The Côte d’Azur: Sea, Sun, and … Smells? 

Welcome to Le Mas Candille and the Côte d’Azur! We may be biased, but one of our favourite features of Le Mas Candille is its incredible location in the south of France. We often like to speak about our proximity to beautiful landscapes, our delicious local produce, and our love of the constant, warm, sunshine. But today, we’d like to talk about the smells of the Côte d’Azur. Specifically: perfumery!

Perfume, and the French perfume industry, are synonymous with the French Riviera. From the stars that advertise the big brands to the roses that supply Channel’s renowned scents, perfume is everywhere you look on the Côte d’Azur.

The main location for this perfuming activity is, undoubtedly, the town of Grasse, nestled into the pre-Alps and visible from Le Mas Candille’s terrace. Grasse is celebrated as the world capital of perfume. In the summertime, the streets of the old town are continuously sprayed with a rose-scented mist. In this way, the town is inseparable from its 3 centuries of perfuming history.

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The Scents of Le Mas Candille

Le Mas Candille has long embraced the traditional scents of the Côte d’Azur. Provence, being well sheltered from the sea winds and gifted with rich soil, has long hosted all kinds of scented flowers and plants, most notably rose, jasmine, mimosa and of course, lavender.

The lavender scent is so synonymous with Le Mas Candille that Mark Silver, the hotel owner, carries small lavender packets with him on sales trips!

Le Mas Candille also emphasises scent in its hotel experience through its association with ESPA and with NEOM, an organic wellbeing company, dedicated to providing fragrances, including candles, sprays, and perfumes, made up of 100% clean ingredients. If you are interested in purchasing any NEOM scents, please contact our reception team on +33 4 92 28 43 43.

The Perfume Masterclass at Le Mas Candille

Since we are so in love with the fragrances of the Côte d’Azur, we decided to bring the experience of a master perfumer directly to our clients.

Le Mas Candille’s perfume masterclass, “The Art of Perfumery”, is an exclusive two-hour workshop led by a master perfumer intended to introduce our clients to the art of perfumery. Additionally, the workshop will give our clients a unique chance to create their own scented fragrance.

Mark Silver, the owner of Le Mas Candille, participated in “The Art of Perfumery” workshop and describes his experience below.

   

Mark’s Experience

This morning I had the pleasure of attending a perfume masterclass at Le Mas Candille, presented by Corinne Marie-Tosello from Connessens.

It’s not often you find an activity that combines history, chemistry, marketing, economics, team building and fun. It must be said I was feeling slightly dubious of the prospect of spending a morning creating my own perfume. But it was everything I listed above, and we also walked away with our very own creation!

perfume

About Corinne and Connessens

There were eight of us around the elegant boardroom table in Le Salle du Mas at Le Mas Candille. When we arrived, we were greeted with a selection of glass jars each holding key ingredients. Also on the table were stirrers, pipettes, and testing strips for each person.

Corinne is originally from Cannes, also a short drive from Le Mas Candille. She spent 15 years in the event planning industry before following her passion for perfumery. In 2004, she joined the prestigious Grasse Institute of Perfumery.  In 2006, she started her own company Connessens, which deals with event planning and made-to-measure olfactory workshops.

Corinne started the workshop by explaining the fundamental groups of perfumes and how they interacted with each other. She also gave a background to the history of the city of Grasse, only twenty minutes’ drive from the hotel, where most of the world’s perfumes are created.

The Perfumery Workshop

We soon started trying to create our very own perfume. This involved a good degree of self-knowledge: did we prefer floral, citrus or oriental notes? Would we use synthetic or natural ingredients? And did we know the benefits of each? Luckily, Corinne was there to guide us through these choices!

The two-hour session was split into two halves. At the end of the first half, we reviewed our performance and had a look at our creations. We spent the first half of the session experimenting with different scents and keeping notes. This made it easy for Corinne to then give us her opinion on our potential perfumes. She advised what to add or how to adjust the note balance where appropriate.

We were all starting to take it very seriously! It was also interesting to note the split in the room. The men tended to lean towards earthier tones and wooden scents, and the women leaned more towards floral and citrus scents.

Whilst it wasn’t a competitive activity, there was a definite feeling in each of us wanting to impress the teacher! Corinne was a fantastic guide: regularly responding to our cries of help, where one or the other of us had added a millilitre too much of a certain ingredient. When it comes to perfumery, this could transform what was previously an acceptable scent into something that resembled more a chemical accident! Happily, her advice always guided the unlucky participant back on track.

Insights Into the World of Perfumery

Throughout the morning she also imparted occasional insights into the world of perfumery. These included lots of unexpected facts about perfumery. For example, did you know you could reset your olfactory senses by smelling your own skin? Also, the same perfume can smell differently on different skin. This is because of the differences in people’s skin: from humidity to hormones and everything in between! This is why it is always important to test a scent on your skin before buying it.

I really enjoyed Corinne’s perfumery workshop at Le Mas Candille! I recommend it to anyone who is a big fan of perfume and is interested in learning more about the industry. What’s more, I don’t need to go out and buy a scent now, since I have my own from the workshop!

For More Information, Get in Touch! 

For more information on “The Art of Perfumery” masterclass at Le Mas Candille, check out our website. This page also includes details on weekend break packages including the masterclass, so don’t miss out!

If you have any more questions, please contact our excellent reception team by calling +33 4 92 28 43 43.