Our story begins in the Middle Ages…
Grasse, France today is known as the perfume capitol of the world. But in the 12th century, Grasse was renown for it’s leather-tanning industry and supplied the finest leather to surrounding Italian cities like Pisa and Genoa. The European nobility coveted the leather hides from Grasse and a product most beloved by the elite was their leather gloves.
But the leather gloves were “smelly”. So a tanner in Grasse, Jean de Galimard, created a leather scent of rose water and spices. Galimard presented a pair of scented leather gloves to Catherine de Medici who was enchanted by the scent. The scented gloves became a “must have” throughout the Royal Court and high society. A new industry, the “Glovers Perfumers”, achieved historical success in the 17th century.
But high taxes on the leather goods and competition from Nice predestined the fall of the leather tanning industry in Grasse. However, the rare scents from the Grasse region – lavender, myrtle, jasmine, rose, orange blossom and wild mimosa – were captured and bottled and soon established Grasse as the perfume capital of the world.
If you have a chance to visit this charming, fragrant city just 20 minutes inland from Nice, be certain to visit the International Museum of Perfume, Jean-Honoré Fragonard Villa-Museum and Museum of Art and History of Provence. (Museums in Grasse). This photo is from “my room with a view” while visiting and sourcing new fragrances for SAOR last summer in Grasse.
As you savor the story of the Grasse roots of perfume and leather, enjoy the infused bergamot, fresh white tea and airy musk of SAOR, and your free (Irish) green leather key fob from Sylvan Park NYC (Sylvan Park NYC) this March.