Sunday, November 6, 2016

Smelling good in Grasse

This Saturday we drove 30 minutes away to a city called Grasse. Not like grass. Please don't call it grass. Pronounced more like Grahsse.

Grasse is the perfume capital of France. Which, bien sûr (at least according to the French), is naturally also the perfume capital of the world. David took this opportunity to make several jokes about how the French only invented perfume so they could avoid bathing. #worstfrenchmanever

Grasse is home to at least 3 perfume factories you can tour (Fragonard, Molinard, and Gallimard). Rumor has it that the flowers used in the famous Chanel No. 5 are grown exclusively in Grasse.

We toured the Fragonard factory and learned a little bit about how perfume is made. One of my favorite things I learned is that in French perfume makers are called 'nez,' which means 'noses.' They have to study chemistry for several years and have perfect memories to remember thousands of different scents.

Another funny fact was that Fragonard refuses to make cologne for men, they only make eau de toilette, which is watered down. They do that because they think men aren't capable of judging when they put too much cologne on haha

I had to indulge and buy a small bottle of my favorite scent. Very conveniently, this visit to Grasse happened to coincide with my current perfume almost running out. I wonder how that happened... 

Cute little bag

I chose a scent called "belle de nuit." It was fun because it comes with an info sheet that tells you everything they put in it- mine is mostly made up of roses and violets. 

Our last stop was a tiny museum called Musée Fragonard. Didn't have anything to do with the perfume, besides the fact that this perfume company named themselves after the painter of the same name, since he was from Grasse. Jean-Honoré Fragonard was one of the most famous artists in the last years of the French monarchy. I like his paintings because they remind me of the "Marie Antoinette era."

There was just 1 room of his drawings and 1 room of his paintings. The one below was my favorite. There were also 2 other rooms featuring 2 other artists from Grasse. It was worth visiting, especially since it was free! Touring the factory was free too. I'm guessing because they make all of their money from the perfume boutique at the end of the tour.

"Young Girl Freeing Bird from Cage"

We've had bad weather luck lately. It's beautiful, perfect, and sunny all week... and then it rains on the weekend. Since it was rainy we didn't get to do any walking around town. I want to come back when it's sunny and walk around a little more. David doesn't understand why because he thinks it looks boring since the colorful streets are pretty similar to his hometown. 

So foggy!

It's too bad it was foggy, because on my only previous trip to Grasse I remember lots of sun and beautiful views, since it's up on a hill. Can't believe this was 9 years ago!!

All in all, despite the rain, it was a fun and delicious-smelling day in Grasse.

For more about what we've been up to, check out this about touring a castle and swimming in November, or this about what French Halloween was like.

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