Monday in Paris
Today is Monday. The sun is shining in the beautiful Paris and after a walk in Le Marais, we finally find the JoBo Hotel in rue d’Ormesson. We go through a little courtyard to arrive in a luxurious tea room. It’s in this quiet room we meet Sophie. She begins introducing herself and explaining where the name of the hotel comes from. “Jo” as Joséphine and “Bo” as Bonaparte, Joséphine de Beauharnais was the first wife of Napoleon I and was Empress of the French from May 1804 to January 1810. This was just the beginning of a multitude of things we were going to learn that day.
Sophie is an expert in perfumes. The first part of her activity is a talk that takes place around a cup of tea or coffee (included in the price of the activity). While we were discussing, she made us smell different fragrances to help us travel around the world of perfumes. The best is that you can take home those fragrances to continue smelling them and remember what you’ve learned during this stroll.
So Much Perfume!
We talked about the origins and the history of perfumery. Sophie made us smell incense that has been used for centuries and which is one of the oldest smells used by humans (in the holy places, for example). We also talked about chemistry and how during the 19th-century perfumers were considered as artists as they could create new molecules to invent new perfumes. The 20th century has seen changes on the perfume market with more consumers attracted to perfumes and new marketing campaigns encouraging them to buy more and more.
“My goal is to show the guests the hidden side of perfumery.” – Your Host Sophie
Nowadays, especially in Paris, niche perfumeries are developing. Those perfumers do not want to invent easy perfumes and prefer getting some distance from the mass perfume production. They add subtleties in their recipes and work with gourmet fragrances. Sophie is ending her activity by visiting one or two niche perfumeries in Le Marais (e.g. “Parle Moi de Parfum” in rue de Sévigné). There you will discover the workshop of the perfumers and Sophie will help you to find a perfume suitable for you and your wallet.
Who is this Activity for?
Sophie’s activity is just as suitable for women as for men. You can also consider taking your children with you and enjoy this activity with the whole family. If you do not know anything about the world of perfumes you will learn a lot about it. If you already have knowledge, do not be shy and ask Sophie all the questions you have in mind to learn more and more. If you are interested in perfumes and want to know more about the different brands, Sophie can also take you on a tour to discover famous brands in Paris and their origins.
Who is your Host?
Sophie is 30 years old and comes from Perpignan (South of France). She studied in a business school before moving to Paris to work for L’Oréal. After that, she worked for the Osmothèque; an institution based in Versailles whose role is to trace the history of perfumery. She liked the cultural aspect of that job and began organizing her own activities around perfumes. Today this perfume expert shares her passion with everybody: guided olfactory tours (in a group or personalized), interactive classes…