Grasse is the true capital of perfume. Already 100 years ago tons of jasmine were harvested to process it into fragrance oil. Today, visitors can create their own personal perfume in workshops.
Napoleon should have used it by the gallon and even sprayed his horse with it: Eau de Cologne! But unlike the French emperor, I can create my fragrance myself.
I love fine smells and have my favorites! In Grasse, the real capital of perfume. Embedded in the Mediterranean landscape of the Pays de Grasse, the town between the southern Alps and the Mediterranean benefits from a mild microclimate for aromatic plants.
The architecture is influenced by the influences of Provence and Genoa. With the Italians, the inhabitants operated in the early Middle Ages lively trade, they were famous for the production of high-quality leather goods. A craft that I associate with bad smells.
However, the clever producers made a great seller in the Renaissance: perfumed gloves, bags and belts! The rubbed with sweet-smelling fats and oils accessories quickly found a fierce paragraph.
Even Louis XIII. was so enthusiastic that in 1614 he created the title “Maître Gantier-Parfumeur”. 100 years later, the tanners said goodbye to leather production – also because of hefty tax increases – and henceforth relied entirely on fine essences.
Create your own perfume in the workshop
What a sight this must have been when huge fields of jasmine, tuberose and “Rose de Mai” covered the surroundings of Grasse! For the production of pure fragrance oil you needed tons of flowers. Between 1900 and 1930, for example, 1800 tons of jasmine were harvested.
I’m thinking of that as I sit in the house of Galimard in front of a scent organ with labeled vials. From 127 different basic materials, my personal perfume will be created during the two-hour workshop . At first glance, I’m a bit overwhelmed, but fortunately, I’m a “nose”.
This is what the jargon is called the perfumer who helps build my essence with head, heart and base notes. In my case, it’s a lady who first lets me sample nine different scent samples to choose three favorites. Below are no extremely flowery variants.
The character of my perfume I choose from four base notes such as Ambre Oriental or Ambreine and vanilla. The are poured in a certain mixing ratio to a maximum of 55 milliliters in a test tube.
This is followed by the heart note, which, in contrast to the base note, should not be able to smell after around five hours. I chose six different fragrances, which are noted on my form with name and quantity and then added to the base note in the test tube.
The recipe is safely stored in France
The nostrils are already fluttering with all the smells. The top notes are still missing. Only a transition to the fresh air helps! The top note of my perfume should be light and, of course, match the harmonious blend. 20 milliliters are still missing.
I choose from vials labeled Verveine, Citron Zeste, Fruit Bergamot and Cardamome. Add five milliliters to the liquid in the test tube as precisely as possible. Et voilà , finished is my very personal fragrance, which I call after my blog!
The exact recipe is safely kept in the register of Galimard, and I can order my perfume anytime again. But until the 100 milliliters in my bottle are used up, it will take a while.
Unlike Napoleon, I will only use it drop by drop. Perfume should be protected from light and kept at cool temperatures. If you yourself feel like composing your own personal fragrance: From 25th March, the studio of the Fragrances Galimard opens again. The course costs 53 euros per person and includes 100 milliliters of Eau de Parfum.