Photo Copyright: www.plaisirdegrasse.com
Visit a Perfume Factory in Grasse
Have you always wanted to create your own perfume or are you curious how perfume is made? Let’s visit Grasse in the South of France!
Let’s visit Grasse in the South of France!
Your chief stewardess will arrange an experienced driver to bring you to Grasse, the perfume capital of the world. From Cannes or Nice, it is just a short, captivating ride through the beautiful hills of the Provence. On your way there, you can ask your driver to stop in the city of Mougins for a quick espresso at one of the many sidewalk cafés, taking in the stunning sights this city has to offer. Maybe you also want to drive by Notre Dame de Vie, to take a peek at the house Pablo Picasso used to live!
Before you know it you have arrived at today’s destination. The hilly town of Grasse was known for its leather tanning work in the Middle Ages. The tanning process however created such unpleasant odors, that the skilled craftsmen began manufacturing perfumed gloves in the 16th century to hide the smell.
By farming a number of flowers to use for fragrances, Grasse eventually became the center of the French perfume industry. Did you know that the flowers used for making the world-famous Chanel N°5 are grown and harvested here?
Enjoy a private tour
Your driver will drop you off at the Fragonard perfume factory where you will enjoy a private tour set up by your chief stewardess. Your tour guide will start off by showing you the fields of flowers surrounding Grasse. Grasse is perfectly placed to grow fragrant flowers. It enjoys warm conditions, is inland enough to protect the plants from the sea air and is well irrigated from the surrounding hills. All your favorite flowers, like lavender, rose, myrtle, orange blossom and wild mimosa, are still grown here around Grasse. The colors of these vast flower fields are breathtaking also!
Photo Copyright: Viator
The perfume factory
After taking in the sights and scents of the magnificent flower fields, it is on to the perfume factory. The former tannery became the Fragonard perfume factory in 1926 and was fully renovated and transformed in 2015. This historical factory was named after the famous French painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a native of Grasse. It offers an original journey of discovery into the mysteries of traditional perfume making, from processing the raw materials to packaging the finished products. The machines used here, from the copper stills to those in the soap workshops, provide an interesting glimpse of the historical, social and cultural aspects of the techniques and working conditions that prevailed in family-run perfume factories until the 1950s.
Photo Copyright: frenchriviera.travel
The bottling room
The extraction techniques from the past are displayed and will be very well explained during your visit to the historical factory’s distillery. The bottling room is fully operational with a semi-automatic bottling line. To guarantee the quality of the content, each product is individually tested at several stages of the production process. The gilt bottles used for women’s perfumes, exclusive to the perfume factory of Fragonard, are called estagnons.
They are made of unbreakable aluminum and protect the fragrance from light, which means that it keeps for a longer period of time, up to over 6 years. Silver bottles are used for men’s eaux de toilette. The maceration and filtering room features large stainless steel vats in which the perfume concentrates are mixed with alcohol and left to macerate for several weeks.
Photo Copyright: The New York Times
The soap room
Next on the agenda is the soap room. Made from neutral soap granules manufactured in France, Fragonard soaps are perfumed and shaped in the local factories. Before being attractively packaged in its colored case, each bar of soap undergoes a process involving several steps. The granules are placed in the mixer together with the scented essence, and the mixture then continues its way into the crusher heats the soap to 60°C and forms a homogeneous, malleable cake. After being cut into sections, the pieces are stamped by a press that gives the bar of soap its final shape.
Luckily, you will be able to pick up some of these unique soap bars later at the gift shop so your loved ones will have a piece of Grasse to enjoy as well!
Photo Copyright: Fragonard Parfumeur
Time to compose your own perfume!
The following stop of the tour consists of a visit to the old perfumer’s laboratory. You will now fully understand why perfume making is a lot like composing music. Just like a musician, the perfumer composes his perfumes seated at an organ, a stand on which all the bottles of essences he will be using are laid out. A perfume is made up of an accord, which means a blend of several notes and can take several years to compose.
Now that you are an expert on perfume manufacturing, it is time to put your recently acquired skills to work an compose your own perfume! At Fragonard you can create a 100 ml perfume from nine essences during an entertaining, yet professional workshop. With an interactive approach, the ‘Nose’ of Fragonard will explain the architecture of a good perfume and will describe the basic principles of creating a harmonious, balanced and well rounded formula. Within this framework, you will create your own unique fragrance. Of course, champagne and delicate refreshments will be served during this one-of-a-kind experience!
Can you imagine wearing the perfume you yourself created during the next dinner on the yacht?
Photo Copyright: cotedazurfrance.fr
The store of the factory
The tour ends with a visit to the store of the factory, where all Fragonard products are on display: perfumes, eaux de toilette, soaps, candles, diffusers, as well as cosmetics, shower gels and various gift sets. Fragonard’s fragrance range is especially rich and varied: floral, fruity, chypre, woody or oriental. Finding the perfume that matches your personality, tastes and desires is a magnificent way to wrap up your visit. And undoubtedly, you will make your
friends and family very happy with these beautiful and special products from your favorite perfume factory in Grasse!
After taking in one more last view of this beautiful place, your driver will be waiting to drive you back to the yacht, where the chief stewardess cannot wait to hear about your day!
Photo Copyright: www.sainte-maxime.com
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