The Fragonard is Paris' fragrant Perfume Museum

Ah, leave it to the French to have a museum devoted to expensive smells. OK, so this is essentially a corporate shill for the Fragonard company, but at least it provides a glimpse into the history and rarified world of extracting oils and essences and using them to craft cloying scents.

The main museum, in an 1860 townhouse near the Opera Garnier, is packed with historic perfume paraphernalia.

Nearby, at 39 blvd des Capucines, they've taken over a classic 1900 theater and turned into into a mock-up of a 19th-century perfume factory, complete with distillery devices in gleaming copper and demos on the fine art of making beautiful smells—naturally, with a Fragonard boutique attached.