From one perfume shop to the next – always follow your nose.

Älgbert Elgson

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The city of Grasse is around 20 kilometers from Cannes, is considered the world capital of perfume and is home to around 50,000 people. In the Middle Ages, city dwellers mainly specialized in tanning, until around 1600 a tanner came up with the idea of providing the often stinking leather gloves with fragrant scents. These fragrances became the newest fashion and the success was great. Numerous perfumeries opened later and perfume production replaced the tanneries after a while and became the main business.


The mild climate is ideal for growing various plants around Grasse, harvesting their blossoms, distilling and extracting valuable fragrances of them. All around Grasse, lavender, myrtle, roses, mimosa, jasmine and orange blossoms are harvested. The plantations with the flowering plants shaped the image of the city at the time, but unfortunately most of the flowers are imported from other countries for price reasons and are only refined in Grasse. The fragrances obtained from this are used for the production of perfume and also mixed with various detergents or cosmetic articles. They are also used as a flavoring in the food industry. There are around 30 perfume factories in Grasse, the biggest ones being Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard. In total, the perfume industry in Grasse alone employs around 4,000 people and processes over 10,000 tons of flowers a year. The perfume factories can usually be visited free of charge, in some there are also workshops where you can create your own fragrance.

Once Grasse was also a station of Napoleon on the march to Paris when he returned from Elba, which is why it is also known as one of the Napoleon cities. The main reasons for their popularity, however, are the many narrow streets, the buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries, the previously mentioned perfumeries and the adaption if the novel „Perfume. The Story of a Murderer“ by the German writer Patrick Süskind.

In the city center, as in most tourist places, there are the typical souvenir shops and, besides these, countless perfume shops. In addition to beautifully preserved buildings, there are also numerous structures that are close to decay. In Grasse, in addition to the perfumeries with free tours, there is also the paid international perfumery museum, the naval museum, the flower fields just outside, the Museum of Provencal Art and History, a chocolate factory, several beautiful squares and gardens and the cathedral Notre-Dame-du-Puy.

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How to get there?

Grasse is easily accessible by public transport and excursions to the city of perfume can also be booked from the next major tourist cities. There are centrally located parking garages for those arriving by car.

Bewertung: 5.5 von 10.

Grasse lives from the perfume business. The buildings have seen far better times – a few years ago the city was probably actually beautiful and worth visiting. The original beauty can still be seen today, but many of these buildings worth seeing are already decaying and once magnificent fountains are sometimes very dirty. Diving into the world of perfume and getting to know, for example, the meaning of the top, base and heart note as well as the difference between eau de parfum, eau de toilette and eau de cologne was worth the way there anyway.

We were here: 2019

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