Emerging in the 16th century as a result of the fashion for scented gloves, the flavours and fragrance industry has evolved through a process of vertical integration. From the traditional cultivation of scented plants, the activities in the Grasse area have grown to include the manufacture of ingredients and the formulation and composition of finished products such as perfumed toiletries, detergents and food products and supplements.

From small producers to famous names

Backed by an exceptional concentration of aromatic and medicinal plant growers, the family-run distilleries that built the reputation of the Grasse area have become international success stories. Mane and Robertet are two of the world’s leading companies in the fragrance and flavours sector, according to the Leffingwell & Associates ranking. They rely on a network of international subsidiaries with R&D centres and production facilities, while pursuing a strong investment policy designed to increase their production capacity in the Grasse area.

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Traditional expertise throughout the value chain

The Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region is France’s leading producer of medicinal and aromatic plants (MAP). This production is based on age-old tradition and nearly 3,000 producers growing 80 species of medicinal and aromatic plants representing a turnover in the region of €40 million.

An unparalleled concentration of companies producing aromatic ingredients and resolutely focused on export (70%) account for over half of French production and 8% of worldwide turnover.

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Grasse, an internationally-recognised reference centre of expertise

Faced with growing demand for natural ingredients, Grasse has today positioned itself as a global centre of expertise for natural products, from extraction to plant transformation including new product development and quality control. The project is supported by the PASS Cluster, since one of its strategic priorities is the development of “sustainable chemistry“.

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