Keen to expand our horizons and make sure we saw everything the French Rivera had to offer, the Hughes’ went on a family road trip. We set off with Grasse in mind. A small town not far from Mougins, where we went for dinner on our first night. We’d never been and had heard it was quite pretty. So off we went.We did know that it is renowned for perfumes. So knew there would be lots of things to see..and smell. Grasse has been making perfumes since the 19th century so institutions such as Fragonard and Molinard are well established.
We started our tour in the Fragonard Factory.
‘PERFUME – from the Latin fumum, which literally means “through the smoke” because perfume is first and foremost, divine. It was through the smoke generated by burning fragrant materials that men sent their prayers to heaven.’
All sorts of perfume plants are grown in Grasse, such as rose, jasmine and tuberose. Picking of the flowers begins in May and happens every day until mid-October.We were shown old & new techniques of the perfume making process before we came out into a beautiful shop with rows upon rows of beautiful perfumes.
There is also such a thing as the International Perfume Museum – which is actually huge! So we spent a couple of hours learning about the history of perfume. The Far East was actually the birthplace of perfume as it played a crucial role in religious and secular rites in Egypt.This ^ greenhouse room smelt absolutely incredible. I cannot tell you! It was so, so fragrant.You can’t beat a timeless classic…Million dollar question….big perfume bottles or a small Meg?After our senses could take no more we went in search of a bite to eat. We found a pretty little square, sat ourselves next to the fountain and ordered a carafe of Rosé. We kept the food French with Moules frites..Croque-monsieur..and Salade niçoise.After awkwardly posing by the fountain we wandered back to the car with overhead misters keeping us cool.After a lifetimes worth of knowledge about perfume we went in search for a beach to do a little bit of relaxation.We found a little beach in Juan les Pins and whilst Mum had a siesta on the beach, Dad and I went exploring.In the distance you could just about make out the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc at the very tip.We stayed as long as we possibly could until we had no time left and we had to rush back & get ready for our evening plans – dinner followed by cocktails. Don’t worry, I have lots of pictures so I’ll tell you about that tomorrow!