Perfume may be ephemeral, but the fragrance industry endures, especially in Grasse, where it’s worth about 650 million euros a year. The city’s Musée de la Parfumerie has reopened following a four-year, 11.3 million euro renovation by architect Frédéric Jung.
It’s now nearly 3,500 sq metres in size and encompasses several existing structures, from an 18th-century townhouse to a medieval rampart. The contemporary-meets-industrial design includes rusted metal doorframes, transparent walkways and a blown-glass fountain by artist Jean-Michel Othoniel.
The collection features 50,000 objects from five continents, such an old organ, rows of bottles containing natural and synthetic scents, and a travel case believed to have been made for Marie-Antoinette while she was plotting to flee Paris.