The perfume industry on the French Riviera and visit of Parfumerie Galimard in Eze Village


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The Riviera’s world-famous perfume industry attracts visitors from all over the globe – I recently learned a lot more about it, thanks to a visit to the Parfumerie Galimard in Eze, here’s some of the information I gleaned.

The perfume industry on the French Riviera dates from the 18th century, when Grasse, an inland town in the western part of the Alpes-Maritimes, became known as the perfume capital of the world. This was due to the splendid micro-climate that encouraged the culture of the flowers and aromatic plants like lavender and jasmine, among others, enabling the creation of top quality perfumes.

Nowadays, the industry is still thriving, and is a great draw for visitors to the Riviera – for example, there are almost 14.000 hectares of aromatic plants in the region. The main perfume producers, Galimard, Fragonard and Molinard, have large plants in Grasse which organise tours, giving the expression “smelling like a perfume factory” a new meaning when the tourists emerge from there! Another interesting and slightly more accessible centre for those based on the coastline and interested in perfume is Eze Village, already covered in a separate article.

I recently had the opportunity to explore this first hand when I visited the Galimard perfumery in Eze and created my own perfume, whilst having all the different steps explained to me by one of the master-perfumers.

Different notes of the perfume I was creating in three levels

I was brought to a room dedicated to the creation of perfumes and sat behind a desk with hundreds of small bottled full of extremely concentrated essential oils arranged in three rows. Each row corresponded to different notes: first, the base notes at the bottom, then the middle notes and finally the top notes, which provide the first impression when the fragrance is applied. After two hours of patiently sniffing and blending the various concoctions in three different steps thanks to the assistance of the master perfumer who guided my choices according to my preferences, I ended up being presented with my own nice-smelling personalised bottle of perfume and certificate.

Legend of the different types of scents

Legend of the different types of scents

Perfume

The final outcome after my 2 hours of hard work!

So it’s a very instructive experience which I would heartily recommend to anyone interested in doing anything a bit different on the Riviera. The package I took was the “Blissful Initiation” package lasting just over two hours, book in advance at +33 4 93 41 10 70. The Galimard perfumery is located at the foot of Eze Village, just across from the main car park. Free guided tours of the site are also available.

3 thoughts on “The perfume industry on the French Riviera and visit of Parfumerie Galimard in Eze Village

  1. Hi Kevin
    I stumbled across your blog while trying to find an image of Gallimard perfume for a post I’m writing on my blog about romance on the Riviera. Your last photo above of your finished result would be ideal and I was wondering if I could use it? I would of course fully credit you and link back to your blog. Please take a look at my blog to see if you’d be happy for your picture to feature. I write about events on the Riviera, French culture, expat stuff and a few other related subjects. I have built up a pretty good following a get a lot of traffic, which could bring readers to you too. You’ll also find a contact page on my website if you’re ok about me using your photo. I hope to hear from you soon.

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