Location Guide: Grasse in Provence

Location Guide: Grasse in Provence

Perfume capital Grasse has long attracted the rich and the famous – from Queen Victoria to the latest celebrity property owner Noel Gallagher, writes Holly Peters…

Celebrity headlines recently revealed that Noel Gallagher of superband Oasis has bought Noel Edmonds’ house in Grasse in the south of France. Gallagher is the latest in a long list of celebrities and other notable figures to fall in love with the Provencal town. Property owners from the world of music, TV and film, along with heads of industry, financiers – and even a few royals – have chosen the area around Grasse for its beautiful surroundings – and also the fact they can be anonymous, unlike on the glitzy Riviera just a short drive away. Grasse was famously loved by Queen Victoria, the Rothschild family and many others (Alice Rothschild and Queen Victoria both have streets named after them in the town).

Known as the world’s perfume capital, Grasse sits high up in the hills above the Côte d’Azur. Its reputation for perfume began in the 16th century when glove-makers started creating scents to sweeten the smell of leather, famously receiving Catherine de Medici’s favour. It is claimed that 50% of French perfume originates in Grasse.

The area’s warm micro- climate, quality of air and abundance of natural springs allowed for the cultivation of rare ingredients such as myrtle, jasmine, roses, orange blossom and wild mimosa. Grasse soon became the largest global producer of raw materials for perfume. Many of its cornerstone perfume houses, such as Fragonard, Molinard and Galimard still exist today.

Christian Dior owns two estates in Grasse; Chanel also has properties here, where it grows the jasmine and roses used to make the iconic Chanel No 5, and last year Lancôme bought a beautiful estate called Domaine de la Rose. In 2024 Grasse will host the 2024 World Perfume fair (SIMPPAR).

A long list of celebrities and other notables from all over the world have fallen in love with this pretty Provençal town, Photo: Shutterstock

One of the major turning points for the town was when LVMH (owner of Dior, Louis Vuitton and Moët & Chandon) announced that it was taking on a huge project in the centre of the town. Les Fontaines Parfumées opened in September 2016, the worldwide HQ and development centre for the perfume departments of Dior and Louis Vuitton, plus the opening of Château de La Colle Noire to the west of Grasse (Christian Dior’s former home and now a flagship venue for Dior). Naturally, this put a huge spotlight on Grasse internationally, and more interest and investment has continued to flow into the town, including upgraded train lines. Other developments of note include the Martelly project in central Grasse, which will see an old car park and empty buildings transformed into a new shopping centre, cinema, shops, food hall, parkland and apartments. A new student campus and business school recently opened in the town offering a variety of higher education courses from perfume to engineering, fashion and more, and an old prison building is currently being converted into beautiful halls of residence for up to 450 students. A media centre/ library that opened in the city centre in December 2022 won a prestigious architecture award.

Despite the celebrity cachet, properties in Grasse are generally lower in price than in many of the neighbouring villages and towns, increasing by around 10% since the pandemic. The average price is €4,150/m² for houses and €2,740/m² for apartments.

Looking for more like this?

Every issue of French Property News delivers in-depth regional buying guides, sound and trusted advice from leading experts, inspirational real life stories, renovation tales and lots of lovely properties to browse.

Lead photo credit : Perfume scentral- Grasse near the south coast is an iconic spot, Photo: Shutterstock

Share to:  Facebook  Twitter   LinkedIn   Email

More in Grasse, Location guide

Previous Article Predictions for the 2024 French property market from French Property News Editor Karen Tait
Next Article 7 Tips for Americans to Get Through Your First French Income Tax Season

Related Articles

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *