Visit Grasse The Perfume Town
A visit to the pretty hillside town of Grasse makes for a great day out if you are staying in the nearby towns of Nice or Cannes. As you probably know, Grasse is known as the world’s perfume capital. This was the reason I wanted to visit Grasse, but here are some other things to do too:
What to do in Grasse:
- Visit The Perfume Factories and take a tour
- Buy some of the Perfume products to take home
- Explore the International Perfume Museum
- Grasse Cathedral – 12th century Cathedral
- Discover a section of the Route Napoleon
- Hike nearby in the National Park Pre-Alps Region
- Stop for lunch or an apero in Grasse
PHOTO: The town of Grasse, Alpes Maritime
Up in the hills to the north of Nice, the town of Grasse has been making perfume since the 16th century, and the town is still home to around 30 makers – a few of which offer guided tours of their factories.
I drove from Cannes to Grasse and the drive took me about 20 minutes and is only 20 kms away. The hillside breeze was a welcome reprieve from the broiling seaside heat of Cannes. Driving from Nice will take approximately 30 minutes and is 40 kms. Allow half a day for a visit.
Take a stroll around the pretty hillside town that winds its way up the hillside, stop off for lunch of a drink and investigate the little shops lining the street. There are several perfume factories to visit in Grasse, the best known are Molinard and Fragonard.
Then I stopped by the Fragonard Perfume factory, because I like their Rose perfume! It reminds me of the Rose petal perfume I made as a child from precious Roses in our garden. This very beautiful factory was established in a 19th century building that sits in the heart of Grasse where perfumes and soaps are crafted everyday. It is one of the oldest factories in Grasse. From the time they were first built in 1782, these premises already housed a perfume factory. In 1926, the Fragonard perfumery was named after the famous painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard.
You can Take a free guided visit of the workshops and laboratories to see how the products are crafted from only the best raw materials. Grasse is surrounded by fields growing Roses and other flowers used in the making of perfume.
PHOTO: Fragonard Factory shop in Grasse
Parfumerie Fragonard was opened in 1926. Eugène Fuchs chose to name it after the famous Grasse-born painter, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), as a tribute to both the town of Grasse and to the refinement of 18th-century arts. This tradition has been loyally perpetuated by the three succeeding generations who have run and are still running the company. At their instigation new production plants and sales outlets have opened in Grasse, Eze and also Paris.
Today, Jean-François Costa’s daughters, Agnès and Françoise preside over the perfumery’s destiny, and are as concerned as the preceding generations with continuing to build the company while adapting it to current market needs and desires.
Take a fascinating Factory tour and buy some of the gorgeous perfumes and other products in the adjoining Factory shop. Make sure to buy something exquisite to take home with you that wil remind you of Grasse everytime you use it.
The Historic Factory
20 Boulevard Fragonard
Tel: 0033 (0)4 93 36 44 65
The factory is open every day, Sundays and public holidays included, from 9 am to 6.30 pm, last visit 1 hour before closing.
Free guided tour in all European languages. Products at factory price.
Other places to visit in the South of France: