Friday, 17 October 2014

Discovering Grasse

After the not so positive first encounter with the streets of Grasse we decided to give it another go. At the end of the day we were due to spend two weeks there, so it was only fair to try and dig deeper. After (thoroughly) checking the map and after a Google search to find out where the (right kind of) action was taking place, we adventured back out.
Although we were adamant to follow a completely different route than the previous night, we somehow ended up on the same narrow cobbled streets. But what a different city it was indeed! The small, winding streets were full of people in search of little treasures, hidden in the now open boutiques. The surroundings which during night time appeared as being deserted and slightly intimidating, were now full of life and I have to admit I was a little excited to discover what lay around the corner. The buildings, although way past their first youth, still preserved some of their earlier glory and have even discovered some old advertising slogans painted directly on the walls (a style not uncommon in France and one that I have a growing appreciation for).

As we have researched a little bit about Grasse we already knew that it was the world capital of perfumes. But beside the main perfumeries like Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard there were also other small independent shops which produced their own in-house fragrances at very affordable prices.

It was a pleasure to walk around the little shops trying to find the aroma that best suits you. And on the plus side the ladies in the shops are always ready to have a little chat with you and explain the meaning of different fragrances. Now, as expected the majority of places are overwhelmed with lavender products like perfumes, pillow scents, room sprays, etc (we are in Provence after all) but you can also find more citrusy scents, white musk, primrose, patchouli and even vervain!!!! (all you Vampire Diaries aficionados will know what I’m talking about; luckily I did not feel in danger of being ‘compelled’ by any vampires that day so did not think the purchase of it was required J ).

Further more, Grasse’s charm did not stop to its perfume history. Being a city that was built over rolling hills you could just turn around a corner and be faced with stunning views over its roof-tops.

Further in our quest to discover the hidden treasures of Grasse we even stumbled upon the little side street cafes we struggled so to find in the first night…..

….and even during nigh time the streets did not appear so frightening any more J.


In the end, putting it all together and adding a little pinch of unusual art works/statues, Grasse has made us completely change our minds and decide that it was a lovely, quirky, (not so) little place after all.

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