City Guide: Grasse
Grasse, the world’s most famous perfumes capital is located in the beautiful French Riviera and can thus be easily combined with a trip to Nice or Cannes.
Grasse’s perfume industry has a long and rich history, which you can explore while visiting one of the perfume factories (Fragonard, Molinard, Galimard).
Due to its warm climate, Grasse has become an ideal spot for the flower farming industry. Among the most famous of these is the Jasmine flower harvested in Grasse.
Place du Petit Puy and Notre Dame du Puy Cathedral in Grasse
The Place du Petit Puy is the oldest square in the city centre of Grasse.
Its Cathedral was built in a Romanesque style which is typical for the Provence.
Right by the Notre Dame du Puy Cathedral, you can also find the town hall of Grasse. It is located in the former Episcopal palace. The town hall and its tower stem mainly from the 12th century. There is also a little inner courtyard with a fountain in the middle.
Nearby you also find the 30 metre high Saracen tower, which you can walk up to enjoy the view of the city.
Old Town of Grasse – Chapelle de l’Oratoire
Apart from the view obvious sites including the above-mentioned ones, there isn’t that much to see in Grasse besides indulging into the history of the perfume industry. Grasse has a little old town and many narrowly-winding streets, but is overall quite run down, which we found very disappointing.
The Chapelle de l’Oratoire is quite nice to look at as well as some of the squares.
International Museum of Perfume
Of course, when visiting the capital of perfumes, what ought not to be missed is a visit to the International Museum of Perfume.
The museum hosts a variety of different elements, including a section to engage your smelling senses as well as displaying various vases, perfume bottles and so forth. Overall, the museum is quite interactive which makes it a nice place to learn more about the perfume industry.
Perfumeries in Grasse
As mentioned earlier, there are three different perfumeries in Grasse which organize tours for visitors.
We did run short of time during our visit, so we opted for a quick visit of the Parfumery Fragonard, which allows you to check out some parts of its factory.
Our overall impression of Grasse
To us, Grasse seemed somewhat of an over-hyped place. While we could still see the charm the city might once have had, the run-down state of the town centre was sad to see. If you are interested in the perfume industry, this is still the place to be, but make sure you also get to see some of the actual plants and not just the factories themselves!
Do you have any questions about Grasse? Feel free to ask or share your impressions in the comments!