I mentioned before that I like to buy something scented when I am on a trip. When I return home, the scent brings back memories of my trip. I usually buy something small like soap or lotion, but I wish I could bring home perfume each time I travel to Paris. There are so many wonderful perfume shops to choose from there. Fortunately, a few of my favorites stores are conveniently and centrally located within a few blocks of each other in the 1st arrondissement (see the map above).
Guerlain, 2 Place Vendome, 75001 surely has to be one of the oldest perfume houses in France. It was founded in 1828 by Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain and one of its first scents Impériale (created in 1853) is still sold today. With over 300 scents produced by Guerlain, I think they know perfume. My personal favorite is the iconic Shalimar, an Oriental perfume with a light and clean scent.
I wrote about my experience at Frederic Malle, 21 rue Mont Thabor, 75001 a few months ago and you can read more about it here. But to summarize, I spent a quiet hour with a lovely woman who helped picked out an amazing perfume tailored to my lifestyle.
The story of the founder (and namesake) of Anick Goutal, 14 rue de Castiglione, 75001 touched me. Anick began her career as a talented musician, later enjoyed success as a model and eventually found her calling as perfumer. She opened her first store in 1980 and in just a few short years, Anick Goutal perfumes were being sold in major department stores in the United States and were being distributed in Asia. Unfortunately, Anick lost a long battle against cancer at the age of 53. But fortunately for all of us Camille Goutal (her daughter) and Isabelle Doyen carry on the legacy of Anick Goutal. Be sure to check out their store on rue Castiglione with an interior that is just as pretty as their perfume bottles.
I stopped by Jovoy Paris, 4 rue de Castiglione, 75001, awhile ago and spent a good hour with their very friendly staff who helped me pick out a perfume. The store is stocked with its own line of Jovoy perfumes and a number of fragrances from smaller, lesser-known companies. Although the Jovoy perfumes tempted me, I ended up with a perfume from Histoires de Parfums. But lucky me! The staff sent me home with a handful of Jovoy samples.
Fragonard, 203 rue Saint Honoré, 75001 has more than just sweet smelling perfume, lotion and soap in the store on their famous rue Saint Honoré. The boutique also has housewares, accessories and a small line of clothing and wraps that are reminiscent of southern France (the birthplace of Fragonard in 1926). I hope to someday make it to Fragonard's museum, 9 rue Scribe, 75009 that is not too far from the Opéra Garnier.