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LES ECHOS

Flower Farmers Hope France Keeps Its Nose For Perfume

For centuries, southeastern Grasse has been a flower growing hub for the fragrance industry. Though regular business from luxury titans has been a lifeline for local farmers, they're finding it hard to survive in the globalized market.

Dior perfumer François Demachy at Clos de Callian
Dior perfumer François Demachy at Clos de Callian
Nicole Vulser

GRASSE — It's 8 a.m. here in the hills of southeastern France. Some 20 women and a few men, all wearing hats and big linen aprons, are tirelessly picking Centifolia roses.

Leaning over bushes with tender green foliage and thorny stems, the pickers, all seasonal workers, hold each open flower between their thumbs and their index fingers, before delicately cutting under the calyx. A burly man regularly loads a truck with huge jute bags filled with flowers to be taken to the distillery.

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