Explore the World’s Perfume Capital – Grasse

Grasse in France is the perfect location to grow the most sought-after luxury perfume ingredients. The unspoiled landscape and unique climate give Grasse the upper hand and the advantage, making it perfectly suitable for growing the components required for the perfume.

France has charmed the world for centuries with its beautiful landscape, revealing its lush green hills spotted with sunlight to the crystal clear Mediterranean waters. Anybody can fall in love with the region of Provence; such is the beauty of it. The town of Grasse is to the north of Cannes, and it is the most revered fragrance capital in the world. It presents with a combination of warmth, sun, and mild winters besides creating an appealing climate that is suitable for the production of the finest ingredients used in perfumery.

Perfect Climate

Grasse’s climate is appropriate to cultivate a range of flowers featuring aromatic properties. The same plant produces different scents depending on the place and the way it is grown.  The flowers in Grasse have a fragrant scent as the winters are cold. Plants can survive due to the decidedly less rainfall this area receives. Low rain received in the summer keeps the climate suitable for harvesting flowers and in this way the showers do not rinse away the scent of the flowers. The positioning of Grasse on the hills is an advantage nonetheless. The flowers smell fresh as they are far away from the salty sea winds and the high altitude keeps it safe from strong winds.

A Perfumed Beginning

Grasse is bestowed with natural advantages; however, initially, it was not set to produce ingredients for perfume.  In reality, in the past, this town had many leather tanneries, and there was a massive demand for the leather products hailing from Grasse. By the early 1600s, the artisans planned to perfume the hides used in the tanneries because they considered the geography of the town to be favorable to plant fields of tuberose, orange blossom, roses, and jasmine. They extracted the fragrance and added it to leather when it suddenly occurred to them that these extracts were of brilliant quality. Soon, Grasse secured its reputation in fragrance production which marked the beginning of a perfumed story.

Harvest Masters

(GERMANY OUT) Frankreich, Grasse: Parfuemherstellung, Duftstudio der Firma Galimard- 2005 (Photo by blende11.de/ullstein bild via Getty Images)

The kind weather is responsible for the success of Grasse in perfumery. However, it also includes the experience in harvesting and processing of flowers that the locals have. The processing infrastructure was developed in Grasse so that it consistently transformed crops of flowers into the finest quality extracts.  Flower farmers extract even essential oils from the freshly picked blooms to get the intense scent.

Enduring Perfumes

In the year 1987, Chanel invested in Pegomas, a family-owned field, just outside Grasse. Thus, Chanel has assured aromatic and fresh quality roses and jasmine required to produce the Chanel No.5 perfume.  It is over 30 years, and even now the roses are harvested in May and Jasmines in September. However, both are processed using Grasse techniques on site employing the latest technology for extraction and distillation.

Nevertheless, Chanel never compromised its integrity on the formula of the perfume and still use 1000 Grasse-grown jasmine flowers and 12 May roses to prepare one 30ml bottle. The unique freshness and fragrance are from the extracts of locally grown flowers. The super-feminine scents are successful and are all-time favorites.