Those, who have either read a novel "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" by Patrick Süskind or seen its film adaptation, might remember that the main hero Grenouille decided to make it to the city of Grasse, the home of greatest perfumers, in order to become one of them. Although according to the plot the story took place in 18 century, even nowadays Grasse is considered to be the world's capital of perfume.
The history of the city itself is rather interesting. For example, in the Middle Ages the city was mostly known for its leather industry - local artisans were making high quality gloves and other leather products for export and for noble persons of the country. However, the leather smelled badly and one of the tanners called Galimard came up with a brilliant idea to make scented gloves. Soon after this "innovation" was spread across France and became very popular among nobleman and royal court, Grasse has gained its worldwide status. However, high taxes on leather and competition from Nice brought a decline for the leather industry in Grasse, and production of leather fragrance ceased. Instead local artisans focused on creation of scents and perfumes - tradition which lasted until today.
At present Grasse is a home for the International Museum of Perfumes, and other smaller factory-museums of famous perfumers of the past. Most of you might have heard the names such as Galimard, Molinard and Fragonard - these are the names of parfumeries still operating in Grasse. One interesting fact is that Galimard and Molinard were actually perfumers, whereas Fragonard was a famous painter born in Grasse.
We decided to visit the factory-museum of the second oldest perfumery in the world Galimard (opened in 1747) and also attend a special workshop, where one may create his/her own perfume. We have booked the workshop in advance by internet. If interested visit the homepage of the company: http://www.galimard.com.
This process of creating a personal fragrance was surely one of the brightest memories of our journey. The Nose guided and explained basic techniques of perfume creation. For example, we understood the differences between the base notes, heart notes and the top notes and learned the families of the scents. This all helped us to create our own formula and then mix all components together to get our truly personal perfume. At the end of the workshop we were given diplomas proving that we have passed an initial course in Parfumerie and the 100ml bottle of perfume carrying the name we have chosen ourselves.
Then we visited the factory Galimard, where a very charming lady explained us how the perfume is produced and bottled. She also explained what kind of flowers are growing in Grasse, and how many tonnes of petals are needed to produce 100 ml of the flower essence. Our tour ended in the perfume shop, where we were introduced to the "hits" of the summer season among female and male scents. There is also a chance to buy perfumes for a cheaper price.
We absolutely advice everyone going to French Riviera to find some time to visit Grasse and gain an unforgettable experience of feeling yourself in the role of a perfumer.
Leave a Comment
Please do not use a spammy keyword or a domain as your name, or it will be deleted. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation instead.