Grasse is the fifth largest city in the region of Alpes-Maritimes (France) in terms of population.
In the Middle Ages, Grasse specializes in tanning leather; but the leather smells bad, something that does not please the nobility who wears leather gloves.
It is Molinard, a tanner in Grasse who has the idea to create perfumed leather gloves. He offers a pair to Catherine de Médicis who is seduced by the gift. From then on, the product spreads to the Court and the High Society and brings to Grasse a worldwide reputation.
The rare scents of the Pays de Grasse (lavender, myrtle, jasmine, rose, wild orange blossom, mimosa) earned the city the title of the world capital of perfume.
Jasmine occupied a few decades ago an important workforce: the flowers were to be picked by hand at dawn, when their perfume is the most developed, to be treated immediately by enfleurage cold.
Today, if traditional perfumers (Fragonard, Galimard, and Molinard) produce perfume mainly for tourism, large modern factories specialize in aromas and industrial perfumes. Perfumeries are therefore essential in a visit to Grasse!