This was a big day for us. We tidied up our apartment in Nice, handed back the keys to the owner, and headed for the Nice airport, where we had arranged to pick up our car. Americans can get a long-term lease arrangement that avoids VAT and that, in effect, has us buy the car and sell it back when we leave. Our brand-new Peugeot was waiting for us, and all we had to do was figure out how to make it out of the driveway.
Some of you know the drill: I drive and Don, with the aid of the GPS, tells me where to go. This system generally works very well, but I will admit to a bit of, shall we say, perspiration, as we hit the A8. There’s just nothing like driving a strange car in a strange place on strange roads. Love it!
Our first stop was the town of Grasse, famous for its perfume industry. There is a perfume museum, and also a museum in what had been the Fragonard factory. Grasse was covered with flowers which were picked and sorted all spring and summer, and then converted to the fragrances favored at that time. Now the process is managed scientifically in a laboratory, rather than by mixing the oil fragrances. It still requires the human touch, from those with the “nose,” which belongs to the few specialists who train for years. As far as the fragrances themselves, tastes change and styles dictate new directions, which are all beautifully captured in the containers used since the ancients.
It was wonderful seeing the timeline of famous fragrances and observing which ones survive to this day.
We reveled in another gorgeous sunny day and had a lovely lunch by the museum. Those of you who remember Don’s fedora of last fall can weigh in on his fashion accoutrement for France. How do you like the scarf? He is working on adding a gallic shrug.
And then it was on to our next destination, so wonderful it deserves its own story. A demain!