Columns For Tourists Considering Their Paris Itinerary...

For Tourists Considering Their Paris Itinerary...

05/08/13 18:54:56 (17 comments)

by: Sergey Borisov


To those thinking about where to spend the whole day in Paris in pursuit of interesting fragrances and interlocutors, I would like to suggest one Parisian district. I was exploring this area—Jewish, artistic, bohemian, surprising for its new perfume boutiques—by foot for several days. Now I can recommend this place not only because of the constellation of unique niche perfume brands which are not presented in the Galeries Lafayette or Printemps Boulevard Haussmann, but also for its unique mood. One can walk around this area for a half-day or for the whole day if having a chat in each boutique.

It is here that John Galliano lost his glory and his job—and troops of tourists have dinner at that very restaurant, hoping for one more scandal. It is here that Mona di Orio preferred having dinner—and only gourmands know the place. Here any passerby could be a perfumer or an artistic director. This is Le Marais—the area of narrow streets and leisured tourists, secret restaurants and scrumptious falafels, an area that is quickly becoming trendy. Metro Station Saint-Paul is at your disposal around the clock.
 

The first point of our trip is, at the same time, the oldest one: Boutique Marie-Antoinette (5, rue d`Ormesson) on the place du marché Sainte Catherine, the oldest niche boutique in the area, outside Paris.

A tiny shop managed by the Portuguese Antonio (Antonio de Figueiredo), who resembles Mel Gibson. It is worth visiting for trying Oriza L. Legrand and Eutopie, Claus Porto and Magnetic Scent. Antonio will not only tell you about all these scents but will also narrate the story of being mistaken for a Hollywood star at Parisian restaurants. He has been said to be the illegitimate son of Mel Gibson and signed as "Mel, Jr." —now he is content with his own glory. A welcome cocktail can be taken at any cafe on the square.

Second point: boutique Sens Unique (13, rue de Roi de Sicile). You will sense its delicious aroma dozen of meters in advance—the boutique marks its territory with the help of aromatic marketing.

I have discovered Sens Unique via a mighty woody-spicy masculine scent, blown up all over the dictrict : Songe pour lui Majda Bekkali Olfactive Sculptures. Svetana and Renata are ready to speak about all 20 brands presented at Sens Unique, but I felt that their favorites are Pierre Guillaume (Parfumerie Generale, Phaedon Paris, Huitieme Art Parfums), Majda Bekkali (Majda Bekkali Olfactive Sculptures) and Claude Marchal (MDCI Parfums). Two easels—one modern black and one gilded ancient—frame the shelves with perfumes, showing that perfumery is an art. Espresso and samples are the nice bonuses of Sens Unique, by the way, and guests here are often served with stronger beverages (presentations of new fragrances are not rare here).

Further, we turn off the rue de Roi de Sicile to the short and fragrant rue Ferdinand Duval. At the first crossroad there is a boutique Concept Store 44.44, where you can find Byredo scents and candles along with jeans and precision Russian aviator watches (4, rue Ferdinand Duval). Passing just a couple of houses you will see another perfume boutique: The Different Company (10, rue Ferdinand Duval). At the corner of the rue des Rosiers, the flagship store of Miller et Bertaux, with fragrances and clothes from these mighty messieurs (17, rue Ferdinand Duval). From here you can reach the Annick Goutal boutique (3 Bis, Rue des Rosiers) if you don’t have time to visit the Galeries Lafayette for this brand’s novelties.

Turning slightly back to the rue de Malher, here, at luxurious and trendy boutique L'Eclaireur (12, rue de Malher) you will find all Editions des Parfums Frederic Malle fragrances. Though now, when you can buy Frederic Malle even at Printemps, it is worth visiting only for the clothes, shoes and accessories which some fashionista would die for. Other fashion spots are COS (rue des Rosiers), Karl Lagerfeld, French Trotters and Sandro (rue des Vieille du Temples), Japan Rags (rue Ferdinand Duval), and especially the huge number of vintage boutiques (rue de la Verrerie).


Further proof of the fact that the Marais is an area with growing popularity is rue des Francs- Bourgeois. Generally the Marais is a very special area that denies Sundays and the holidays which certainly attracts tourists.

Like in Israel, Saturday is respected here and more boutiques are closed on Saturday than on Sunday.

For example, on a May holiday, most of the perfume, vintage and chocolate shops and cafes were open here. There was an Acqua di Parma boutique recently opened near the Picasso Museum (6, rue des Francs-Bourgeois), the newest Guerlain boutique with the rack of legendary scents (10, rue des Francs-Bourgeois), as well as L`Occitane en Provence (17, rue de Francs-Bourgeois), Esteban Paris Parfums (32, rue des Francs Bourgeois), L'Artisan Parfumeur (34, rue des Francs Bourgeois) and Fragonard (51, rue des Francs Bourgeois).

At the last one you can find not only perfumes and cosmetics but also flax scarves—without a scarf, as well as without a fragrance, you may consider yourself naked in Paris.

Within the Marais district there is another fragrant street: rue du Bourg Tibourg. Here, along some twenty meters you can create your own Galimard-based perfume (Les Studio des Parfums, 23, rue du Bourg Tibourg), choose the best of a hundred sorts of aromatic tea (Mariage Freres, 30 and 35, rue du Bourg Tibourg) and try the oldest but still fascinating niche scents of L`Artisan Parfumeur (32, rue du Bourg Tibourg). I have chosen my next varieties of tea: minty Casablanca, smoky Alexander I and Rose d`Himalaya with rose petals, and among L`Artisan Parfumeur fragrances—the new Caligna and discontinued Coeur de Vetiver Sacre (for only 25 euro!). For sure, you will have your own choices. And what about Galimard? I’d like to encourage you, respected audience, to create your own scents in order to feel human imperfection and not to grumble in vain about “unskilled perfumers.”

One more familiar perfume street of Marais district: rue des Archives.
 

Scandalous house Etat Libre d`Orange is located here, at No. 69, for a long time already, a neighbor to no less scandalous Taschen catalogues; not long ago Parfums de Nicolaï Créateur de Parfum boutique, where you can find rather cheap but very French fragrances, created by Guerlain grandniece and current Osmothèque director, perfumer Patricia de Nicolaï, appeared at number 45.


At the north border of the Marais district you can visit two more niche perfumery boutiques: Nose (20, rue Bachaumont) and new Liquides (9, rue Normandie). You can pop up to the first one on your way to Montmartre (following rue Montmartre towards Sacré-Cœur); the second one is closer to the rue Turenne than to the main area sights. Nose is famous among Parisians thanks to its severe design and the possibility to create personal fragrance with Mark Buxton or other perfumers. We would like to note the Naomi Goodsir fragrances and the flower fantasies of the florist of the Hermès boutiques.

Liquides has been a working shop only for a few days, as its formal opening was on April 24, 2013, but you can already buy here not only Frapin or Renoma candles, but also all three symbolic scents of Les Liquides Imaginaires  by Philippe di Meo—Sancti, Fortis, Tumultu—along with their ornate silver bottles. If you still think it is worth switching the Galeries Lafayette for the Marais, forgive me a reminder that tourists are not brought here in huge buses. Only those who want to walk or even get lost come here. But ... don’t forget that the tourist area of Notre Dame de Paris is within walking distance!

 

 

Serguey Borisov

Serguey Borisov has been known in the Internet world of perfume under the nickname moon_fish for more than 10 years. Now he writes about perfumes for GQ.ru and Vogue.ru, and contributes on the subject for glossy magazines.

 

 

 

 



Previous Columns Next


Advertisement

miss mills
miss mills

Ah, just look at those samples that Portuguese Mel Gibson is holding, argh!

May
15
2013
ailishlu
ailishlu

Thank you for this interesting information. I will surely have a renewed stroll around le Marais with these wonderful boutiques in mind.

May
15
2013
Indigo Perfumery
Indigo Perfumery

Excellent info!
Thanks so much!

May
14
2013
Plamka
Plamka

So thoughtful of Fragrantica :) you should do that for all major cities.

May
11
2013
evesoho
evesoho

Thank you for this wonderful article! I will certainly add some of these boutiques to my itinerary each time I visit Paris and hopefully someday I will have seen them all! xxoo

May
11
2013
Fleurdamane
Fleurdamane

Merci mille fois for this article, so many hidden treasures, just get lost in le Marais, especially in August when all the working Parisians left for the beaches, Paris is all yours to discover and fall in love with..........

May
10
2013
Jose Marcos
Jose Marcos

It is always a pleasure to walk, and to get lost, in the streets of Paris. Funny, usually I tend to focus in the Rive Gauche/Quartier latin area. But i will save this piece and next time I will give it a try, it is time to get to the Pompidou Centre, I guess. Thanks for the tips and addresses.

May
10
2013
LANIER
LANIER

The Marais is fabulous! Thanks for giving me some new spots to haunt on my return to Paris.

May
09
2013
Jefevaizen
Jefevaizen

I loved Picasso museum, getting lost in the area... but back then I didn't have this appreciation for parfums... Forget about Eiffel tower, the Louvre, I want to go back to Paris just to experience all these parfumeries.
Thanks for sharing Serguey!

May
09
2013
lexi920
lexi920

Wonderful! I stayed in this district the first time I went to Paris, 7-8 yrs ago. But this was before I cultivated a love for fragrance and now I really need to go back.

May
09
2013
nikoleta1
nikoleta1

I wish I new all this when I visited Paris years ago. thanks

May
09
2013
Cybernoir
Cybernoir

Thanks so much for this lovely tour of the Marais district of Paris. The last time I visited was for the wonderful food, looks like my nexr visit will be more fragrant.

May
09
2013
patxaran
patxaran

Thank you Serguey, what a lively account and must-print route planner for anyone visiting Paris. Something you won't find in a general travel book for sure !

May
09
2013
ranchorita
ranchorita

Thank you for this vicarious stroll through this lovely district, Serguey. Now I am eager for my next visit to Paris!

May
09
2013
chayaruchama
chayaruchama

Wonderful guide, Sergey !

May
09
2013
Garden.Wren
Garden.Wren

One day... *daydreams* How lovely it must be to stroll down the Parisian boulevards. One day I will see it for myself. Until then, thank you, Serguey, for fueling my daydreams...

May
08
2013
NebraskaLovesScent
NebraskaLovesScent

I know an area of Paris I missed on my last trip but will be sure to catch on my next ... :-) Thanks, Serguey!

May
08
2013

Add Your Review

Become a member of this online perfume community and you will be able to add your own reviews.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Popular brands and perfumes: