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French perfume: more than just a fragrance
“A women who doesn't wear perfume has no future,” fashion icon Coco Chanel once said. This sentence makes it clear how much importance perfume has for French women (and men). Perfume is a form of external expression of one’s self. It underlines your personality and boosts your confidence. Thanks to the rich perfume culture of France, which in part stretches back hundreds of years, many French perfumes have over time established themselves as real classics.
France is the land of perfume and many perfumers and perfumes come from France. The city Grasse, Provence, is known as the global capital of perfume. Originally, Grasse was home to many tanners that produced leather. To mask the strong odour of the animal skins, they started to develop soothing oils which quickly gained in popularity. This gave rise to the perfume industry, for which the city Grasse is famous for to this day.
Grasse: heart of the French perfume industry
Many perfumers live and work in Grasse and in Paris, creating beguiling fragrances using the exquisite raw materials from France and other parts of the world. Around Grasse, there are still to this day many family-owned flower fields whose produce is supplied to the big perfume houses and without which many world-renowned fragrances would not exist.
The cabbage rose, also known by the name Rose de Mai, which blossoms for a few hours in the month of May, is also a highly desired and rare material in the perfume industry and also part of the most famous perfume in the world. The day they are harvested, the rose petals have to be distilled so that their unique fragrance can develop.
These raw materials for French perfumes grow in and around Grasse
In the region surrounding Grasse, other exclusive raw materials are also grown which can be found in lots of French perfumes, including:
- Mimosas, which bloom from January to March.
- Orange blossoms, which bloom from the end of April to the start of June.
- Brooms, which bloom in June.
- Lavender, which is full in blossom in July and August.
- Jasmine, which blooms in July and August.
Many master perfumers use these French materials for their French perfumes. They stand for quality and exclusivity and are essential for lots of unique fragrance compositions.
Other raw materials for French perfumes are grown on French soil
Other plants that are grown around Grasse and that are used in French perfumes for women and French perfumes for men include:
Other raw materials needed for French perfumes such as sandalwood, patchouli and vetiver are imported because they cannot be grown in France due to the climatic conditions.
French perfumes have an enchanting effect
French perfume for women differs from French perfume for men in that the feminine scents are softer, more floral and sweeter. Fragrances for women are usually rougher, spicier and more intense.
French perfumers know the preferences of men and women and consider the differences of the genders in the composition of their fragrances. While perfume can make women feel sexy, sensual and seductive as well as cheerful and energetic, men use perfumes with a sporty character, mysterious charisma and a powerful presence. Amidst this huge selection of different fragrances, everyone can find the right perfume for their character.