The sunflowers of Provence, made famous by Van Gogh, are at their best from late June through early July. Lavender fields are at their peak in July and early August, making early July the best time to see both in bloom.
Avignon – Been There

Want to see the best of Provence? Follow your nose.

Photo by Jurjen Drenth

Avignon – Been There Want to see the best of Provence? Follow your nose.

Provence is most famous for its beauty. But it’s the smells that make this region of France so unforgettable.

Tara Isabella Burton
Tara Isabella Burton Travel Writer

The sharp tartness of lavender. The opiate darkness of violet. The languid fresh-baked spice of caramel. Walk down any street in Avignon and inhale the wild and varied bouquet. From the fragrant Marseilles soaps to the dried petals of lavender sold as sachets or in bunches, every object on offer in Provence exudes a heady, intoxicating aroma.

But few scents are as haunting as those sold by Fragonard – one of the world’s most famous perfumiers – whose factory in Grasse and shops in Avignon meld the most delicate scents of the region into overwhelming, yet subtle, fragrances and eaus de toilette.

The parfumerie opened in Grasse in 1926 and was named after local painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). Founder Eugène Fuchs introduced the novel idea of selling perfume directly to the tourists who started visiting Provence soon after World War I.

The factory in Grasse offers tours for those interested in the perfume-making process; otherwise, head to their elegantly chilly Avignon outlet for $50 perfumes and equally pricey napkin sets.

Fragonard is at 32 bis Rue Portail Magnanen, Avignon.

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Parfumerie Fragonard, where this "nose" is testing scents, opened in Grasse in 1926 and was named after local painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). Founder Eugène Fuchs introduced the novel idea of selling perfume directly to the tourists who started visiting Provence soon after World War I. Photo by Picavet / Getty Images

Picavet

Picavet

Agency
Getty Images

Parfumerie Fragonard, where this "nose" is testing scents, opened in Grasse in 1926 and was named after local painter Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806). Founder Eugène Fuchs introduced the novel idea of selling perfume directly to the tourists who started visiting Provence soon after World War I.

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