Roses, violets, jasmine, orange blossom, mimosa, carnations… All year round, the Côte d’Azur celebrates its love of flowers in several festive events. For lovers of flowers and perfumes, here is the program of festivals you shouldn’t miss on the Côte d’Azur!
CONTINUOUS HORTICULTURAL EXPERTISE ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR
Did you know? On the Côte d’Azur, flowers have not always been just one of life’s simple pleasures; for a long time they were an important source of income. People in Nice and Antibes cultivated carnations. Those in Grasse transformed the petals of May roses and jasmine into subtle perfumes, while in Tourrettes-sur-Loup, they devoted themselves entirely to violets. That is now over, although some outstanding farms survive to this day thanks to their special expertise. The Côte d’Azur has not forgotten its horticultural past and celebrates it with great pomp and beauty in a number of traditional festivals.
LIFE IN THE PINK ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR
Head to Grasse, the international perfume capital!
Grasse has for centuries maintained a special relationship with Centifolia, the most headily perfumed of all the roses. The links tightened again in 1970 when the first ExpoRose was held, the largest exhibition of cut roses in Europe. In May over a long weekend, the city, its gardens and fountains are covered with thousands of flowers and countless bouquets that have as many as 300 roses in them! Olfactory pathway, culinary workshops, competition and a market: the May rose and its sisters are at the heart of all the events. Pure poetry – consume without moderation!
SUMMER SMELLS GOOD: CAN YOU DETECT THE SOFT PERFUME OF THE JASMINE?
Grasse has even more wealth in the form of another treasure: “Jasmine grandiflorum” or the famous jasmine!
The sensuality of its both floral and fruity perfume makes it a very popular ingredient among the great perfumers. It isn’t surprising that, like the rose, it is a cult flower. For over 70 years it has been celebrated in the first weekend of August marking the beginning of the harvest. Fireworks, dancing, folk and artistic entertainment, a sprinkling of jasmine water and a flower parade: for three days Grasse is perfumed by the joie de vivre of the good life.
CONTINUE THE ROUND OF FLOWERS ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR WITH VIOLETS AND ORANGE BLOSSOM!
Vallauris specializes in orange blossom while Tourrettes-sur-Loup cultivates Victoria violets.
Every town on the Côte d’Azur maintains the tradition during the popular celebration days.
In March, the Fête des Violettes is the opportunity for a great Sunday of jubilation with a craft and food market, workshops, conferences, children’s entertainment and, of course, flowers in all the streets and squares.
In Vallauris, the Fête de la Fleur d’Oranger takes place in mid-May, the festivities beginning with a great custom: the peasant parade in traditional dress. A colourful and fragrant show not to be missed on the Côte d’Azur!
FLOWER PARADES, HIGHLIGHTS NOT TO BE MISSED ON THE CÔTE D’AZUR!
Nice, Mandelieu, Bormes-les-Mimosas, Sainte-Maxime… Mimosa is celebrated on the Côte d’Azur!
In winter, while the rest of Europe is still keeping warm in front of the fire, on the Côte d’Azur, they are out on the street admiring all the people on the colourful floats – a flower parade. This is the high point of the Fête du Mimosa, in Mandelieu-la Napoule, land of choice for these golden balls with their inimitable fragrance. Not to mention the famous mimosa festivals in Sainte-Maxime or Bormes-les-Mimosas. Finally, one of the best-loved traditions during the Carnival of Nice which, when the King is at rest, regales the carnival-goers with the famous Flower Battles. More than 100,000 flowers are thrown to the public. A few kilometres away, the water flower battle in Villefranche-sur-Mer awaits!
YOU’LL ALSO LOVE!
VISIT THE MUSEE DE LA PARFUMERIE
If like me, you love the world of perfumes and want to know all its secrets, then don’t miss a visit to the Musée International de la Parfumerie in Grasse, the most beautiful museum in France honouring the olfactory universe. Adults and children alike will love visiting the Musée International de la Parfumerie!
DISCOVERING THE PERFUMERIES IN GRASSE
Grasse had some flair when, five centuries ago, it began creating perfumes. A world of fragrances that is still the source of its wealth and delights its visitors. Come and discover the very essence of the Pays de Grasse, its DNA, and its history. It was listed in 2018 as a UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage site for its perfume-related know-how! We now invite you to discover Grasse’s perfumeries.
WANT TO CREATE YOUR OWN PERFUME?
On holiday on the Côte d’Azur? Why not follow me for a getaway in Grasse, the world perfume capital? Today, I tested a perfume creation workshop! Apart from the tour around the historic Fragonard perfumery, discover their olfactory "Apprentice Perfumer" workshop and create your own perfume in Grasse.