Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: How to Introduce Fragrance into your Honeymoon!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Our Lifestyle Adventures: How to Introduce Fragrance into your Honeymoon!

at the garden of the Musee d'Art d'Histoire de Provencal
The day before we were to leave Mougins, Bill and I decided to take the bus to the north, opposite of the bus to Cannes, to Grasse, just thirty minutes away.  We didn’t have time to visit the Fragonard Factory in Eze. We had so many other places to go, and the company’s current factories, museum and shops are in Grasse. The town bills itself as the Perfume Capital of the World. When we got there, we gushed, “What a great decision!”
wisteria blooms everywhere
Fragonard Museum
It is perfect for a honeymooning couple! The fragrance is not only exuded from pretty perfumery places but also from spring’s remaining flowers. We were too early for the Expo Rose in May and the Fete du Jasmin in August. And we were too late for the blooming of the yellow fields of mimosa. The town of 50,000 grows the flower, like Narcissus, broom, and lavender, for the perfume industry. Aromatic and medicinal plants like thyme, mother-of-thyme, savory, juniper and boxwood are grown for the cosmetics industry.

a captivating mural down the alleys of Old Town
New Town
After getting out of the bus, we walked to New Town where we saw a car rally getting ready at the town plaza in front of the Palais des Congres and the Hotel de Ville. Most of the village people had congregated there. There were yellow buildings galore, wisteria vines blooming, glistening olive trees, and dramatic plane trees. So as Bill became preoccupied with the varied and colorful rally cars, I was entranced by the colors and flowers around.

Old Town
Little did I know that the walk through the Old Town would mesmerize me more! Its winding cobbled streets are on the lowest level of town while New Town is higher (the bus station level is even higher). We lost ourselves in the many alleys that seemed to have all the colors in the world, sometimes even made brighter by the murals painted on the walls. A variety of shops, perfumeries, apparel boutiques and bake shops entertained us for an hour.Old Town

The Museums
We also found four museums. First, of course; is Internationale Musee du Parfum at the outskirts of New Town.  At the other side of the perimeter of Old town stands the Fragonard Museum which was conducting tours of its perfume-making process. Then we got entranced inside the Musee d’Art d’Histoire de Provence that displayed the rooms, furniture, dinnerware, etc. of a provencal home. The backyard garden was lovely with wisterias blooming from the balcony. Beside it was the Musee Provencal du Costume et du Bijou which displayed many types of provencal attires.
Musee Provencal du Costume
World War II Memorial
Cathedral and Crepe!
A little further down we chanced upon the Cathedral dedicated to Notre Dame du Puy. It dates back to the 11th century. Inside is a painting of Jean-Honore Fragonard, a French painter native of Grasse who was the inspiration for the name of the perfumery giant.  In front of the cathedral is the WWII memorial of Grasse. It was actually the third memorial we found around town. By this time our tummies needed some input. Wandering the cobbled streets of Old town, we found a crepe vendor among the shops!

Notre Dame du Puy

Indeed visiting this town was the fourth good decision we made in France. First was staying in Mougins, second spending a day in Cannes, and third hiring a driver and car for a custom tour of the French Riviera. Finding the time to visit Grasse gave our nth honeymoon its best ending. We got lost in the fragrant world of flowers and perfumes among the ancient cobbled streets, the bright yellow buildings, and the memorable monuments and memorials. C’est la bonne vie!

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