[ Southern France ] The Capital of Perfume – Grasse

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If you remember seeing a film called “Perfume – The story of a Murderer”, you might have remembered Grasse because it was in Grasse that the main character found the method to create heavenly scent. Grasse was and still is the world capital of perfume. Since the introduction of perfume industry by Catherine de Medici to Grasse in the 1500s , the town…is famous for its perfume making. It was said that many “noses” are trained to distinguish over 2,000 types of scents in Grasse and that Grasse accounts for over half of the production of French aromas and perfume.

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Upon arrival at Grasse, you’d see lots of road signs pointing to different perfumeries. Because Grasse’s geographical and environmental condition make it ideal for growing a wide variety of scent flowers, it was able to establish itself as a centre for perfume making. You can visit some perfumeries here like Fragonard, Molinard and Galimard. You may also make your own perfume in some of these perfumeries.

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Fragonard perfumery is one of the oldest and largest here. Grasse is its headquarter. It was said that it used to be the producer of the early Chanel No. 5 perfume.

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There’s a street named after it and many stores have a “Fragonard” sign outside of it. You can also take a small Fragonard train around the area.

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A walk through the medieval city.

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There are many shops that sell fragrances and soaps.

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Lavender is a common product here as there are many lavender, jasmine and other kinds of flowers being grown in Grasse for the perfume/aroma industry. The ice-cream shops in Provence all seem to have a giant ice-cream sitting outside of the store to attract visitors.

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Grasse also has its own colours. You can only explore the old town on foot because the streets are quite narrow. We parked at the public parking near the Fragonard factory and the tourism office. It was definitely “tight” in terms of space. We (and many people) had to get off the car to check the sides of the car when we were driving through the parking lot because the parking lot is basically made for super small cars and if there are some moderately sized cars parked in there, it could be challenging to get around!

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Notre Dame du Puy – The cathedral in the old town of Grasse. The cathedral can be dated to 12th-century. There were several paintings by famous painters like Rubens and J.H. Fragonard (who was actually from this town).

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Grasse sits on a hill top. It’s a fairly densely populated town (in terms of buildings).

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The view from the scenic spot behind the cathedral.

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You could also see the very every-day kind of scenes as you walk through the old town.

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Place aux Aires – a plaza with a fountain at the centre is a busy market in the morning. When we went, the fountain was almost covered by the parasols of the outdoor tables set up by the restaurants nearby.

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We didn’t visit it this time, but if you want to learn more about perfumes, you can also visit the International Perfume Museum. The museum is housed in a perfumery that was built in the 19th century.

This trip related posts:
1. [ Southern France ] The Petit Jewels – Eze
2. [ Southern France ] The Petit Jewels – Villefranche sur Mer & Antibes
3. [ Southern France ] The Capital of Perfume – Grasse
4. [ Southern France ] Savon de Marseille
5. [ Southern France ] The L’Occitane Factory – Manosque
6. [ Southern France ] Roussillon – The Red Village
7. [ Southern France ] An Afternoon in Gordes and enroute to Avignon
8. [ Southern France ] Avignon – The City of Popes
9. [ Southern France ] Enroute to Cannes
10. [ Southern France ] All the Glamour of Cannes and Boutique Hotel
11. [ Southern France ] Monaco – The Rich and the Riches
12. [ Southern France ] Nice – The Alpes-Maritimes Capital

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