法國Fragonard parfumeur 香水工廠
自1926年創立以來已經有80年歷史的Fragonard是Grasse三大香水廠( Fragonard, Molinard and Galimard )其中之一。
Fragonard在法國有三座工廠，分別是在Eze, Cagnessur-Mer 和Grasse
Grasse 被稱為世界的香水之都(The world perfume capital)
GRASSE, France, Jul 16, 2005/ FW/ --- Most of us knows that Chanel No. 5 is almost 100 years old. But, how many of us know that the ancient Egyptians invented perfumes?
As part of their religious rites, ancient Egyptians used powerful scents such as turpentine resin, oliban, galbanum, laudanum, and myrrh as offerings to their gods.
So, how did this art reach Europe, specifically Grasse, a small town in the French Riviera where approximately two dozen scent companies here manufacture the fragrances in most of the soaps, potpourri, talc, after shave, cologne and perfume sold in France, and elsewhere.
Around 1500 B.C., perfumes reached Europe via the ancient Greeks who believed the magical and seductive powers of perfumes. But, while the ancient Egyptians favored heavy perfumes, the ancient Greeks used floral scents.
It was through the Roman Empire that fragrances and scented soap reached France. But it was not until the Middle Ages that Grasse rose into popularity as a perfume capital.
Already known for its tanneries during that time, Grasse established trade links between Genoa (Italy) and Spain during the 12th century. Together with the rise of violet, lavender, and orange-flower perfumes among noble and wealthy women and the arrival of the Renaissance wherein the Greco-Latin antiquity was rediscovered, recipes for perfumed garments and scented waters were reintroduced.
Lavender, which grew profusely in Grasse, also helped in making the town very popular as a source for perfumes.
Thanks to Catherine of Medici who established a fashion of perfumed gloves during the 16th century, Grasse merchants were encouraged to cultivate the aromatic plants tanners needed to supply perfumed leather to the aristocracy.
With the rise of France under the rule of Louis XIV (1643?715), Grasse popularity also grew as France changed from savage mediaeval ways to a more refined, exquisite living. French culture became one of the most appealing in the world.
As the Sun King changed the ways of France, he also changed the thoughts and customs of his court. So, as his reign drew to an end during the 18th century, the refined society's newfound olfactory sensitivity manifested itself through the unwillingness to tolerate strong odors.
Strong perfumes were used to mask the nauseating smells, which in turn gave way to sophisticated, floral scents that would become modern day perfumes.
Today, Grasse, although it has maintained its mall town?atmosphere has become one of the most important cities in France in terms of commerce, both as a manufacturer and for tourism.
Visitors can tour several perfumeries in the area. Fragonard, Molinard and Galimard offer free guided tours that give a bird eye-view of the creation of a perfume.
And though the guided tours cannot mention well-known labels during the tour, be rest assured that most of the world famous perfumes come from Grasse, though not necessarily manufactured by the perfumer a tourist is visiting.
Most of the scents that become famous are created in Grasse by an artist of aroma. Called "the nose" in the industry, the creator sits at an "organ" of hundreds of bottles, testing, sniffing for just the right combination that will sell.
At least 20 scents are mixed for a simple perfume--up to hundreds for the more complex. The nose is expected to recognize between 2,000 and 3,000 scents from memory.
The recipe goes to manufacturers who can produce an essence in a variety of ways. One of the oldest is "enfleurage."
A method that uses beef and pork fat as extractor of the aroma, delicate flowers like the lavender and daffodils are flattened against the animal fat to mine its scents. The aromatic fat is then washed in ethyl alcohol to extract the fragrance.
Enfleurage is time-honored, but nearly obsolete, along with the even older method of distillation.
Now in Grasse aromatic essence is usually extracted by steeping the raw material in a volatile solvent, or through "fractional distillation" allowing producers to actually isolate the chemical constituents of essential oils.
The amount of essential oil defines the fragrance:
- Perfume extract: 20%-40% aromatic compounds
- Eau de parfum: 10-20% aromatic compounds
- Eau de toilette: 5-10% aromatic compounds
- Eau de cologne: 2-3% aromatic compounds
How much raw material? Well, for instance, it takes about 650 pounds of rose petals to produce one pound of rose essence.
For more information about Grasse and perfumes, please visit: www.museesdegrasse.com