A WORLD OF SCENT
AWAKEN YOUR SENSES
REPORT FRROM A VISIT TO GRASSE
- THE CAPITAL OF PERFUME
CÔTE D'AZUR, FRANCE
Words: Sidsel Solmer Eriksen
We arrived in Grasse the last day of April in a breath-taking landskape with jasmin-infused mountain air. The city which is known as the 'Capital of Perfume' primarily due to the area's bountiful flora, is just a one-hour drive from Nice Airport, but it feels like a different world altogether. The small city center of Grasse meets you like a re-encounter with the holiday world of your childhood -a maze-like alley-city small enough to walk through in half an hour and big enough to explore a new corner every time of the day.
Three major fragrance houses, Galimard, Molinard and Fragonard offer bespoke scent experiences for visitors who want to explore the world of perfume making and learn about the art of composition and evaporation. We booked ourselves in a perfume workshop with Fragonard, which is located in the historic building in the center of Grasse, also housing their shop and old factory. Our teacher Michèle Dulac, a chemist turned artist with more than 20 years experience from the industry, took us through the three note families, and mentored us through a personal scent landscape of memories and associations. In the end, we compiled a 100ml perfume to take home, that we finished it off with a personal choice of scent notes.
The sensorial experience is something so fundamentally French, in the sense of appreciating the very finest sensorial qualities nature has to offer, touching a psycho emotional ground and strikes the very cord of your personality. What do you like, what are your most treasured memories in life that defines you. It is a deeply personal experience, not linked to aroma-therapy, but more like an access to your intuitive knowledge of the very composition of you. Although you feel like touching the tip of an iceberg of an art which is only mastered by 50 noses in the world (all of the men) and is only taught in 3 schools (located in Grass, Paris and Versailles) you feel a certain heightening of your senses, that manifests instantly. And when you walk out in the air again, suddenly scent impressions fill you more. The jasmin-air gets under your skin, the figue-trees refreshes you, as you pass them, and you feel like your senses has awoken to simply appreciate life more.