The Scents of Self Guide to Barcelona’s Museu del Perfum

Don’t let that 2.5 Trip Advisor rating scare you away. Ignore the review calling the Museu del Perfum “one room you could walk around in 1 minute.” That lowly one room contains one of the most unbelievable perfume collections on earth, a spectacular 4,000 bottles ranging from ancient Egypt to modern day.

The museum starts off old-school: Roman clay urns from 500 B.C., gorgeous 18th century Italian glasswork, and even two bottles owned by Marie Antoinette. I somehow have only one picture from this section. Bad blogger!

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She’s totally judging my blogging. Major side-eye.

About halfway through the collection, the fragrances are categorized by national origin. It’s nice to know that Israel and Palestine peacefully coexist, at least behind a glass case in Barcelona.

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We’ve finally reached my favorite part! The end of the museum is a dazzling parade of long-lost, legendary fragrances from the last century.

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They had all the big names, but even more thrilling were the unknowns. Chanel Ivoire, Guerlain Fol Arôme, Meteor de Coty;  mysterious bottles that I had never heard of before despite their big brand names. Lost fragrances that no longer exist outside of the museum’s display cases. All you can do is stare at them through the glass and try to imagine what they would have been like.

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No museum is complete without a gift shop, and Regia Perfumería has one of the best selections of niche and high-end fragrances outside of France. If you can tear yourself away (I couldn’t without a bottle of the deliciously warm Frederic Malle Musc Ravageur), the magnificently whimsical Casa Battló is just a few Gaudí-designed tiles further down the street.

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A few more spectacular bottles that didn’t fit into any particular category:

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The original Amouage packaging!
The original Amouage packaging!
I really need more perfume bottles to be in the shape of bears.
I really need more perfume bottles to be in the shape of a bear.

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Disclaimers: This post does not contain affiliate links. Please note that the museum goes by both Museu del Perfum (Catalan) and Museo del Parfum (Castillian Spanish). All museum captions are in Catalan, which my high school Spanish was totally unprepared for.

9 thoughts on “The Scents of Self Guide to Barcelona’s Museu del Perfum

  1. The perfume museum and Gaudi! Seriously envious, but happy that you got to enjoy them.
    That “reviewer” who said you could walk around it in one minute clearly has no interest in perfume or history or glassware.
    For those of us who haven’t gotten there in person, the following youTube video (about 19 minutes long) :

    gives one just a sense of the huge display of gorgeous and fascinating items. Included are Ari’s snobby lady, Dali’s gorgeous sun god, and the delightful teddy bear. Be warned though that the historical, and now infamous, Golliwog bottle makes a brief appearance.

    Thanks for sharing, Ari. Really enjoying you recent flurry of blog posts.

    1. That video is almost as good as being there- she got some great pictures in seriously dim lighting. Thank you for sharing it with us, Lindaloo! I wish I could have brought all of you with me!

    1. The pleasure is all mine, Barbara! And do you see how the piano stores two little vials, one on each side? The original double-sided rollerball!

    1. Thank you so much, Patty! It was surprisingly hard to get good pictures through the glass display, so I’m really happy to hear it still made an effective photo tour!

  2. Love this! My husband went to this museum on one of his frequent business trips to Barcelona, specifically to buy me something in Regia Perfumeria. He came home with some scents by Carner Barcelona, though I’m not sure if he got them in that store. I can’t wait until my next trip to Barcelona and a visit to this museum! Thanks for the photos!

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