If you are knowledgeable about perfume, you will be familiar with Grasse. Celebrated as the World’s “capital” for perfume, Grasse is home to an abundance of perfume producers. The most famous being Chanel N°5, created from the distinctive scent of jasmine. For a small town in the French Riviera, it has a rich and curious history. Not only does it offer extensive knowledge of perfume, but it is also a place abundant in art.
Grasse is situated idyllically on top of a hill between Aldine, Cannes and the Alps. An array of luxury holiday villas in the French Riviera surrounds the peaceful neighbourhood. Not far from either the serene coast or the charming countryside, the setting of Grasse is exceptional and cannot go unseen. Here at Quality Villas, we believe it won’t be long before you immerse your senses in Grasse’s fascinating aromatic industry. Providing two days of captivating endeavours, you won’t have time to muse about how best to spend 48 hours in Grasse.
Day 1: Morning
Gently waking to glorious sunshine, time to head to your nearest Boulangerie for a traditional French croissant. Once equipped with breakfast, you are ready to investigate the town. The morning is a great way to get your bearings, and witness Grasse stirring. Boulevard du Jeu de Ballon is a particularly pretty street worth strolling down.
The Old Town is a great start to roam at the lovely bustle of Grasse. Take your time to drift through quaint streets and admire the pretty French architecture of hotels and shops.
Cathedrale Notre Dame du Puy dates back to the 12th century. It is strikingly simple in style. The medieval Romanesque style of its original construction complements the later addition of a Baroque-style tower. The cathedral’s interior is well preserved and contains work from famous artists including the single religious painting by Jean-Honoré Fragonard.
Day 1: Lunch
For lunch, it is great to head to the main square and take your pick of cafes and restaurant. Treat yourself to a refreshing glass of Cotes de Provence rosé and try some local delicacies such as Fassum. It is a flavoursome, filling dish of delightfully stuffed cabbage leaves.
Day 1: Afternoon
After you have marvelled at the heart of Grasse, the afternoon is the ideal time to visit the Musee International de la Parfumerie. A private museum dedicated to educating people on the evolution of perfumery, it was first established in 1918 by Francois Carnot. Full of exclusive and unique memorabilia, the museum offers an insightful overview of the industry. The establishment is complete with a charming flower garden. It is a specialised outdoor conservatoire and an essential part of your visit. Opened in 2003 the garden hopes to inform a broad range of people on the plant species involved in perfumery.
Day 1: Evening
For an evening meal, the Michelin star restaurant, La Bastide Saint- Antoine is a definite recommendation. Grasse also possesses a town Theatre. For an evening extravagance, take a look at what performances are showing. To continue your evening indulgence, the ‘Pedestrian Zone’ has the most excellent assortment of bars.
Day 2: Morning
Continuing to explore the world of aromas, creating your own fragrance is compulsory. Producing a personal perfume is available at any of the three main perfumeries in Grasse. These are Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard. It is best to book onto a workshop in advance. Otherwise all are free to visit for a general guided tour.
Alternatively, if you are ready to move forward from perfumery by the second morning, Grasse is teeming with other exceptional museums, including the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Day 2: Lunch
To rejuvenate yourself for the final part of the day, we would suggest lunch at Café des Musées. Renown for its nourishing dishes, it is a must.
Day 2: Afternoon
A little outdoor escapade is encouraged to enjoy the last of the glorious Riviera sunshine. Domaine de la Royrie is an olive grove from the 15th century. A tour of the grounds, complete with a tasting session, paints a charming image of the monks who originally planted the orchards. Close to dusk, this location is a pleasant spot to watch a scenic sunset.
That completes our 48 hours in Grasse. We hope we have inspired you to discover perfumery and indulge in some local delicacies. For more inspiration on the French Riviera, take a look at our blog A Weekend in Cannes.