I fully expected to be impressed with the Musée International de Parfums in Grasse but I wasn’t expecting to find one of France’s best hamburgers.



I fully expected to be impressed with the Musée International de Parfums in Grasse but I wasn’t expecting to find one of France’s best hamburgers.

This a very comprehensive presentation of the history of perfume from ancient times to the present and the importance of Grasse as the international capital of fragrance. I strongly recommend a guide to fully appreciate the experience.

Just down the street is the Fragonard Museum and factory.This  historic perfume factory in the heart of the Old Town is one of the oldest in Grasse dating to 1782.

In 1926 they took the name of Parfumerie Fragonard as a tribute to the famous painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Here are produced  perfumes, cosmetics and soaps in a setting imbued with respect for tradition.

Free guided tours are available, during which you can discover the various procedures involved in creating and producing our products. At the end of this tour you can admire 3000 years of perfume history in their private museum.

The Historic Fragonard Factory, 20 Boulevard Fragonard

Open daily, Sundays and public holidays  from 9 am to 6.00 pm (closed 12.30 pm to 2 pm November to January). Free guided tour in all European languages. Products at factory prices.

It was a short but exhausting drive from Saint Paul and before tackling the museums we looked for a quick bite. In another of those par hasard experiences that have defined my life in France we discovered Le Petit Bistro, a truly petit bistro, just 18 seats but grand when it comes to flavor and quality. Soft gray walls and black and white photographs from Pagnol’s Marseille Trilogy: FANNY, MARIUS, and CESAR give it an unexpectedly sophisticated ambiance.


While I pondered the menu, looking for something light, the teenaged girl at the adjacent table made my decision for me: The Petit Bistro Hamburger Deluxe-juicy ground beef and not the super lean meat that the French usually use, melted Cheddar cheese and bacon with a generous side of fries.

But when a a whole roasted bar and a mixed seafood grill were delivered to the table in front of us I had to visit the kitchen where I found the young South Korean chef responsible for these delightful looking platters.

jean Christophe

Well, the family in front of us had actually followed the owner Jean Christophe and the chef from Saint Raphael where they had previously operated a bistro. Over a glass of cotes de Provence rouge I got the skinny on Jean-Christophe and promised to come back on my next visit.

Le Petit Bistro, 29bis Blvd. du jeu de ballon

04-92 60 49 25

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La Vie en Expo Rose

Each spring, this prestigious event honors the rose on the Cours Honore Cresp and in the gardens and rooms of the Villa-Musée Fragonard, the Grasse cathedral, and the Palais des Congrès.
This grand floral spectacle boasts more than 50,000 “pink stars” in the form of hundreds of bouquets.
Expo Rose is a top-quality horticultural event that leads the public on a journey amidst a wonderland created with the queen of flowers, lavishly staged in an original, themed setting.
Once the flower of the gods, only the rose has been known to unleash so much divine and human passion. It is a symbol of grace and beauty that has lasted through the ages to bloom in our hearts with eternal freshness.

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