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History of Grasse’s perfume industry: From perfumed gloves to Chanel
Grasse is a picturesque inland town located 15 km north of Cannes. The city's history dates back to the 7th century when the first inhabitants settled there. Since the 16th century, with the advent of fashion perfumed gloves, Grasse became the centre of the French perfume industry and gradually grew its international reputation as the perfume capital of the world.
There exist several versions of how Grasse was given its name. One of the stories includes naming the city after the local soggy soil (French grasse = gooey, slippery), which is very fertile and provides excellent conditions for growing flowers. No wonder over two-thirds of France's natural aromas, including native species of jasmine, roses, violets, lavender and even the flowers used for the world-famous Chanel N°5 are grown and harvested here.
Surrounded by fields of flowers and beautiful public gardens such as Jardin des Plantes and the Parc du Château de Mouans-Sartoux, Grasse might be the sweetest smelling city in Europe - perfumed water that is sprayed on city streets ensures that the lovely scent of jasmine, roses, violets and lavender are omnipresent.
Things to do in Grasse
Amazing guided tours in the most perfumed city of the world! Don't miss the chance to visit Grasse and all the most beautiful cities of the French Riviera with an expert guide which will explain you everything about this incredible location. Book French Riviera tours and discover many other things to do in French Riviera !
Learn about perfume industry
For the history of perfume, head to the Museé International de la Parfumerie, which hosts the industry's bible. Free of charge, the museum exhibits over 3,000 years of perfume history from the most ancient times up to the present day. For an extra fee, you can visit the flower garden with a greenhouse growing aromatic plants.
Make your unique perfume
Visiting historic perfume manufacturers will captivate your senses with the delicious scents of traditionally made perfumes, cosmetics and soaps. The biggest historic perfume factories, such as Galimard, Fragonard, and Molinard, offer free guided tours. These tours are given in several foreign languages throughout the day. You will learn about the history of perfume and various procedures involved in creating and producing perfumes. Don’t miss the personal perfume workshop where you will become the creator of your own unique fragrance.
Explore Grasse old town
The Old Town of Grasse will charm you with its narrow streets, steep ancient staircases opening onto large squares, medieval ruins and 17th and 18-th century buildings. One of the highlights of the old part of the city is Notre Dame du Puy cathedral from 11th-century (rebuilt in the 17th c.) with three Rubens paintings. Behind the cathedral you will find beautiful views north over the surrounding hills.
Enjoy the panorama
Perched on a hilltop, at an altitude of around 300 meters, Grasse offers breathtaking scenery over the Mediterranean Sea and nearby countryside from various viewpoints such as the Place du Cours and Garden of Princess Pauline, Napoleon's sister.
Places to visit around Grasse
Located 15 km north of Cannes, Grasse is the gateway town to forests, rivers and canyons of Beyond.
Gorges du Verdon - the Grand Canyon of France
To enjoy hiking with an amazing views you can head to Gorges du Verdon, which is recognized as the highest and the most beautiful canyon in Europe, located in the midst of the region of Provence, Alps and the French Riviera. With its gigantic cliffs of calcareous rock in length of 50 km, carved by the river of Verdon, and depth reaching in some places 700 meters, the Verdon has become a natural site in 1990 and since then the canyon enjoys the label "Grand Site de France". You can discover the Verdon canyon in many ways: hiking, rafting, canoeing, climbing or by chilling out in the pure water of the lake of Sainte Croix, which is the biggest of the Verdon lakes.
Curious what one of the most beautiful hilltop villages in France looks like? Visit Gourdon. With its territory reaching as high as 1300m above sea-level, Gourdon offers a fantastic view of the Loup Valley and Cote d'Azur. Head to the information centre on the main square and ask for a tour which takes you to The Saut du Loup waterfall. For only 1€ per person, you can explore the foot trail leading to a point where you have a view over the whole of the Loup.
Saint Cezaire Caves
For an extraordinary journey to the depths of the earth, explore Saint Cezaire Caves. These beautiful caves reach 40 meters underground and are open to the public from February to November.
There’s no reason to choose between mountains and beaches when you can have both by renting a holiday home in Grasse. This perfume capital leaves you wanting more when you stay in any of the holiday rentals making it your vacation home. The endless line of activities and places to visit will make you want to turn your holiday rental to a long-term rental.
Now you can take your time to go hiking as you live in a long-term rental apartment or villa in Grasse. Try out canoeing or even organize a cave expedition from your long-term rental apartment in this beautiful city. Even climbing to the top of Gourdon would be very easy because you know that your new long term rental villa in Grasse is only a few meters away.
The villas for sale in Grasse give a whole new meaning to panoramic views. You can see the blue skies and where it meets the wavy seas from the terrace of the villas for sale in Grasse. Surrounded by so many green trees these villas for sale in Grasse give you a connection to nature like no other.