As Francis de Croisset said when speaking of Grasse, “Grasse is the only city in the world where the word industry sounds poetic.”
Grasse is a town in France situated ideally between the sea and the mountains, near Cannes and Nice.
Grasse is renowned as the birthplace of perfumes, home to a vast array of fragrant and exotic plants. Its mild temperatures, ample sunlight, and rainfall provide the perfect conditions for blossoming flowers to grow in abundance.
In the early Renaissance, the city was known for its leather industry – especially the production of leather gloves. In the 16th century, Catherine de Medici introduced perfumed gloves into fashion. Soon the town of Grasse became popular at the court of King Louis XIII, and in 1614 it became the official supplier to the royal household.
The primary plants used at the time were jasmine, rose, and tuberose – which is still the case today.
As time passed, the fashion for scented gloves was on the wane, but the use of perfume oils was increasing in popularity.
Today, more than two-thirds of France’s natural fragrances are produced here. Grasse is home to the world’s best “noses,” perfume experts who create the world’s most luxurious fragrances. Top brands such as Chanel and Dior have their botanical gardens here, growing mainly roses and jasmine.