I would faint if I could smell the original once again… September 10, 2015 at 12:52pm Reply

    • Victoria: That one was such a beauty. September 11, 2015 at 4:51am Reply

  • Alicia: I ever I visit the Osmotheque I’d first smell Fath Iris Gris, and the La Rose Jacqueminot (I also like to have the bush in my garden). What I joy that would be! September 10, 2015 at 1:10pm Reply

    • Victoria: Iris Gris is such a great iris, and it feels like it hasn’t aged a single day. A modern, luminous perfume. September 11, 2015 at 4:58am Reply

  • Alicia: Sorry: IF I ever… September 10, 2015 at 1:14pm Reply

  • solanace: It´s nice to keep track of such things, even when one cannot be there. The sequence you propose sounds like a wine or cheese one. Good tip, even for a casual sniff at Sephora. September 11, 2015 at 4:35am Reply

    • Victoria: I won’t have time to attend this year either, but like you, I like to stay abreast their news.

      A perfume course, as it were. 🙂 Yes, I also do that at Sephora or perfume boutiques. Starting with the heavy hitters is likely to cause the olfactory overload happen quicker. September 11, 2015 at 5:01am Reply

  • Karen: What an opportunity! To smell/experience the perfumes that are the foundation of today’s fragrances. Will get there one day! September 11, 2015 at 7:15am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, it’s a special experience. Plus, people running the Osmotheque do it out of passion and many work there as volunteers, so you really get a sense of their dedication. September 11, 2015 at 12:08pm Reply

  • angeldiva: Hi,
    Can anyone recommend lodgings near this area? I can’t make it 9/19, but next year all roads are leading to France!
    Merci ! September 11, 2015 at 6:25pm Reply

    • Victoria: It might be easier to stay in Paris and then do a day trip to Versailles. Of course, if you want to visit the palace/gardens and the Osmotheque, you need 2 days. September 12, 2015 at 8:28am Reply

      • angeldiva: Hi Victoria,
        Thanks for the reply. I’m imagining a long relaxed journey, albeit a budget conscious one. I hadn’t planned to go to Paris this trip, but begin in Menton, on the coast.
        Also, I want very much to see Lourdes. How about a article about smelling ones way through France, and suggestions for lodgings!
        Angeldiva September 12, 2015 at 4:51pm Reply

        • Victoria: I’d love to read such an article, since I’m not really that familiar with France, apart from Paris. Grasse, of course, is an obvious destination, and that area of France is just gorgeous. I haven’t been to Lourdes yet nor to Menton. September 13, 2015 at 4:14am Reply

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