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Fabulous places to visit Grasse France

Grasse the Capital of Perfume

Fragrance of Flowers

Although the very first evidence of perfume was found in Cyprus, it is the French that is famous for it.  The world “capital of perfume” (la capitale mondiale des parfums) is Grasse in France.  Grasse’s perfume industry has been thriving since the eighteenth century.

Grasse, a town on the French Riviera, is situated between the Mediterranean and the beautiful Alps which makes it the perfect place to grow flowers.

When to visit Grasse the Capital of Perfume

During May the roses come into bloom.  Early in the morning, you will see people picking roses for the factories.  Le Domaine de Manon grows roses and jasmine of which the petals are used exclusively for Dior perfumes.  This is an amazing experience: to attend a tour during May as they pick the roses early in the morning.  Again, from August to October you will smell Jasmin, which is then harvested from early dawn. 

The old town of Grasse is beautiful.  Narrow streets filled with shops and restaurants and lots to explore. For a visit to this town, you will need good walking shoes as the town is situated up against a hill.  Having said this, you will also have spectacular views all the way to the Mediterranean.

Visit Grasse France Travel and Home

Did you know

An expert in creating perfume is called a Perfumer.  Alternatively, they are also affectionately referred to as Nose (le Nez) – due to their fine sense of smell.

Visit the perfume distilleries in Grasse

Fragonard, Galimard, and Molinard all have “factories” open to the public.  However, there are lots of factories in the area. Obviously all over town, and at the factories, you will find fabulous shops selling their fantastic perfume.

The perfume factories all offer tours and it is available in different languages.

  • Fragonard (founded in 1782):  You can visit the workshop as well as a museum and do a tour.  They even have a yellow train running for tourists.
  • Gourmand focuses on themes based around coffee, tea, and chocolate and their workshop is open to the public.
  • Molinard (founded in 1849): Molinard also has a factory in Grasse, where special tour packages are available for groups. (You can even try your hand at creating your own fragrance.)

Another wonderful thing to do is to take a sensory walk in the Mouans-Sartoux Gardens of the International Perfume Museum.  Thereafter you can tour the Grasse museum as well.

Tour Fragonard a French perfumery from the Southern region of France in Grasse

Is it worth visiting Grasse?

Absolutely! It’s a hidden gem in France, well worth your time.

Popularity Poll - Grasse, Frnace
Popularity Poll - Grasse, Frnace@travelandhome
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We have only received positive feedback from people who went on these tours.  Everyone enjoyed it and gave it a thumbs up.  They all said they would love to go back again.
parfume museum grasse

Perfume In Paris

In France, Maison Guerlain is one of the world’s most famous perfumeries.  Guerlain is the emblem of luxury.  In 1914, the House of Guerlain arrived at 68, Champs-ElyséesNow if ever you would love to visit a shop for the very rich and famous, this is it.  Do visit their website – they do have an online shop as well. 

Why did France start producing Perfume?

Legend has it that during the 18th-century in Paris there was actually a fear of water, which was believed to carry disease.  Therefore people did not smell too good. For this reason, they needed to “cover up the smell”

Hotels in Grasse, France

How to get to Grasse, France - nearest airport

The nearest international airport to Grasse is Nice Airport (NCE) – 22 km

Other nearby airports include Monaco (MCM) (40.4 km), Marseille (MRS) (139.5 km), Genoa (GOA) (175.4 km) and Turin (TRN) (179.9 km).

Also read our article on “French Gardens“.