Grasse, on the French Riviera, is the fragrance capital of France and can be an olfactory odyssey if you have a passion for perfumes.
The town has an international museum for perfume-making, three perfumeries to tour and if that’s not enough you go to the farms where sweet-smelling flowers are harvested for fragrances.
When you’re not concocting your own signature scent in labs or stocking up on luxuriant soaps, you could tinker around the town’s art and costume museums or set off on a large choice of days out.
In no time at all you could be on a Riviera beach, deep underground in a cave or hundreds of metres up in a perched village.
Lets explore the best things to do in Grasse:
1. Musée International de la Parfumerie
As we said, Grasse is the cradle of French perfume. A lot of the raw material for these fragrances is grown in flower farms nourished by Grasse’s microclimate and its rare abundance of water for the region. Jasmine, tuberose, may rose, violet and orange blossom are all cultivated locally.
Grasse’s perfume museum demonstrates the savoir-faire, honed over centuries, that goes into the town’s perfumes. Track the origins of the industry in Grasse, and how it was tied to historic trade and projects like the Siagne Canal. Then then get a nose for different scents and ingredients at the museum’s aromatic sensing points.
You can also peruse an assortment of antique perfume bottles, designed by the likes of master glassmaker René Lalique.