Grasse has been a popular tourist town for several centuries. The altitude of the town (300-400 m), and the hills behind give Grasse a fresher climate than the beach during the heat of the summer.
Grasse has had a prospering perfume industry since the end of the 18th century. It is the centre of the French perfume industry and is known as the world’s perfume capital (‘la capitale mondiale des parfums’). Many “noses” are trained or have spent time in Grasse to distinguish over 2,000 kinds of scent. It produces over two-thirds of France’s natural aromas (for perfume and for food flavourings).
Princess Pauline Bonaparte (the Emperor’s sister), spent the winter of 1807-08 in Grasse, recuperating her mental and physical strength. Queen Victoria vacationed through several winters in Grasse, staying at the Rothschild’s or at the Grand Hotel.