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. 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. Finally, you can visit the famous cave d’Osmothèque, a climate controlled cellar where the conservatory stores its 3300 fragrances.
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.
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).
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.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.
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
78 000 VERSAILLES
Tel. 01 30 55 46 99