Exploring Grasse And The Perfume Museum

After learning about perfume production at Fragonard we carried on into the medieval old town of Grasse. I had read some quite negative reviews on Tripadvisor so we weren’t expecting much but ended up all agreeing it was totally charming.

05.25.018 - Grasse

05.25.021 - Grasse

The town has several perfume museums, we opted to visit the Musee International de la Parfumerie. A small entrance fee of 4 Euros but Son was free so all very reasonable.

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The museum is housed in an 18th century mansion, just gorgeous with every angle picture perfect. The house was actually the star of the show for me – beautiful and grand, apparently Napoleon’s sister used to stay here, I can totally see the appeal.

05.25.020 - Grasse

05.25.022 - Grasse

There was a modern glass extension at the back and plenty of rooms to explore inside. The museum follows three millenia of perfume history using a mix of artefacts, bottles, videos, vintage posters and plenty of information panels in French and English.

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We started off lazing on beanbags (Son enjoyed this very much) watching a film while testing our sense of smell.

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There was plenty of hands-on stuff for children and the opportunity to touch, smell and press buttons in all areas of the museum.

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We found a fragrant garden then entered room upon room of perfume bottles, dating from the Ancient Greeks via Marie Antoinette to the present day. All beautifully presented but unless you have a fascination for scent bottles it all becomes a bit much and we scurried through rather quickly.

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There was a little (but in my view not enough) about the industry and how it developed in Grasse and just a tempting teaser of how it affected the lives of the people who lived there.

We found a gorgeous orange garden outside with benches where it would have been nice to sit and soak up the atmosphere but Son was a bit too fidgety for that.

05.25.031 - Grasse

05.25.032 - Grasse

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05.25.036 - Grasse

We all enjoyed the explanation of the chemistry behind perfume and Son adored the contraptions that puffed the fragrances into your face so you could smell what was going on.

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An exit through the gift shop and we were on our way, thoroughly briefed on the history of perfume.

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34 thoughts on “Exploring Grasse And The Perfume Museum

  1. Great post Joy. I have a “thing” for perfume and can’t let the opportunity go by when I’m in the department stores to overload my senses with all the samples. I would love to visit this museum 🙂

    • Me too, I love nothing more than coming back with a bag of those samples and a bottle of perfume for a birthday or other present is probably my favourite thing!! It was great here to learn about the history and have fun with all the gadgets!!

  2. I agree—totally charming. When you say “testing our sense of smell,” did they give you any results? I fear I lack a discerning sense of smell because I can’t distinguish what I’m smelling.

    • It is absolutely beautiful, the old streets and buildings are so lovely it’s almost unreal. He did enjoy the museum but I think sometimes that’s because he’s on his own with his. If he had a couple of mates along it would probably be a different story!!

  3. What a pretty place Grasse looks Joy – always love medieval towns and this looks charming! I love the mansion house that the perfume museum is housed in too – the orange garden looks gorgeous but can understand it might not have been to your son’s taste! I would have found the museum fascinating and am sure the gift shop too! Love perfumes! My computer has been playing up again so had to wait for Monsieur to fix it (fingers crossed it will be ok now) before I could finish this week’s post and catch up on everyone else’s blogs too – hope you’ve had a lovely weekend! 🙂

    • It was such a gorgeous little town, I loved the building too Rosemary, so beautiful from the outside and great to be able to explore inside too. The oranges growing are such a novelty for us from colder climes, I never cease to get excited by orange trees!! Hope your computer runs ok now, I am useless with IT problems and just leave it to the men of the house to sort!! Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

      • We are so lucky here Joy – we have a lovely lemon tree in our garden and citrus trees grow so well in our Mediterranean climate 😀 Am hoping computer will work ok now – it did an automatic update a couple of weeks ago and has been temperamental ever since! I’m not a tech person at all – that’s the trickiest thing I find about blogging! Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend too 😃

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