Grasse – homeland of the perfume


Côte d'Azur - French RivieraShopping and French Savoir FaireNature and Outdoor ActivitiesCultural Heritage

OT Grasse
© OT Grasse

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 19 March 2024

Set on a hillside 20 km above Cannes, the world capital of perfume spreads out from 100 to 1000 m in altitude. The perfume-making know-how of the Grasse region is now listed as an intangible cultural heritage site by UNESCO.

About 20 kilometers north of Cannes it stretches from 100 meters to 1,000 meters above sea level - Grasse, the capital of the perfume. Welcome!

From the narrow streets of the old city center to buildings from the 17th and 18th century, followed by elegant 19th-century mansions with secret gardens. Or the many vantage points with amazing views, making you understand why Grasse is also known as the Mediterranean balcony.

In spite of its proximity to the French Riviera, you will feel that the city's connection to Provence is much stronger – or maybe it even makes you think about Tuscany when you visit the city with the many exhibitions and rich history that often involves perfume.

It is here, among the international companies that extract raw materials, le "centre de formation des nez" (training the upcoming perfume designers), the International Perfume Museum, Fragonard, Molinard and Galimard's factories as well as the many small concept stores, you will discover the world's history of perfume. In addition, maybe also its secrets and mysteries.

Visitors arriving in summer can relax in sunbeds while enjoying the fragrance from special atomizers. Alternatively, what about finding your new fragrance in one of the many specialty stores under the old glass roof in Fragonard's historic factory - it is a must-try!

A good idea changed everything

This is the place many of the mythical perfumes in history have been created for Rochas, Dior, Chanel ... Today Grasse has become the kingdom of perfume, but in the Middle Ages Grasse's specialty was tanning leather. However, to overcome the strong smell of leather, the local tanner Galimard got the idea of creating scented leather gloves. He offered a pair to Catherine de Médici, who immediately loved the idea.

The new fashion spread quickly at the French court and afterward to the upper class. A lot of orders were made and led to the tanners becoming glove perfumers. And gradually they completely forgot about the leather and concentrated completely on the production of perfumes instead.

The special flowers in the Grasse area such as Lavender, myrtle, roses, orange flowers, mimosas and above all jasmine - the city's mythical flower - became local treasures. From the production of the natural raw material to the manufacturing of extract - all the knowledge and technology can be found here today. Major brands like Chanel even have their very own fields of roses and jasmine in Grasse, which are used exclusively for their own production of extract.


Office du Tourisme de Grasse Place de la buanderie 06130 Grasse

Champs d'iris à Grasse, capitale mondiale de la parfumerie sur la Côte d'Azur.
© Philippe massé - P. Massé APVPG 2014 - Champs d'iris à Grasse, capitale mondiale de la parfumerie sur la Côte d'Azur.

Conseils et Recommandations Pour votre prochain séjour, vous rêvez de soleil, de fleurs, de parfums méditerranéens ? Rendez-vous à Grasse, avec ses jardins, ses champs de fleurs, ses usines et ateliers de création, ses musées, son patrimoine architectural... Pour vous y rendre en mode écoresponsable, n’hésitez pas à opter pour le train jusqu’à la gare de Grasse. L’accès au centre-ville est aisé. Autre conseil : afin de profiter au mieux de cette destination très prisée en période estivale, privilégiez un séjour hors saison. Au printemps, en automne, voire en hiver, les beaux jours ne sont pas rares sur la Côte d’Azur et vous pourrez découvrir d’autres aspects secrets de la Ville des Parfums. Belle exploration !

En savoir plus . Office de Tourisme du Pays de Grasse . Préparer son voyage sur la Côte d'Azur . Visitez le musée International de la Parfumerie de Grasse

À lire aussi Découvrir les savoir-faire de la Côte d’Azur


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