A certain Mr. Poiret

In Grasse, the Musée International de la Parfumerie pays tribute to one of the kings of fashion at the beginning of the 20th century: Paul Poiret.




He created the costumes for Inhumaine by Marcel l’Herbier, one of the greatest silent movies. Aragon describes one of his dresses, worn by the heroin in the novel Aurélien. Paul Poiret, a pioneer of haute-couture and a major personality in the Parisian high society of the roaring twenties, was known for his extravagance and style. This legend of French elegance, on a par with Christian Dior, is at the heart of an exhibition of vintage charm.

Dresses made by the Poiret house and beauty products from days gone by make up in part this enchanting display that has lost none of its aura. In addition to these artifacts, the exhibition is also devoted to Paul Poiret as a perfumer, for this couturier fully realized that luxury was something that should awaken all senses to initiate a feeling of desire and dream. Thus Poiret was one of the first to understand the importance of fashion marketing, of such importance today.

Bygone days

IHe launched his collection “Parfums de Rosine”, in 1911 and thanks to the assistance of Louis Panafieu, his “nose”, he created an entire range of fragrances with evocative names, such as Nuit de Chine, Sa chambre, Toute la Forêt, le Balcon. To win the hearts of his rich clients, Paul Poiret left nothing to chance.

Everything down to the last detail was appealing, elegant and refined. The exhibition showcases many of his creations with over 200 objects, and explanatory videos. Specially recreated for the occasion, Paul Poiret’s Coupe d’Or perfume fills the air with its elegant fragrance in one of the exhibition rooms.