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Grasse (Provençal Occitan: Grassa in classical norm or Grasso in Mistralian norm) is a town in south-eastern Francemarker. It is a commune of the Alpes-Maritimesmarker department (of which it is a sub-prefecture), on the French Rivieramarker.

The town is considered as the world's capital of perfume. It obtained two flowers in the Concours des villes et villages fleuris contest and was made "Ville d'Art et d'Histoire" (town of art and history) ». It is also Internet town.

Main sights

Grasse's main attraction is the Cathedral, dedicated to Notre Dame du Puy and founded in the 11th century. In the interior, are three works by Rubens and one by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, a French painter native of the town.

Other sights include:
  • Saracen Tower, standing at 30 m.
  • monumental gate of the Hôtel de ville.
  • Fragonard Museum, established in 1921.
  • International Museum of Perfume
  • Musée d'Art et d'Histoire de Provence
  • Church of Placassier, built in 1644


Bronze parfumeur in old Grasse.
Grasse has had a prospering perfume industry since the end of the 18th century.

Grasse is the center of the French perfume industry and is known as the world's perfume capital (la capitale mondiale des parfums). Many "noses" are trained or have spent time in Grasse. It produces over two-thirds of France's natural aromas (for perfume and for food flavourings). This industry turns over more than 600 million euros a year.

Grasse's particular microclimate encouraged the flower farming industry. It is warm and far enough inland to be sheltered from the sea air. There is an abundance of water, thanks to its situation in the hills and the 1860 construction of the Siagne canal for irrigation purposes. The town is 350 m above sea level and from the Coast (Côte d'Azurmarker).

Jasmine, a key ingredient of many perfumes, was brought to southern France by the Moors, in the 16th century. Twenty-seven tonnes of jasmine are now harvested in Grasse every year.

There are numerous old 'parfumeries' in Grasse such as Molinard, Fragonard, Galimard each with tours and a museum.


There is an annual Fête du Jasmin or La Jasminade, at the beginning of August. The first festival was on the 3 August–4 August 1946. These days, it is a big event; decorated floats drive through the town, with young women in skimpy costumes on board, throwing flowers onto the crowds. This is known as the 'flower battle' and everyone gets soaked by the natural perfume of the flowers. There are also fireworks, free parties, folk music groups and street performers. There is also an annual international exhibition of roses ("Expo Rose").

Notable people

Grasse was the birthplace of: Grasse was the death place of:

International relations

Twin towns - sister cities

Grasse is twinned with:

Cultural references

The town is the setting in the final chapters of the novel Perfume by Patrick Süskind.

Also the final chapters of the feature film Perfume' (2006), based on the novel.

See also


External links

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