Established in 1849, Maison Molinard has played a major role in establishing the reputation of the world's perfume ... More
Established in 1849, Maison Molinard has played a major role in establishing the reputation of the world's perfume capital, Grasse (around 20 kilometers or 12 miles from Cannes). A free guided tour gives visitors the chance to find out more about the various stages in perfume manufacturing, and to see a display of antique Molinard perfume bottles (designed by famous glass-makers such as Lalique and Baccarat) as well as a unique collection of labels. The sales shop is furnished with authentic Provençal-style furniture from the 16th to 18th Centuries. You should pick up the mini jasmine soap, and Lalique Écoute moi perfume, two of their most popular products.
Grasse is a quaint little town and Molinard is amongst one of several other historical perfume manufacturers from this special area in France. You are greeted with lovely fragrances the moment you enter the visitors area. If you are driving, Molinard offers excellent free parking space, unlike some of the other well known names in the area. The works tour is short but interesting. It also doubles up as a sales pitch for a captive audience. Not surprisingly, visitors end up buying a bunch of stuff at the end of the tour, helped along by the several willing members of staff at the boutique.
However, our experience with the last part suggests that one should be careful of what one is buying. The 'tour guide' will tell you what great value is presented by some large pacakged products such as EDTs. It's a different matter that the retail version does not represent the sample that you were given to try out! An expensive EDT we bought turned out to be nothing like the sample - both in its fragrance as well as its staying power! Emails to Molinard did not yield any response, not even an acknowledgement :-(. So be warned - check what you are buying at the works. You may well be paying a lot of money for a large aluminum bottle of mildly perfumed alcohol....oops!!
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