Actually we were a long way from Aix when we turned off the Autostrada at Cannes and headed inland towards Grasse. Not more than 15 minutes and we were quite aware that this is a tourist town with one mission “Perfume”. Three perfumers dominate the town with billboards pointing in every direction. I chose Molinard. The other two are Galinard and Fragonard. I’d been to Fragonard in 1990 and can still remember my small gold tin bottle of precious perfume.
I don’t know anything about Galinard and I researched Molinard quite extensively and found it to be the most intriguing. In particular, I wanted to do a Tarinology workshop. Yeah I know, what the heck is that? Well, it is a workshop that lets your nose do the talking and they teach you all about mixing and making perfume. You even get to mix your own concoction and take it home with you…and of you “lurvvvve it” you can order more online. I wonder what the results would be like if they served champagne during the break?
Unfortunately, it was Sunday and the Tarinology chick was on vacation which would explain why she didn’t return any of my persistent emails (remember I’m the gal who could sniff out truffle oil from the back kitchen?) But not to worry, Grasse is only a two and a half hour drive from Genoa and I will be back! I now have above mentioned chick’s phone number and she can’t dodge me forever. I’m Canadian, which means persistent and patient 🙂
We did the free tour anyways and then spent an hour smelling soaps and filling our basket with goodies. I also noticed that some of their “signature scents” really stunk (eg. Habinard)…but then I sprayed some on my arm to see how my “voodoo chemistry” would react and it stunk even more…then, drum roll please…about twenty minutes later I smelled my arms and was intoxicated by this heady smell that was out of this world! I WANT SOME OF THIS!!! Now I have to go back because my basket was already full of massage oils and smelly soaps and we were out of the parking lot before I smelled my arm again.
Oh, by the way, did I mention that the rose soap at our B&B smelled so good that I put the rest into a ziplock bag to take home? Then at Molinard I found huge bars for 15 cents a bar, lol.
And lastly…not to disappoint. Here is a real vending machine off the autostrada at one of those gas and grill stops in France. It is a french fry vending machine! Puts a whole new meaning to French food…EEEEWWWWW 😦