Bathe in luxurious fragrances on holidays to France
Posted on Saturday 02 June 2012
in Celebrities, France, Nice, Paris
By Rory MacTavish
Marilyn Monroe. Nicole Kidman. French actress Audrey Tautou. These women have all shared the role as the world's top perfume's "It" girl, the face of Chanel No. 5. Now joining them is the unlikely, yet equally beautiful Brad Pitt, who will be one of the only men to grace ads across the world for the product with his commanding presence and Hollywood good looks.
"Much like a Pepe Le Pew cartoon, where the smelly protagonist attempts to woo a lady cat...[by] dousing his backside with perfume, we plan to put Mr. Pitt in a very stylish suit, then drown him in Chanel No. 5," said Chanel's marketing executives to the Bennington Vale Evening Transcript.
Kiwis can douse themselves in luxury and style when they reserve flights to France and take a holiday exploring the expansive history and craft behind high-class perfume making. From the south of France to Paris, many locales in the nation produce some of the world's most coveted ingredients to make the sweetest smelling fragrances.
Discover the origin of the world's best scents
France has been an innovator in the perfume industry as early as the 14th century, when cultivating flowers for their perfume essence became a major industry in the southern regions. Symbolizing beauty, wealth and sensuality, perfume is a desirable commodity for people across the globe to feel rich and luxurious without necessarily possessing a bank account that reflects these qualities.
Just about 30 minutes outside Nice is the town of Grasse in the south of France, which has been the center of the French perfume industry since the 16th century. Travellers will not be able to escape the refreshing aroma of blooming flowers during their Nice holidays, as market stalls dedicated to selling lavender, lilac, tulip and rose blossoms line the streets throughout the district. Nice is the production home of Chanel No. 5, creating its principal ingredients of may rose, jasmine and musk on various farms in Provence. In fact, these flower gardens produce as many as 20 tons of jasmine and 50 tons of may rose for the sensual perfume each year.
Visit Grasse's ultimate olfactory workshop
The newly refurbished International Perfume Museum, situated in Grasse, is the home of the greatest perfume producers in the world, including Brad Pitt's new signature scent. The renovations have doubled the size of the original museum, boasting new features including a temporary exhibition room, an 80-seat lecture hall, an elegant restaurant and new workshop classrooms for Kiwis who are curious about crafting their own personalized fragrance.
Take return flights to Paris to explore the Fragonard
The south of France is not the only locale in the country with an impressive repertoire in the perfume industry. The magnificent Fragonard's Perfume Museum occupies two stories of a 19th-century townhouse mansion and displays the history of the brand's manufacturing and packaging since its ancient beginnings. A series of large rooms combine period decor and massive exhibits that explain the process of creating delicate ingredients such as lavender extract. Kiwis can learn why these products run rather high in cost, considering it takes about 200 kilograms of lavender flowers to produce 1 kilogram of extract used in perfumes.
One of the most impressive exhibits is the "perfume organ," which bears the name because it resembles the keyboards of a cathedral organ, with dozens of tiered rows of ingredient bottles, all centred around a scale used for mixing and testing fragrances. By the end of the tour, Kiwis will likely long for their own elegant bottle, which they can purchase in the Fragonard boutique after sampling an array of various French products.
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