As the birthplace of perfume-making, the town of Grasse, in the heights of Alpes-Maritimes, was honour bound to offer visitors a museum devoted to the subject. This has been accomplished with the International Perfume Museum - MIP, an unmissable attraction in the Nice back country.
Four places in Grasse's history are devoted to this unique museum: the Pontevès mansion, which houses part of the permanent collections; the old Hugues Aîné perfumery; the old Pélissier building, which houses the temporary exhibitions; and the orange tree garden, created in 1779 then remodelled in 1976.
At the MIP, you will learn all about the history of perfume, that timeless instrument of seduction: through a collection of over 50,000 objects, of which 2,500 are exhibited to the public, all aspects of perfume-making are explored, from raw materials to industry, design, marketing, etc., not forgetting the various traditions found all over the world.
Alongside the history of perfume, whose first traces can be seen in the form of perfume and cosmetic vases dating back to 7,000 B.C., and the exhibition of unusual objects from various eras, bottles, a perfume organ, eyeshadow boxes, perfume burners, etc., the museum also provides a showcase for French excellence in perfume-making. French perfume history unfolds here, from the first big names, like Coty, Houbigant, Guerlain and Chanel, to the gradual appearance of synthetic products.
There is one unique piece that visitors must be sure not to miss: Queen Marie-Antoinette's travel kit.
The museum hosts many activities including themed tours and olfactory and tasting workshops.