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Press Release

Firmenich opens third Fine Fragrance Atelier in Grasse, Villa Botanica showcases natural ingredients & innovations


GENEVA, SWITZERLAND, MAY 27, 2020 - Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned perfume and taste company, is opening its third prestigious Fine Fragrance Atelier in Grasse, France. Paying tribute to the cradle of modern perfumery, Villa Botanica will showcase the world’s highest quality natural ingredients and innovations, offering customers and creators a unique opportunity to collaborate, co-create and share perfumery culture, creativity and inspiration.


CEO Gilbert Ghostine said, “We are delighted to open a truly unique facility in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Grasse, further strengthening our leadership in naturals and sustainability. In an intimate and safe setting, we will offer our customers privileged access to our exceptional natural materials from Grasse and around the world and collaborate together to develop winning fragrances for today’s conscious consumers and tomorrow’s trend setters.”

M. le Maire de Grasse Jerome Viaud stated, “The municipal strategy and territorial marketing that we have been implementing for the past six years to bring together the world’s biggest players in perfumery to Grasse is starting to take shape. Firmenich has always been a true partner for our city, with its combination of production sites and innovation center. We deeply appreciate Firmenich’s support of Rose de Mai and jasmine extracts, a great contribution to our renowned heritage and future. This new site in Peyloubet will revive one of the most beautiful spots of our city, and I am delighted to anticipate the high level of fragrance creation that will take place on top of that hill.”




Villa Botanica, on the hill of Peyloubet above Grasse, is a remarkable, 40,000-square-meter site, complete with gardens, creation workshop, reception area and stunning views of the mountains and sea. It provides an intimate, unequalled oasis for Firmenich’s Fine Fragrance creators and customers to collaborate, co-create and be inspired. The Mediterranean bastide will feature gardens covered with the prestigious essences of Provence and greenhouses planted with exotic natural ingredients from around the world, from rose Centifolia, mimosa and lavender to vetiver, cinnamon, patchouli or ylang.


Fabrice Pellegrin, Principal Perfumer, Director of Natural Product Innovation explained, “My calling as a perfumer is rooted in my love of natural raw materials; I need to pick the flowers, crumple the leaves, smell the first fruits of each season. The floral productions from Grasse have no equal in perfumery heritage and are essential to us as composers of fragrance. The Villa Botanica possesses the virtue of tradition and the passion of creative excellence: listening, smelling, creating, innovating and sharing.”


President, Perfumery & Ingredients Armand de Villoutreys added, “At Firmenich, we are proud of our legacy as a center of perfumery culture, in Grasse and around the world. Villa Botanica will allow us to uniquely share our knowledge and expertise in Fine Fragrance with our customers, demonstrating our passion for the highest-quality natural ingredients and inspiring the beloved fragrances that touch the lives of consumers every day.”



Villa Botanica will formally open in Spring 2021. It is Firmenich’s third Fine Fragrance Atelier, after Sao Paulo in August 2019 and Shanghai in September 2019. These unique locations around the world offer Fine Fragrance customers exclusive spaces for collaboration, creation and innovation.


Firmenich’s Center of Excellence in Grasse treats over 80 raw materials from around the world each year to produce more than 800 natural ingredients for its palette. Firmenich is one of the most important producers of exclusive Rose de Mai absolute, harvested locally and extracted in their facilities in Tourettes. The innovation platform in Grasse hosts Master Perfumers on a regular basis to stimulate and elevate the creation of new ingredients.

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 3.9 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2019.