May is the month of the rose and where better to celebrate this than in the world’s perfume capital, Grasse, on the French Riviera. Every year, over a weekend in early to mid-May, the city honours the rose in all its forms at a 3 day rose festival, ExpoRose. Around 8500 bouquets, 13000 rose bushes and over 25000 cut roses decorate fountains, statues, shop fronts and public squares throughout Grasse. Dance and music performances, tastings of everything rose-flavoured, along with a market selling rose-themed gifts and food, and of course rose plants of every colour and variety imaginable, complete the festival.
Grasse, often surprisingly quiet for such a well-known and sizeable place, comes alive over this weekend, with shops and restaurants espousing the rose theme, decorating their space with petals and bouquets. The smell in the air is amazing, as not only are there tens of thousands of roses all around but rose perfume is sprayed into the streets of the old town from overhead atomisers.
The rose, queen of flowers, loved for its scent and delicate beauty worldwide is the most cultivated flower on earth and this fragrance-filled event, ExpoRose, is an important annual date for rose producers and distributors. For rose enthusiasts it’s unmissable.
I’ve been to ExpoRose several times over the years and have put together a selection of photos from around Grasse. As so often when writing about festivals in this area I wish there was a “scratch and sniff” option on the internet so that you could smell the perfume too. Just try and imagine it! I’ve said enough, let the photos do the talking.
Grasse is one of my favourite local towns and when it gets all dressed up to party I feel lucky to live so close. Do you enjoy seasonal festivals like this?
Read more about local fragrant festivals in these related posts:
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