Located between the Mediterranean Sea and the Alps, the charming medieval town of Grasse will please tourists who seek the most secret corners of the Cote d'Azur. This delightful little town is easy to reach and is in the middle of a cluster of beautiful hilltop villages such as Bar sur Loup, Tourrettes sur Loup and Gourdon, one of the region's most beautiful towns.

In Grasse's alleyways one can breathe in true France, far away from the tourist bustle of Cannes or Nice. This town has a very interesting architecture, harkening back to its golden days, when its "Parfumerie" made it one of the centres of life for the Parisian and international aristocracy. Modern Grasse contains many perfume factories, perhaps not as fascinating as the producers of yesteryear but still at the centre of international interest.

The Parfumerie of Grasse

Grasse traded with nearby Genoa already in the Middle Ages, selling leather, wine and livestock. The area's abundance of water helped its leather tanning industry to a position of prominence already in the 12th century, ensuring its prosperity and notoriety thanks to the quality of its products.

The Renaissance will transform Grasse into one of the European production centres of one of the time's most fashionable products: perfumed gloves. According to legend, it was the visit of Catherine De Medici that convinced glovemakers to add perfume to foul-smelling leather gloves to make them more pleasant to wear. Since then, Grasse's perfumed gloves became a must-have symbol of the nobility of the time, so much so that in 1614 the King created the title of “Maître Gantier-Parfumeur” (Master of Glovemaking and Perfumes). The hills around Grasse then became filled of jasmins, hyacinths, roses, violets and oranges - all for the production of perfume. After the French Revolution, the production of gloves was phased out in favour of perfumery. Since then, Grasse produces perfumed essences and bases: many of the world-renowned perfumes are today made in Grasse.


Grasse is easy to reach from Cannes and only a few kilometres away from Antibes and Nice. It is worth visiting not just for perfumes but for its unique architecture and its strategic position that allows one to visit other beautiful villages, and is a gateway to Fayence and the Provence.

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