In some moments Grasse can really feel a bit like Fragonard Town. A fairly large part of the old town is dominated by Fragonard’s museum and various shops offering not only fragrance but also clothes and linen. My impression is that their business seems to be going quite well.

Of course. And it rhymes.

It is unquestionable that the Fragonard family do take their role as providers of knowledge about the perfume making history very seriously. I decided to save the Fragonard museum for my last Saturday in Grasse and took not one but two tours – one in Italian and one in English. As a former tourist guide and more recently communications and marketing professional I was very interested to see how the guides of Fragonard tell the story, what tools they use and how they incorporate sales into then tour. I also had the privilege of getting some VIP guidance through the range from my friend Daniela who works there.

Enfleurage Süskind-style.

The Fragonard factory tour is really well-designed. There are only guided tours, no walking around on your own, so anyone who visits is more or less guaranteed to leave with more knowledge. During the tour the guides use pedagogic graphics, scents, interactive moments and go through rooms that really give the visitors the feeling of getting a backstage perspective. Very well-organised all this. The tour ends with an olfactive test where everyone guesses what notes can be found in some of the fragrances offered in the gift shop. Very clever.

Enormous raw material bottles to smell during the tour – fun!

Étoile – a nice fresh fragrance that I ended up buying.

At entry level there is the obligatory history of perfume exhibition. In comparison to the one at the International Perfume Museum next door this one is lighter and more focused on objects. I like them both, as I wrote in an earlier post I found the International Museum very informative and ambitious. In both places there are some truly exquisite objects to admire. After these two collections I am now rather obsessed with antique perfume flaçons… Especially 19th century. I leave you with some favorites of mine from the Fragonard collection.

If you see something like this at an auction do please let me know?