One of the key growing regions for the natural aroma ingredients we supply is Grasse in France, home to fragrance ingredients producer Payan Bertrand since 1854.
So when the perfume ingredient growers of Grasse made their bid for UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage Status, we were fully behind them in their attempt to gain recognition for the historical and cultural significance of the area and the fragrance ingredient farmers based there over several centuries.
Theirs was one of 40 nominations for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the 13th session of the UNESCO Committee in Mauritius in late November and early December.
And we are delighted that their application was approved, strengthening Grasse’s existing entry on France’s Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was first made in 2014.
Part of the application for Intangible Cultural Heritage status was based on the fact that growing perfume ingredients in Grasse is not just one discipline, but several:
Because of this, the work carried out in Grasse naturally brings people together, strengthening social bonds between people with similar but also unique expertise, and passing knowledge down from one generation to the next.
The knowledge needed to achieve good yields of high-quality fragrance ingredients is varied and complex, ranging from an understanding of weather and nature, to soil fertility, plant physiology and horticulture.
Beyond this, processing the raw materials to extract the aroma ingredients in the form of natural essential oils places its own demands on Grasse’s producers to understand extraction and hydraulic distillation methods.
The decision allows Grasse as a region to safeguard its cultural heritage with respect to the production of perfume ingredients, but it’s also good news for customers of the region.
It means efforts to create more formal education initiatives in the area can gather pace, ensuring expertise is not lost from one generation to the next.
And its well-earned recognition for some of the brands that have helped the area to thrive for centuries already, including our own partner Payan Bertrand one of the key aroma ingredient producers in Grasse and one of the very few in family ownership.
We at Zanos are proud of our long-held relationships not only with Grasse, but with producers in other important perfume growing regions around the world, and the high-quality essential oils and fragrance ingredients we can deliver to our customers as a result.