Lancôme inaugurates its four hectares horticultural park

The luxury brand Lancôme, owned by the L'Oréal group, is emphasising its know-how in perfumery by inaugurating its four-hectare horticultural estate in Grasse, bought in 2020, and named "Le Domaine de la Rose".

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto14 juin 2022

In the "Domaine de la Rose", the centifolia rose, also known as the "rose of May", is grown (Lancôme)

The rose and its secrets: the luxury cosmetics brand Lancôme wants to be the ambassador of the know-how linked to this mythical flower, and has inaugurated a four-hectare horticultural estate in Grasse bought two years ago. The emblematic city of French perfumery is a place privileged by nature for the cultivation of rare flowers. Lancôme, spurred on by the popularity of the Chinese market, which has made it a leading brand, has exceeded three billion euros in sales over the past three years and is increasingly involved in initiatives aimed at protecting artisanal know-how in the world of perfumery and sustainable production.

The "Domaine de la Rose" grows the centifolia rose, also known as the "rose of May", the essence behind legendary perfumes. The site will open its doors in 2023, so that the public can discover the techniques of excellence of the perfume craftsmen and the secret properties of the rose of May, so dear to the noses of international perfumery. The few tonnes produced in the area will not be enough to cover Lancôme's needs, however, and the company will limit the use of the flowers harvested in Grasse to a limited edition "Domaine de la Rose" of "La vie est belle", one of the brand's most famous fragrances.

The city of Grasse is becoming increasingly involved with luxury brands to highlight its cultural heritage related to perfumery and to support an environmental protection approach with the support of these major brands. Lancôme's production is certified by the European Union as organic agriculture under the ECOCERT certification: no chemicals or synthetic products are used. Three years ago, the city of the Alpes Maritimes dedicated 70 hectares of land around the centre to revive the production of perfume plants and flowers. The production of the rose de mai, which was constantly falling in the first decade of the 2000s, has risen again thanks to a wise conservation policy and now exceeds 80 tonnes annually.

Alongside Lancôme, Christian Dior, Louis Vuitton and Chanel have also increased their investments in local production of perfume plants. In the Grasse area, the harvesting of this flower, which can produce very rich scents but which remains very fragile, is done by hand, as soon as the flower has bloomed. Grasse and its know-how linked to the world of fragrances is listed as an intangible cultural heritage site by UNESCO.

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