In November 2018, the craftsmanship related to perfume in the Pays de Grasse entered the Unesco Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. The culture of the perfume plant, the knowledge and transformation of natural raw materials, and the art of composing perfume now have both official and symbolic recognition.
With the H Parfums, discover the secrets of the birthplace of modern western perfumery.
Before being known for perfume, Grasse was known for leather:
In the Middle Ages, this southern French city was famous for its many tanners and the exceptional quality of its leathers. In 1533, Catherine de Médicis left Florence to marry the future King of France, Henri II, and brought with her a Florentine fashion: perfumed gloves. The latter caused a real craze at the French Royal Court, so much that more and morecraftsmen started to make them. In 1614, Louis XIII created the guild of "Master Perfumer and Glovemaker", which marked the beginning of a unique know-how in the world.
The Grasse region produces the most beautiful perfume flowers in the world:
The Mediterranean climate of this region has allowed the implantation, since the 16th century, of flowers with exceptional olfactory profiles such as grandiflorum jasmine, centifolia rose and tuberose, as well as mimosa, iris pallida, geranium, lavender, violet and narcissus. Thanks to the work and determination of the organization Les Fleurs d'Exception du Pays de Grasse, these raw materials have recently obtained the label "Indication Géographique Absolue Pays de Grasse" which recognizes the unique quality of the absolutes from Grasse.
H Parfums is pleased to introduce you to some exclusive niche houses from Grasse:
The family niche house founded by Grasse perfumer Michel Almairac and his son Benjamin highlights the raw materials and traditions of Grasse with a modern and avant-garde vision. All their perfumes are created in the Mediterranean city and then bottled in Paris.
Find out more about Parle moi de Parfum by reading our interview with Michel Almairac .
We fell in love with this perfume house from Grasse, which is the latest addition to the H Parfums counter! For the occasion of its entry in our collection of rare perfumes, we talked with Martine Micallef, artistic director of the house M. Micallef:
Can you introduce M. Micallef in a few words?
It's a very niche house, we do luxury craftsmanship and everything is handmade. We are a very intimate perfumery, where we enjoy ourselves above all, and we have a real olfactory signature: innovative accords and a gourmand base.
What is the link between M.Micallef and the city of Grasse?
"From the flower to the bottle" is our motto. Everything is based in Grasse, our workshops are a few minutes away from the flower fields, so when we have visitors, we can take them in the morning to pick the flowers, then show them our know-how in the workshops. I supervise a young producer of perfume plants who dedicates two hectares to Micallef (jasmine grandiflorum, rose centifolia, tuberose, violet, lily, iris pallida.) The raw materials are also transformed in Grasse by the family business Robertet.
Which of your creations are your favorite fragrances?
I love orientals! We have put them together in the Secrets of Love collection, which pays tribute to Grasse. I wanted to create bottles inspired by an old perfume factory, an iconic building in the city with a very Moorish style. In this collection, I am particularly fond of Delice, which is quite leathery, in reference to the history of Grasse, which before being the city of perfume was the city of leather.