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The City Sniffers: The Most Fragrant Towns in France

Take a perfumed tour of the Hexagon at these five spots

Nantes

Nantes [1] is set to acquire its own signature perfume in 2020. In a bid to capture the city’s unique essence, three professional ‘noses’ will put their olfactory muscles to the test by creating their own spin on an urban-inspired fragrance, before asking the public to pick their favourite. “A city is like a person,” explained Jean Blaise, director of Voyage à Nantes and the brains behind the project. “Like a person, it lives, sleeps, gets agitated, is disturbed and creates curiosity. This is why, in my opinion, a city can also have a scent.” The defining parfum will be announced in August, produced in Grasse and officially sold in November. Until then, we can only guess what wild and wonderful smells the year ahead holds…

www.nantes-tourisme.com/en [2]

Grasse, France [3]
Image © Shutterstock

Grasse

Known in no uncertain terms as the “perfume capital of the world [4]”, Grasse has a scent-making history dating back to the 18th century. Join a course at the Institute of Perfumery

www.grasse-perfumery.com  [3]

CABRIÈRES-D’AVIGNON [5]
Image © Shutterstock

Cabrières-d’Avignon

Get a whiff of Provence’s signature flower in this charming town in Vaucluse. Why not take a gourmet tour or join a ‘five senses’ workshop at the Musée de la Lavande?

www.museedelalavande.com [5]

Marseille, Alvaro soap [6]
Image © Shutterstock

Marseille

Marseille’s world-famous soap [7] is technically unscented, but thanks to the 72% olive oil in its DNA, it has a distinct and rather pleasant aroma. Indulge your senses at the museum

www.musee-savon-marseille.com [6]

Strasbourg [8]
Image © Vincent des Jardins

Strasbourg

Home to Europe’s oldest marché de noël, Strasbourg is a wonderland of sweet and spicy smells come Christmas [9]: cinnamon, vin chaud and bredele biscuits among them.

www.visitstrasbourg.fr/en [8]

From France Today magazine

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