Grasse has been the perfume capital of the world for two hundred years but came to the attention of literature lovers (as opposed to perfume aficionados) in the mid-1980s as the setting for Patrick Süskind’s ‘Perfume – The Story of a Murderer’.
It’s a fascinating town to wander around, buildings tumble over steep hills with spectacular views all the way to the coast. I’ve been wandering around early in the morning, the streets are quite deserted and you could easily imagine you’re back in medieval times. The twisting laneways can be a little spooky. It’s easy to imagine Grenouille, Süskind’s black-hearted killer, slinking about looking for fresh maidens to murder. Fortunately I no longer qualify.
Today I wanted to go to the village of Cabris to see the terrain outside Grasse and how the town looks from a distance. Grasse is situated on a massive steep hill and the bus station is at the bottom, so it was an hour of walking down and asking directions and another hour sorting out where the bus left from and waiting for it etc – all for a ten minute bus trip! On the return trip, I discovered the bus also stops at the top of the hill – glad I figured that one out in time before I walked all the way back up.