Have you decided to spend one day in Grasse? What to do in Grasse?
Grasse is a small nugget steeped in history and poetry. With its colors and its artistic soul, it is classified as a city of art and history and proudly overlooks the hinterland of Cannes.
So, if you are wondering what to do in Grasse, I invite you to discover its pretty historic center which inspired me a lot, as well as the history of perfume and the creation of fragrances. From fields of flowers to perfumer noses, the perfumes of Grasse will no longer hold any secrets for you.
Visit Grasse on Foot: The Historic Center
Let’s start exploring Grasse from a superb viewpoint ! Meet for this on the Honoré Cresp course: the Grasse valley stretches as far as the eye can see to the bay of Cannes which can be seen in the distance. On the other side, the foothills of the Alps and the Estérel mountains surround the town. The proximity to the sea and the situation sheltered from the wind has also had a considerable influence on the city, especially for growing flowers! Without them, Grasse would not be what it is today…
Visit Grasse and its historic streets
Let’s now enter the alleys of the old town to uncover the hidden secrets of its narrow alleys. Imbued with charm, Grasse has inspired perfumers and writers , such as Patrick Süskind, who spent a year there before writing his famous novel, Le Parfum. Because in Grasse, a very special atmosphere reigns! Between the artists, the warm and welcoming colors of its old walls and the notes of perfumes that twirl outside the shops, the senses are in turmoil!
A heritage circuit has been set up by the city, with small golden plaques on the ground displaying the emblem of Grasse. They will guide you through the prettiest streets of the city and the shops of the perfumers. Meet in particular on the Place aux Aires and the Place de la Poissonnerie .
But don’t hesitate either to venture off the beaten track, into the covered passages or into the narrow streets… Because they are the soul of old Grasse!
Grasse is also a city steeped in history , closely linked to perfumes. The launch of the fashion for scented gloves in the 16th century by Catherine de Medici heralded the advent of the city, which until then had been home to many tanners. You will also see fountains absolutely everywhere in Grasse!
Then in the 19th century, Grasse grew again with the development of perfume factories . Some have even settled in former convents whose monks had been expelled during the Revolution! You will still see today the tall chimneys that dot the surroundings of Grasse.
The cathedral square
During your walk, you will also discover the pretty Notre Dame du Puy cathedral, perched on its hill. If it looks small from the outside, its interior is very amazing ! Half-raw, half-baroque, the decoration seizes as soon as you enter. Its immense unshakable pillars have however been licked by the flames, which gives them this very dark color which characterizes the cathedral.
Do not miss the masterpieces of Rubens and Fragonard , and outside, the beautiful square tower of the 12th century which is attached to the cathedral.
International Perfume Museum and its Gardens
As the world capital, Grasse has an international museum of perfume! This is one of the essentials for visiting Grasse…
Recently renovated and interactive, the IPM truly explores all facets of perfumery from antiquity to the present day . I loved this fascinating escapade through the history of perfumery, embellished with very beautiful collectibles.
The museum deals with perfume in the broad sense, recalling the importance of perfumery in many fields. Because we sometimes forget that aromas and perfumes are everywhere, from detergents to yoghurts! The perfumery industry is huge today, but it is in Grasse that a large part of the raw materials are manufactured, with the presence of wholesalers who manufacture, in particular, absolutes and synthetic products.