The art of perfumery in GRASSE EARNS unesco WORLD HERITAGE Status

Geneva, Switzerland, November 29, 2018 The art of Perfumery and its birthplace Grasse, have been officially awarded “World Heritage Status”, joining UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, aiming to preserve the world’s most precious traditions. Recognized by Unesco’s specialized committee, Grasse’s unique perfumery « savoir-faire » includes the cultivation of perfume plants, the knowledge and processing of natural raw materials, and the art of perfume composition.

“Since the 16th century, Grasse has been the cradle of perfumery and the global guardian of its unique heritage. With Firmenich’s Naturals Center of Excellence in Grasse, we are proud to be part of this exceptional tradition,” said Armand de Villoutreys, President Perfumery & Ingredients, Firmenich. “UNESCO’s world heritage status guarantees that we can safeguard Grasse’s collective savoir-faire and natural ingredients for generations to come”.

Grasse and its surrounding area offer a unique environment, from soil quality and sunlight to temperature, ideally suited to nurture exceptional flowers at the heart of perfumery creation. The area is particularly world-renowned for its fragrant “Rose de Mai” (May rose) and Jasmine, sustainably cultivated for Firmenich, as well as for many French Luxury Houses.

“Having grown up in Grasse, the heart of perfumery, I carry with me a deep respect and understanding of flowers and nature, and the beauty they bring to fragrance”, said Fabrice Pellegrin, Perfumer, Firmenich. “I love to spend time in flower fields to feed my inspiration, while sharing the essence of Grasse with the next generation of perfumers to keep the magic of Grasse alive”.

This celebration confirms the importance of Firmenich’s Naturals Center of Excellence in Grasse, at the heart of the Group’s world-class creativity and exceptional palette of ingredients, cutting across naturals, synthetic and biotechnology. Utilizing state-of-the-art technologies such as CO2 extraction and mastering traditional processes, the Naturals Center leverages Firmenich’s leadership in research and development, innovation, and sustainable sourcing. Each year in Grasse, the Group processes around 500 tons of raw materials, sourced from all over the world, including Rose, Jasmine, Mimosa, Lavender and Violet leaves from the Grasse area.


In this Naturals Together video, you can hear from Firmenich Perfumer, Fabrice Pellegrin about how the Group harvests the “Rose de Mai” with its local partners in Grasse. Today Firmenich sources over 170 Naturals worldwide in a sustainable and ethical way from a network of Joint Ventures at source and strategic partnerships with 17 Naturals Together producers, as well as proprietary production sites. Discover Firmenich’s Naturals Center of Excellence in Grasse in this video

Deeply anchored in the region, Firmenich is also a co-founder of GRASSE EXPERTISE™, a hallmark of excellence to preserve the unique expertise of the Grasse region at every stage of perfumery production and creation, from flower cultivation and ingredient extraction, to scientific research and supply.


About Firmenich

Firmenich is the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895. Driven by its purpose to create positive emotions to enhance wellbeing, naturally, Firmenich has designed many of the world’s best-known perfumes and tastes, bringing delight to over four billion consumers every day. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, each year, Firmenich invests 10% of its turnover in R&D to understand and share the best that nature has to offer responsibly. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 3.7 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2018. More information about Firmenich is available at

The art of perfumery in GRASSE EARNS unesco WORLD HERITAGE Status