Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Grasse is the center of the French perfume industry and is known as the world's perfume capital (la capitale mondiale des parfums). It produces over 2/3 of France's natural aromas (for perfume and for food flavourings). This industry turns over more than 600m euros a year.
Grasse's particular microclimate encouraged the flower farming industry. It is warm and far enough inland to be sheltered from the sea air. There is an abundance of water thanks to its situation in the hills, and the 1860 construction of the Siagne canal for irrigation purposes. The town is 350m above sea level and 20km from the Coast (Côte d'Azur).
There is an annual Fête du Jasmin at the beginning of August. The first festival was on the 3rd/4th August 1946. These days, it is a big event: decorated floats drive through the town, and with young women in skimpy costumes onboard throwing flowers onto the crowds. This is known as the "flower battle", and everyone gets soaked by the natural perfume of the flowers. There are also fireworks, free parties, folk music groups and street performers. There is also an annual international exhibition of roses ("Expo Rose").
Grasse was the birthplace of:
- Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), painter
- Gazan de la Peyrière (1765-1845), general who fought under Napoleon
- Charles Pasqua (born 1927), businessman and politician
- City council website (in French)
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