The heady aromas wafting from the fields were a daily part of my childhood; it's amazing to think that I was constantly surrounded by jasmine, rose and honeysuckle, to name a few. I miss those chilly days when we went picking branches of mimosa in the forest of Tanneron, filling the house with them—the absolute best, most intoxicating, gorgeous, fluffy scent. It was pure happiness.
Owner of the Domaine de Manon which works with the Dior fashion house, [horticulturist Carole Biancalana] nonetheless told her seasonal workers they must wear a mask owing to the risk of catching the coronavirus. After two months of confinement, the gathering of rose petals began over a week ago and continues depending on the weather, under extra sanitary precautions. "Normally, everyone grabs a smock, we help each other out and go down the rows facing each other, we chat and it’s nice," Biancalana says. This year, each worker has a separate row and a personalised burlap bag to contain the risk of contamination, and only one person drives to a collection site where the pink petals tumble into extraction vats.
— Read more in Masks blossom among roses at French perfume capital at Premium Beauty News.
[Chanel perfumer Olivier] Polge says he bears sustainability practices in mind “more than ever” when creating perfume. In the fields, there is the specific regeneration of bulbs – kept from one year to another (for tuberose, specifically), maintaining the water source with a specific irrigation system, while consumption is constantly monitored. In the Chanel factories, where essential oils are extracted via gentle steam distillation, sustainable energy sources are prioritised and monitored.
— Read more at From flower to fragrance: the craftsmanship of a Chanel perfume at Harper's Bazaar.
The pair started planting jasmine grandiflorum - a key ingredient in top French perfumes like J’adore L’Or or Chanel number 5 - in their farm in June. It is back-breaking work as every tiny flower has to be harvested by hand over a three-month period.
But if all goes to plan, within four to five years, they will be the second biggest producers of the prized white flower in France.
— Read more at Flower power returns to Grasse amid influx of young growers to 'world's perfume capital' at The Telegraph.
Perfume-making techniques used in Grasse, a southerly French commune where iris, jasmine and other fragrant plants have long flourished, won U.N. recognition on Wednesday, boosting a bid by local industry champions to lure back more specialist growers.
The United Nation’s cultural agency said it had added the skills linked to cultivating flowers and blending fragrances in Grasse to its list of protected treasures.
— Read more at French fragrance masters of Grasse get Unesco heritage boost at Reuters.