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A treasure trove of secrets dating back to the 18th century, the city of Grasse is considered the historic capital of perfumes.
Located near Cannes, between the sea and the mountains, Grasse has an exceptional climate that allows its inhabitants to grow delicate plants: jasmine, centifolia roses, tuberose, violets, etc. Thanks to modern extraction methods, the Grasse perfume industry grew substantially and gave the city its name. At present, the city is still strongly focused on the perfume industry, with some thirty factories in operation.
Visits to the perfume manufacturing plants in Grasse and the fields of flowers around them constitute some of the city's main tourist attractions, and are a favorite pastime of visitors who stay at the Hôtel Martinez in Cannes. The International Museum of Perfumery and the residence-museum of Jean-Honoré Fragonard are a good way for tourists to discover the history of Grasse through its perfume business. In the historic center, a well-preserved medieval town, walkers can admire the lovely façades of the stone houses lining the narrow streets. The Notre Dame du Puy cathedral, dating from the 12th century and rebuilt over succeeding centuries, provides insight into one of the first examples of Gothic art in Provence.