Coco Chanel, Fragonard, Grasse: Unmissable Stops on the Great French Luxury Tour

In 1921 when she set out to create the eponymous Chanel No 5 , Coco Chanel, declared that rather than just another single-flower perfume, she was launching an abundantly variegated scent with an enveloping fragrance like … well … a woman.

Chanel No 5 - one of France's most famous perfumes (Credit Wikipedia Arz)

Chanel No 5 – one of France’s most famous perfumes (Credit Wikipedia Arz)

Thanks to that vision Maison Chanel remains today a supreme ‘symbole de l’élégance française’, a temple to the success of that “unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory of fashion”: perfume.

Curiously the romantic story of perfume is one that emerged from mundane and rather odorous roots. For without foul-smelling leather tanneries Chanel No 5 and dozens of other French luxury brands, might never have been!

Behind the elegant bottles – some hand-blown by Italian glassmakers — the enticing décor, the elegantly fashionable boutiques along the Rue de Castiglione and the Rue St Honoré in Paris lies … the Provençal town of Grasse.

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