Sunday, January 31, 2010

at the Parfumerie....



I'm always learning in the business of painting signs...
and so I like to share the fun tidbits I encounter along the way....

come with me to Grasse, France....

awaft with aromas....
the perfume capital of the world & the birthplace of
Chanel No5, Yves Saint-Laurent and Dior perfumes...
and so many other famous & delightful olfacotry treats!


Situated in Provence in the South of France on the Mediterranean coastline.

Year round the air is perfumed ....

Mimosa in February, Violets in March, Daffodils in April, Orange Blossoms & Roses in May, Tuberoses from June to September, Jasmine from August to October and of course Lavender all summer long!

Some are picked carefully by hand at sunrise, when the perfume is at it's peak...others are picked throughout the day. In early days, the process of "enfleurage" took place next, where the flowers were spread over sheets that had been coated with odorless vegetable or animal fats, to which they transferred their perfume.









But what I found so interesting was that it was not always this way, the perfume industry in Grasse was actually born out of neccesity:

In the 1600's the town was actually known for it's 'evil smelling streets.' It was home to a thriving animal skin trade; tanners would meet on the banks of a torrent, the Foux, to scrape, wash and soak their leather. This resulted in a nauseating odor that permeated the city, leaving women to run perfumed hankies under their noses to avoid the nasty smell!

More innovative tanners began using perfumed fatty ointments to make 'scented skins' which were resevered for the making of gloves for the pretty Parisian ladies. So was born the profession of "Perfumer Glovers".





Today, about a ton of petals are treated daily! Perfumers are referred to as "Noses". A "Nose" can distinguish between more than 10,000 seperate scents. There has never been a "Nose" in the world who wasn't either a native of Grasse or at least a visitor to the town.


Grasse is also known for perfume flavored breads and ice creams!
yum... I think.. maybe you should try it first, let me know...

So that is Grasse, and all I learned, which leads me to my new sign....

(you knew that was coming right??)



which I'm off to list in my etsy shop!

Thanks for coming along & I hope you enjoyed our journey!!

Au revoir!!

9 comments:

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Paula Sweetie...
I love this post. I had no idea what was involved in making perfumes. I just know that I like certain ones, and that they smell good. Who would have thought that it came from a town needing it to smell better because of the odors from pelts.

Ofcourse you would make a sign about it. I love it. I love the shape of this sign. You really outdid yourself sweetie. So beautiful. I love the antique/weathered look of it. It would look like that being hung out for passer bys to see. You are so creative with your work. It intriques me so.

Thank you for sharing this morning. Country hugs sweetie...Sherry

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

That is so pretty, Paula! I love it!

sissie said...

Thanks for the history about the perfume.
I'm with Sherry, I buy it if I like it never giving much thought to how it's made.
Your sign is so gorgeous. I love it.

Sissie

injaynesworld said...

How lovely. Thanks for sharing this story and the beautiful pictures. Maybe I'll get to visit there in my next life. I'll let you know how that perfumed ice cream is. ;)

Your signs are magnificent...

Karen- The Graphics Fairy said...

Wow Paula, this is gorgeous!!! I just adore the theme for this sign, and of course your painting is amazing as always! I loved the little history too, so fun.
Hugs,
Karen

watsonrodrig said...

I liked the perfume flavored bread and ice-cream, i
love to try new things and so i am interested in this.
bali villa accommodation

My name is PJ. said...

It's beautiful, Paula! If I don't watch out, I'll wind up with more signs of yours than I have wall space for! I'm waiting for the next one you do for charity right now......Do us both a favor with this next charity one....think earth tones, deep tones and black...so that I can keep it in my own home!!!!

Julie Harward said...

LOVED THE JOURNEY..LOVE PERFUME (SO MUCH)CHANEL #5 BEING MY FAVORITE! LOVE YOUR NEW SIGN TOO...JUST AWESOME! COME SAY HI :D

Kristin said...

oh my...sigh...*thank you* for the wonderful trip :0)
i am so glad to have discovered you and your wonderful shop! i will be visiting often!

kristin
faded prairie