Thursday, November 24, 2016

Grasse, France: The History of Perfume

Grasse is just a short drive up into the hills above Cannes. I wish I could have visited in the days when it was surrounded by fields of flowers, but it was still interesting to visit the museums and learn how they used to make perfume.

The town really is built on the hillside. There are a handful of main streets and then a tangled maze of alleyways, many of which are very run down.

I loved the fountains – wish we had more in Canada, but maybe they aren’t well suited to our climate.

Perfume has such a long and complex history – from use in worshipping the gods, to medicine, to a substitute for bathing, and, finally, courtship and seduction.

My favorite museum was one of the smallest displaying what women wore in Provence during the 1800s. I’m always left wondering how on earth they managed to do their chores in all their many, often elaborate, layers of clothing.

I had a delicious lunch at a restaurant that had the sense to stick to what they knew best (Lebanese and Corsican specialties) rather than trying to be all things to all people.

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