Grasse or the city of 1000 fragrances
To offer you a unique olfactory experience, we enrich our our solid bath products with delicate perfumes from Grasse. We made this choice to convince those who are not convinced of this type of product to try the zero plastic experience. We want to convince them by keeping the following promise: the format changes but not the experience.
And to keep this promise, we wanted to promote another French know-how: perfume.
Perfume and bath ritual
Perfume has already known its first forms of use in all the great civilizations of Antiquity, but it is in the Middle Ages that everything really begins and that perfume becomes a ritual.
In fact, it was at the beginning of the 12th century that the Crusades brought back delicate fragrances from the East and that Venice, a strategic maritime port, became the heart of perfumery. At that time, the need for hygiene and the belief that foul odours were vectors of disease led everyone to use these new fragrances to prevent and treat themselves. The aristocrats perfumed their baths with aromatic plants, while the people went to public baths, which were also perfumed. Perfume became a ritual intimately linked to bathing.
Perfume and leather
Along the commercial axes, the city of Grasse saw the development of the trade of skins along its canal with the arrival of many tanners. The leather of Grasse became extremely famous for its quality and its pretty greenish colour obtained by maceration in the myrtle. On the other hand, one can imagine that very quickly, the strong smell of the skins invaded the Provencal city. To hide this not very delicate odor what can we find better than the numerous species of aromatic plants which bloom in the surrounding fields: Provence being a particularly favourable region because of its sunshine, the richness of its soils and its abundance of water courses.
The tanners therefore used the perfumes available to cover the smell of the skins and it was towards the end of the 15th century that the profession of Master Glove-maker-Perfumer appeared.
It would be thanks to the Grasse tanner Molinard who would have offered Catherine de Medicis a pair of perfumed gloves, that this new fashion took off and quickly won over all the French aristocracy of the time. Moreover, Provence, freshly attached to the French crown, would have seen its local know-how in tanning and perfumery valued by the court. The city of Grasse then devoted itself exclusively to this new ritual of perfumed leather by producing leathers and perfumes of great quality. The know-how of this new craft marks the small town of Grasse with a worldwide reputation in the glove and perfume industry.
From tanner to perfumer
It is with this craze for perfumed gloves that the tanners of the city of Grasse progressively acquire the monopoly of the sale of perfume, before reserved to apothecaries, alchemists or distillers. In the 17th century, Louis XIV issued a patent for Master Glove-makers and Perfumers which gave them exclusive rights to the composition of perfumes. It was not until the end of the 18th century, after the French revolution, that the tanner's trade was separated from the perfumer's trade under the Le Chapelier law, which forbade trade associations. The craze for perfume is no longer only associated with gloves: perfume becomes a real beauty ritual.
It is in this continuity that it seemed essential to us (no pun intended) to promote our history and our heritage. We are keen to promote our heritage and our historical know-how because after two wars and the 1929 crisis, the establishment of the city of Grasse as the capital of perfumery suffered and was challenged by the advent of the mass industry which took root in Switzerland and the United States. But Grasse will remain, for all lovers of quality artisanal perfume, a unique place of pilgrimage.
Through our our solid bath products enriched with Grasse fragrances, we want you to relive those ritual moments that have marked our history and that remind us that perfume has always been intimately linked to bathing. Our products respond to current issues that impact our future, but they also reveal and highlight our past: a true olfactory and temporal journey.
WE DO OUR HAIR WITH CHARLOTTE
Charlotte, founder of Ozaelle, a brand of hair accessories and jewelry