Friday, June 3, 2016

Day 5, And Then We Went to Cannes and Learned About Perfume

Next stop, Antibes...and we learned the snow covered Alps come all the way down to the Mediterranean.

We went to Cannes.  Old fort and more boats.

 Lots of sailboats.

 And Cannes even has homeless people.
 Homage to the movie industry.


 Monuments and fountains.

Pretty buildings.

 A wonderful, wonderful farmer's market.

 And while we were there, the Cannes Film Festival!  More glitterati!
 Paparazzi cues.

Red carpets. 



 Lots of stuff to buy.

The Antibes area grows more roses than any other area in France, so it is a natural place to make perfume.  We traveled to Grasse, the world's perfume capital, about a 30 minute ride from Cannes, up into the foothills.  There we visited Fragonard, one of three perfumeries. Because it was Sunday, the labs were closed, but we were still able to see where they create perfumes...and of course the retail store was open, with special prices just for us.  We sampled 5 different perfumes for women (they would spray perfume on a little white piece of cardboard/paper, and we would smell it - we had a cheat sheet which told us what we should smell), and a couple of colognes for was very interesting, like wine tasting.  I did buy some Soleil, which only comes as a eau de perfume, because the heavy use of jasmine would be too intense in a perfume.  It reminds me of the original Joy, before they changed the formula.
Antique bottles.

Map of where they source flowers/herbs/spices for essence.

Modern laboratory with stills.
Antique distilling equipment
Lots of essences for "the nose" to create scents.

Canisters of dried flowers we could smell.

The scent for 2016

Our guide explaining distillation process.
Our guide, who was delightful, asked us why perfume isn't made for dear husband said "because we smell so good"...she looked at me, and said "is he yours?"...I (sheepishly) said "yes", and she (sarcastically) said "oh, you are a lucky woman"....all in her cute French accent...The answer to the question was that perfume was too intense for men.
Before the modern expulsion method was used to remove the scent/oil from flowers, flowers would be attached to pig fat, and steam was used to release the essence.

Flowers attached to pig fat in a press.

Jasmine in pig fat.

The end product.

Bottling room.

Fragonard also makes soap...the lab.

Soap making machine.

Voila, savon!

They bottle in opaque canisters, to prevent light damage.

Tile man of many scents.

Grasse countryside.
 We passed through Nice...this is the only modern condominium project, and it is shaped like a wave.  The French won't allow their coastline to be defiled with concrete.

Then back to Antibes, which has to be the yacht/boat capital of the world...we were dumbstruck by the number and size of these yachts...actually many were ships.  Amazing.  They're made of aluminum, custom paint...a harbor with billions of dollars of boats.  Oh well.

We returned to our ship, which would set off for Marseille, our last port in France.  A bientot

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