17 November 2022
Flowers are appreciated in nature, in gardens and in bouquets. But not only by honeybees, bumblebees or gardeners… In the Nice Côte d’Azur region, flowers are also loved in the kitchen, in perfumery, in essential oils or even on floats. Here is a small glimpse of the local know-how surrounding the work of flowers!
1 – Flowers in the perfume industry
Flowers release various fruity, floral, green or powdery notes, creating an exclusive olfactory bouquet.
Want to know how? We’ll let you in on the secret…
Free guided tours are offered 365 days a year to discover the secrets of the creative process that leads from flowers to perfume. For example, “enfleurage”, an extraction technique based on the use of a fatty substance and its ability to naturally absorb odours. Enfleurage can be done hot, or cold for the most fragile flowers such as jasmine or tuberose. The absolute is then extracted from the fat saturated in essential oils, called pommade, by a treatment with alcohol.
Are you curious? Go to one of the two perfume shops in Èze-Village! You will also be able to buy quality products at factory prices.
- Founded in 1747, the House of Galimard continues to offer the world exceptional scents and perfumes. 275 years after its creation, this company, which has remained entirely family-owned and managed in the respect of tradition, perpetuates its know-how and invites visitors to retrace the history of perfumery and its manufacturing processes.
- Inaugurated in 1968, the Parfumerie Fragonard d’Èze offers a visit to the perfumery as well as to the cosmetics laboratory where the brand’s creams and other body care products are developed.
Create your own perfume!
Assisted by a Master Perfumer, become an “apprentice nose” thanks to perfume “organs” made up of dozens of essences beautifully arranged and classified into top notes, middle notes and base notes. Awaken your senses and your olfactory memory with the advice of a professional and leave with an eau de toilette spray in your image. This personalised approach to designing the “perfume that suits you” is a unique and original experience for young and old. In addition, to enable you to place new orders in the future, the formula of your composition will be kept for life by the company…
Workshops proposed by the two perfumeries of Èze-Village !
Top tip: Since you are in Èze, climb to the top of the village and visit the splendid Jardin Exotique. The panorama is breathtaking, the vermilion tiles of the houses contrast with the deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea, hundreds of plants stand around the remains of the old castle… Cacti, agaves, aloes stand out against the horizon; this garden is intimate, relaxing, beautiful…
2 – Flowers in confectionary
If you have a sweet tooth, come to the port of Nice for a free guided tour and tasting at the Confiserie Florian.
This gourmet mecca in Nice has been open since 1974. A small museum tells the story of the arrival of cocoa in Nice and the history of the Florian company.
All year round, the workshop-boutique welcomes visitors from all over the world to discover the making of sweets, candied fruits and chocolates. You will witness the transformation of the best fruits and the most beautiful flowers of the region. You will discover the work of the violet, the Tango rose, the jasmine and the verbena transformed into delicious crystallized flowers, syrups, flavoured teas or even flower confits! As beautiful to see as to eat… Absolutely irresistible!
3 – Flowers in apiculture
The mountains and valleys of the Nice Côte d’Azur region are full of honey flowers. Acacia, lavender, orange blossom, thyme, heather, myrtle… From these flowers with their subtle perfumes, our bees produce honey full of flavour.
The bee farms welcome you to discover their work and their products. Taste the honey of our mountains and the products derived from it (nougat, gingerbread, candy…)!
- Les Saveurs de l’Oustal (visit by appointment) in Clans
- Des Abeilles et des Fruits in Belvédère
- Miellerie Chez Patrica et François Guerinot, in Belvédère
You can also find good products from local producers in the Le Goût de Nice shop.
4 – Flowers in cooking
Spices : Saffron
Do you know the Sativus Crocus? No? Well, you have surely already tasted it. This pretty purple flower has the ability to produce Saffron, a spice that is commonly called “Red Gold”.
After a deep sleep during the summer, the pretty bud slowly opens in mid-autumn. It is necessary to be quick to harvest the flower at dawn, before it fades during the day… A flower as evanescent as it is mysterious. An ephemeral life which makes the work of the saffron growers very intense!
Two saffron producers welcome you near Nice:
Fritters : Courgette flowers from Nice
This is an unexpected but delicious speciality of Nice: The fritter of long courgette flowers from Nice! Only the male flowers (those that will not bear fruit) are used for this. They are picked at dawn by local producers or by those lucky enough to have a vegetable garden. The flowers, then widely open and bright yellow, attract connoisseurs who must cook them the same day, usually fried. They must then be eaten without delay. The taste is subtle and delicate. Everyone loves them, including me… But you will have already guessed that!
5 – Flowers in essential oils or in herbal tea
Alongside the aromatic plants, the wild mountain lavender is hand-picked in summer, then transformed into essential oils, floral waters or cosmetic vegetable oils at the Les Senteurs du Claut farm in La Tour-sur-Tinée. The first lavender harvests are carried out at 1200 metres, then at 1400, 1600 and 1800 metres. One of the great specificities of the farm lies in these four levels of altitude to produce four different essential oils of wild lavender. This magical place has the power to sublimate our senses in all directions… Products made from lavender, but also from rose, orange blossom or aromatic plants… Take advantage of the shop and the guest room to share the owners’ passion for plants and love for the Living!
In Cap d’Ail, Muriel Iris has a thing for flowers! This passionate herbalist grows medicinal plants and aromatic herbs organically or collects them in the wild. Lemon balm, lavender, verbena, sage, mint, rosemary, calendula… are then transformed into herbal teas, floral waters or essential oils to be sold at markets or to the big names in the Côte d’Azur restaurant trade. Muriel also picks the flowers of the bitter orange trees that grow in her commune, notably in the Jardin des Douaniers, and transforms them into organic orange flower water. She also opens her farm to offer family herbalist workshops. Go and meet her in Cap d’Ail.
6 – Flowers as a poetic component of the Nice Carnival
Every winter, for a fortnight, carnival parades and flower battles attract visitors from all over the world during the renowned Nice Carnival.
The Flower Parades are unique events in the world that contribute to this reputation. Costumed actresses parade on floats decorated with flowers and distribute tens of thousands of flowers to the public at each event!
The Flower Parades highlight the great floral diversity of the region, as 80% of the flowers used are locally produced, such as the mimosa. Also the know-how of the florists of Nice who prick the fresh flowers onto the metal structures in the 72 hours preceding the parades. Their work adds value to some 250,000 stems of flowers!
@OTM NCA / J.Kelagopian, A.Issock, Ville de Nice
7 – The Garden Festival, an ode to nature and the talents of professionals
Every two years, in Nice and in some surrounding towns, the garden festival takes place.
The Festival des Jardins de la Côte d’Azur 2023 will take place from Saturday 25 March to Sunday 1 May 2023. The theme of this 4th edition will be “Surprising perspectives”. This biennial event honours the most beautiful ephemeral gardens through an international competition and events for the general public. All the expertise of the best professionals is required! Landscape architects, landscape companies, landscape architects, landscape gardeners and architects, designers, artists, scenographers, but also students enrolled in the last year of the National School of Architecture and Landscape… All the talents are expressed!
In Nice Côte d’Azur, flowers are in our DNA!
Don’t miss the sublime flower market on the Cours Saleya either!