Grasse is an inland town in the French Riviera about 40 km, or a 60 minute train ride, from Nice. Grasse is known as the capital of the perfume industry, and is home to 3 different perfumeries: Fragonard, Galimard, and Molinard. I visited Grasse for the first time in December, and have been back several times since. This is mostly due to the fact that I have friends (fellow assistants) that live and work there.
Visiting old town Grasse is a must, along with a visit to a perfumery. Unfortunately the walk up to the old town is anything but pleasant. Steep, sometimes slippery stairs and hills will guide your way. Once at the top you’ll find narrow alleys, small shops and various places and fountains typical of old towns around France.
On my first trip to old town Grasse I visited the museum in Fragonard and walked around the factory shop. In a subsequent visit I took the free factory tour which I highly recommend. You learn how the perfumes and soaps are made. The best part comes at the end – you get to smell the perfumes and decide exactly which ones you want to buy! Everything in the shop is beautiful; I have to hold back each time I’m there.
If you venture behind the Notre Dame de Puy you’ll find beautiful views of the Pays de Grasse.
While Grasse was nice in December, it’s absolutely gorgeous in the spring. The flowers and trees began to bloom in April. Coupled with the warm weather, a visit to old town Grasse is a great way to spend an afternoon.