In Grasse you are already in Provence, just 20 minutes from the Les Pinèdes campsite. The town is famous as the world perfume capital. Here roses and jasmine express all the poetry of a town dedicated to flowers and perfume. The unrivalled historic heritage of Grasse has made it one of the few examples of conserved medieval architecture, while the painter Fragonard, a native of the town, has brought it international prestige.
Grasse, the world perfume capital
From plants to the perfumes themselves, in Grasse you can see all the stages of perfume-making, but first we need to know a little bit of history!
In the Middle Ages, Grasse was not famous for its perfumes, but for its high-quality leather. But the bad smells resulting from the work led a tanner to dip his gloves in natural essences from flowers in the region. The idea appealed to his customers, including Catherine de' Medici, and the products were sold all over Europe. Little by little, leather-making gave way to perfume-making. Leather-making ceased in the town altogether in the 18th century.
Three great families of perfume-makers are still part of the history of Grasse today: the Gallimard family, the Molinard family and the Fuchs family, who named their perfume company Fragonard in homage to the famous painter, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a native of Grasse.
Take the time to see the perfume plants, for example at Domaine de Manon. Here you can see Centifolia roses and Grandiflorum jasmine, two flowers that have helped forge the profession's reputation.
You can also visit the three historic parfumeries. And if you wish, you can have fun making your very own perfume in the company of an expert during an "Apprentice Perfumer" workshop.
Grasse, town of art and history
Like Nice and Menton, Grasse has had the "Town of Art and History" label since 2005.
From Antiquity to the 21st century, from the town's architectural heritage to its natural heritage, Grass displays aesthetic and social aspects providing unique discoveries and encounters. All the year round, guides are on hand to introduce you to the riches of Grasse on a wide range of themes: the Renaissance, the Middle Ages, leather-making, perfume-making, architecture… You can find out more at the Grasse Tourist Office or at the Maison du Patrimoine (heritage house).
Set off to visit the Grasse museums, including the International Perfume Museum, the Fragonard Villa Museum, the Fragonard Museum, the Provence Art and History Museum or the Provencal Museum of Costume and Jewelery in the former residence of the Marquise de Cabris, Mirabeau's sister.