Wednesday 7 July 2010

Travels of a Beauty Blogger

As a self-confessed fragrance addict, it has long been my dream to visit Grasse, France and, with my attendance at a friend's wedding in nearby Cannes, here I finally am. Heralded as the world's perfume capital, many renowned "noses" (of which there are only approx. 50 globally) have honed their craft here. The area's climate is ideal for the growing of rose, violet, tuberose and, perhaps most famously, jasmine.
Originally developed in order to disguise the offensive odours of the regions's historic leather tanning industry, the perfume industry has long since thrived here with historical visitors including Queen Victoria.
The town itself is long past its glory days with dilapidated buildings and a confusing traffic system.
Yesterday, I began at Molinard, which was founded in 1849. Here, I toured the premises, learning about the raw materials, distillation methods and bottling. I treated myself to a bottle of Iles d'or, from the 1930s, in the signature packaging originally designed by Lalique.
Heading onto the famous Fragonard, one of the oldest fragrance houses, I learnt in greater detail about the different notes of a scent as well as the families, e.g. floral, oriental, etc.. which fragrances are identified by. As anything with a hint of violet instantly captures my imagination, I treated myself to a bottle of Emilie parfum, a floral blend combining orange blossom, rose, jasmine, violet, lily of the valley, sandalwood and amber.
Overall, a wonderful day.

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