Born of a private collector's passion, the museum is just a few steps away from the Cenisio stop on Milan's appropriately named n. 5 lilac line (in case that reference was too obscure for you, how about Chanel n. 5 and the profume of flowers?).
When you get to the address, don't let the unassuming apartment building fool you; it's in a small semi-basement apartment brightened with lights and lots of large clean glass cases housing hundreds and hundreds of examples.
No labels, though, but the visits are obligatorily guided, anyway, by the enthusiastic collector and founder, so you won't miss them.
Two basic threads seemed to interweave, separate and weave, again: the changing fashions of both smell and packaging (and, hence, marketing...OK that makes three threads).
Similarly, perfumes originally were produced, like medicines, by neighborhood pharmacists, and so were packaged anonymously in the same anonymous rectangular bottles also used for medicines. In the early 20th century, the need to attract attention in the ever industrially expanding universe of perfumes also provided fertile ground for the birth and development of creative bottle designs.
MUSEO DEL PROFUMO (Perfume Museum)
via Messina, 55 - buzzer 5 then 9 then ENTER
Entrance fee: E. 10,00 per person, a minimum of two people
Hours: every day from 10 AM to 3 PM