Thursday, 10 September 2009


It's probably becoming obvious that one of my favourite places in the world is Grasse.

This is partly because I have some very close friends there, who I've been visiting since I was 15. But it's also the perfume capital of France - and therefore the world! The weather conditions in the area are perfect, and this meant that in the past there were extensive jasmine and rose fields (sadly all gone now), and from around the 1600s Grasse became the centre of perfume production.

On my most recent trip, we went to Fragonard factory and did the tour. It was quite interesting hearing about what it takes to be a "nose" - there are only approximately 150 in the world, and they train for around 10 years, can recognise an extraordinary number of different scents, and can't drink alcohol, smoke, or eat spicy food. They can only work for two hours a day, and produce something like 4 new fragrances each a year.

Fragonard is divine. There are several stores in Grasse, one of which is run by one of my French mum's friends. I came home with many goodies.... There's also a nice cafe, just across the road from the museum.

I love that the perfumes are sold in aluminium containers, which keeps them fresh for a lot longer. You can see them in the picture above.
(images via fragonard website)

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