The Côte d’Azur and its world capital of Perfume, Grasse, are renowned internationally for their expertise in the Flavours, Perfume and Cosmetics industries. Today, it’s their traditional craftmanship, coupled with the latest technologies, that keeps on attracting new investments from major Luxury brands like Chanel, Dior & Louis Vuitton.
Find below the first part of our special report on Foreign Direct Investment in the Perfume Industry on the the Côte d’Azur.
Perfume on the Côte d’Azur : Tradition turned High Tech
The perfume industry in the Côte d’Azur began in the 16th century when hide tanners used the essence of flowers grown in Grasse to cover the smell of leather objects they made. The harvesting is done by hand in the heart of ancestral know-how that allows the collection of exceptional flowers like Lavender, Jasmin and the May Rose, used in the composition of Chanel No 5, before the process to extract the odorous molecules used in perfumes.
This raw aromatic materials production is famous in the Grasse area, which produces 8% of the turnover of global production of aromatics, making Grasse the world capital of Perfume.
Dating back over 300 years, the industry of Flavors, Perfumes and Cosmetics situated in Grasse has been the subject of successive mutations to incorporate new technology and synthetic chemistry. Today, Grasse is recognized as a High Tech division, labeled “French Tech” by the French government. Businesses and producers in the area indeed devote an important part of their activities to Research and Development, including investigating new methods of extracting aromas and analysis technologies for monitoring the quality of aromatic extracts. > source : Pôle PASS
The area of Grasse also benefits from the dynamism of its ecosystem and the mobilization around the French Tech Côte d’Azur. Several facilities and innovation support infrastructures are available to companies like the Innovagrasse incubator and the experimental platform ERINI. Grasse also hosts events like the Muséomix Azur, a competition that aims to innovate in design or communications within the Grasse Perfumery museum.