“A woman who doesn’t wear perfume has no future.” – Coco Chanel
You may be wondering:
- How perfume is invented?
- I heard about Eau de Cologne, Eau de Toilette, but what the exact differences? How to classify them?
- There are so many shops selling perfume in Paris, is there any differences of the price? Which one is the best for me to buy perfume in Paris?
If you want to know more about French perfume, do not hesitate and get the answers from the following text!
Where is the most suitable place to buy perfume in Paris?
Paris, one of the most popular city for tourists, is a famous shopping haven. So where to buy perfume in Paris? What kind of places is most suitable for me?
Here I have listed 4 kinds of stores where tourists can buy perfume in Paris, including the chain of cosmetics stores, shopping malls, duty-free shops and exclusive shops.
1-Cosmetics Chain stores
When it comes to cosmetics chain stores, I have to mention Sephora and Marionnaud. In the chain of cosmetics stores, there is full range of brands and products, with quality assurance. Another benefit of buying perfume in chains of cosmetics stores is that new products are more likely shown up here. If you want to try the latest perfume, it’s the best place for you. Generally, the perfume sold in chain stores with the price which is not so attractive, however, you can get many free samples.
Suitable for：independent travelers
Established in Paris in 1969, Sephora is one of the most famous chains of cosmetics stores. Sephora offers beauty products including makeup, skincare, and perfume. Featuring nearly 300 brands, you can test the perfume of Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Givenchy, etc. You can find out that there are many boutiques of Sephora in Paris and the one on the Avenue of Champs-Elysees is the largest.
Address: 70-72 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris France
Monday – Sunday: 10:00-23:30
Marionnaud Parfumeries, founded in 1984 in France, is one of the biggest chain of cosmetics stores in Europe. Although the quantities of boutiques, brands, and products are a little limited than Sephora, it shows its advantage in price. The prices of some products are a little lower and Marionnaud frequently offers a small discount for all the customers, for instance, two-for-one, discount for a second product, etc.
Address: 101 Rue Berger, 75001 Paris France
Monday – Saturday: 10:00-20:00
I believe most of you have heard about Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, the two most renowned shopping malls in France. Bringing together most of the luxury brands of perfume, offering a full range of products, these shopping malls become the must-see places in Paris. In recent decades, foreign tourists flocked, so many counters have foreign language shopping guide and the shopping malls also provide foreign language services and tax refund guide. However, since there are too many tour groups and other tourists, it is usually very crowded inside and you always need to wait for shopping guide service.
Suitable for：tour group; people who need to buy many other kinds of stuff
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is located on the Haussmann Boulevard, next to the Paris Opera. It consists of three buildings for women, men and home/fine food. And the unique architectural style, full range of brands and products and well-equipped services facilities make Galeries Lafayette become a Paris icon and the shopping haven for tourists.
Address: 40 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris France
Monday – Saturday: 09:30-20:30;
Closed to the building for men of Galeries Lafayette, Printemps is another shopping haven for tourists. It also consists of 3 buildings as Galeries Lafayette. However, here is not so crowded as its competitor. Therefore, you can move to Printemps if you do not find your favorite perfume or you just want to away from too much crowdedness.
Address: 64 Boulevard Haussmann, 75009 Paris France
Monday – Saturday: 09:35-20:00 (except Thursday)
Shopping in Paris, you can never forget the duty-free shop. You can find most of perfume’s brands and their most well-known or classic perfumes in a duty-free shop in Paris, although it is not as varied as other stores like Sephora. Nevertheless, sometimes you can buy perfume with a price lower than those stores after tax refund.
Convenient points: You can benefit immediately tax refund, by using your credit card as a guaranty that you are leaving Europe in few days. Generally, you can benefit 12% tax refund plus some extra discount like 20% off, so in a summery Duty-Free shop could definitely be one of your best choices to pick up 2 -3 bottles of perfumes during your visit in Paris.
Since receiving a large number of foreign tourists, the staffs are friendly and providing you professional sales advice and duty-free shopping service in different languages. Compared to shopping malls, here is less crowded and you can enjoy your time and the services.
Suitable for：tour group/independent tourist
Paris Louvre KAMS Duty Free SPHE, with a long history since the 1960s, is located on the famous opera avenue in Paris. KAMS offer you a wide range of makeup and fashion products with an attractive price.
Thanks to the location, you can visit Opera, Louvre and Jardin de Tuilerie in a five-minute walk.
KAMS provide you products mainly including makeup, skincare, perfumes, watches, jewelry, bags & luggage. Here, you can find the popular brands, Chanel, Dior, Sisley, Longchamp, etc.
The experienced staff will provide professional sales advice in different languages (French, English, Chinese, Russian, Japanese and Thai) and help you to buy the museum and other touristic tickets. You will enjoy the promotions and duty-free shopping.
With the following coupon, you can enjoy 20% off in Paris Louvre Kam’s Duty Free!
Never forget to ask your 12% immediate tax refund, if you come from a country outside UE !
That’s 32% off!
Address: 6 Avenue de l’Opéra, 75001 Paris France
Monday – Saturday: 10:00-19:00
Discover our winter perfumes suggestion
As we all know, with a wide range of perfume brands, France is named as “the country of perfume”. In addition to the luxury brands, such as Hermes, Chanel, Dior, other prominent local perfume brands also enjoy a high reputation. They opened their own exclusive shops in Paris, you can not only buy the perfume that loved by the locals, but also visit the production and learn the knowledge of perfume. Besides, you can even customize your own perfume.
Suitable for：perfume enthusiast/tour group/independent tourist
Musée du Parfum Fragonard
Fragonard is one of the most popular brands in France, founded in 1782. It comes from Grasse, “capital of perfume”, which is a small town in southern France. Next to Paris Opera, Fragonard Perfume Museum is a great place for you to learn more about perfume and its production. After visiting the museum, you can test freely and select your favorite perfume with the warm services of Fragonard.
Address: 3-5 Square de l’Opéra-Louis Jouvet, 75009 Paris France
Monday – Saturday: 09:00-18:00
Address: 9 Rue Scribe, 75009 Paris France
Monday – Saturday: 09:00-18:00
Palais Royal – Serge Lutens
“Parfums-Beaute Serge Lutens” is a niche perfume brand launched by a French perfume art-director and fashion designer, Serge Lutens in 2000. In fact, Lutens collaborated with Shiseido and conceived his first perfume ‘Nombre Noir’ in 1982. Then in 1992, Lutens created his second perfume ‘Féminité du bois’ and opened the House of Perfumes ‘Palais Royal-Serge Lutens’. The Serge Lutens collection includes Spray Bottles, Section D’or, Eaux, Le Vaporisateur Tout Noir and Exclusive Bottles. In Palais Royal-Serge Lutens, you can not only find the popular fragrances like Ambre Sultan, Cuir Mauresque, but also buy the Exclusive Bottles that just available in Palais Royal.
You can find perfumes of Serge Lutens in Paris Louvre Kam’s Duty Free SPHE
Click and get more information about Serge Lutens and its niche perfumes
Address: 142 Galerie de Valois, 75001 Paris, France
Monday – Saturday: 11:00-19:00
Useful Information For Buying Perfume In Paris
Here are some extra topics that we think you might be interested, such as the origin of perfume, perfumes’ classifications rules etc.. This information could probably helping you when you have no idea how to choose your perfumes during your visit in Paris.
The origin of perfume
There are two versions of the origin of French perfume.
Perfume is invented to cover the stench. But where did the stench come from? It is said that the residential areas of Paris were near the cemetery and also due to the poor sanitation, the rancidity permeated the air. Additionally, French people thought that the odor of body was a symbol of nobility so they did not have a bath frequently. Then in order to cover up the odor, perfume came into being.
Before Grasse became “capital of perfume”, the local traditional handicraft industry was making gloves with olive oil cooked leather. However, this kind of gloves was smelly. The craftsmen got inspiration from the fragrant plants. In order to cover up the unpleasant smell, they extract the fragrance and added it to the production of gloves. Then this kind of fragrant gloves became popular and gained great success. From then on, benefits from the advantaged natural conditions, the perfume industry keep booming and it is still the major place of origin and raw material supplier of French perfume. The perfume of Chanel, Dior and many other famous brands are manufactured in Grasse.
The category of perfume
Generally, there are two kinds of classification for perfume.
Classification 1: Olfactive Families (Traditional/Modern)
– Single floral: fragrances of one particular flower
E.g. Sa Majeste La Rose – Serge Lutens
– Floral bouquet: fragrances of several flowers
E.g. Joy – Jean Patou
– Amber or oriental: fragrances based on animalic scents of ambergris or labdanum, bringing an impression of the Middle East and the Far East.
E.g. Shalimar – Guerlain; Opium – YSL; Coco Mademoiselle – Chanel
– Woody: fragrances typically dominated by agarwood, sandalwood, cedarwood, and vetiver.
E.g. Bois des Îles – Chanel
– Leather: fragrances features the scents of honey, tobacco, wood and wood tars in its middle or base notes and a scent that alludes to leather.
E.g. Bandit – Robert Piguet
– Chypre: fragrances based on bergamot, oakmoss, and labdnum.
E.g. Mitsouko – Guerlain
– Fougère: fern, fragrances features the scents of lavender, coumarin, and oakmoss. Special herbaceous and woody scent mostly contained in men’s fragrance.
E.g. Drakkar Noir – Guy Laroche
– Bright floral: a combination of traditional Single Floral and Floral Bouquet.
E.g. Beautiful – Estée Lauder
– Green: fragrances that are lighter and more modern than traditional Chypre, combining cut grass, crushed greed leaf and cucumber-like scents.
E.g. Eau de Campagne – Sisley
– Aquatic, oceanic or ozonic:
the latest fragrance of perfume, one often associate the ocean with its clean smell.
E.g. Dune – Dior
– Citrus: freshening citrus scents, a fragrance family that most freshening Eau de Colognes belongs to.
E.g. Brut – Fabergé
– Fruity: fragrances that featuring the scents of fruits except for citrus. For example, peach, cassis, passion fruit, etc.
E.g. Botrytis – Ginestet
– Gourmand: edible or dessert-like fragrances, a combination of vanilla, tonka bean, coumarin and other resemble food flavors.
E.g. Angel – Thierry Mugler
Classification 2: Concentration of aromatic compounds in the final product
– Eau de Cologne (EDC): 3-8%, typical 5%
The fragrance of this kind of perfume is the lightest and it is fresh. Many companies produce Eau de Cologne for males since most men prefer a lighter fragrance.
– Eau de Toilette (EDT): 5-15%, typical 10%
The fragrances and the notes of Eau de Toilette change softly. Usually, it lasts for about 3 hours and is suitable to wear during weekdays or in office.
– Eau de Parfum (EDP): 10-20%, typical 15%
Eau de Parfum is the most common type in the market. It can last for about 4 hours and the price is affordable.
– Esprit de Parfum (ESDP): 15-30%
Esprit de Parfum is an unusual type, which concentration is between Eau de Parfum and Parfum.
– Parfum/Extrait: 15-40%, typical 20%, perfume extract, pure perfume, or simply perfume.
Parfum/Extrait last for the longest duration, it is the best choice for attending an evening party or a great occasion.
The renowned brands and classic perfume
Chanel No.5: Female, 1921
Chanel No.19: Female, 1971
Egoiste: Male, 1994
Shalimar: Female, 1925
– Nina Ricci
Air du temps: Female, 1948
Eau Sauvage: Male, 1966
Poison: Female, 1985
– Paco Rabanne
Calandre: F 1968
Rive Gauche: Female, 1970
Opium: Female&Male, 1977
Anais: Female, 1976
Tresor: Female, 1990
Poeme: Female, 1994