Lancôme: organic roses and creation of perfumes

May 22, 2021

Earlier this month, Lancôme carried out its first harvest of Centifolia roses, cultivated at its estate in Grasse, the world’s perfumery capital. Owner of Domaine de la Rose Lancôme since 2020, the brand cultivates organic Centifolia Roses, among other plant and flower species.

The harvesting typically begins in early May, and takes place at sunrise until noon before the flowers open. This is done daily and manually by loyal and experienced teams who harvest each year. These conditions guarantee optimal freshness for the Lancôme Centifolia rose, known for its delicate green, herbaceous, fruity and luminous notes.

Françoise Lehmann, Lancôme’s Global Brand President, said that, “On the occasion of World Biodiversity Day [May 22], we are happy to have completed our first harvest of roses in our estate in Grasse. The organically grown fields feature a rich biodiversity and illustrate, in tangible ways, Lancôme’s commitments in matters of sustainability and biodiversity. … We are proud to cultivate organic Centifolia rose in Grasse on this exceptional Ecocert-certified land. Our fields will eventually produce around 6 tons of roses per year, which will be used in future Lancôme fragrances. As part of our anchorage in Grasse, we are contributing to protecting the region’s unique heritage and resources and preserving various forms of biodiversity of this ecosystem.”

The presence of Lancôme in Grasse, the city of the Rose of May (Rose de Mai), marks a return to its roots – the rose being the brand’s symbol since 1935. Since April 2021, Lancôme has been a member of the territorial brand Grasse Expertise, which brings together professionals from the perfume, aroma, cosmetics, health and well-being industries that are established in the region.

The Domaine de la Rose Lancôme, comprised of 10 acres of organically farmed fields and century-old terraces, is crossed by two water valleys, and has been undergoing renovations since October 2020. The main objective of these renovations is to restore the agricultural site, while preserving this precious natural heritage that has been cultivated for five centuries.

The terraces play an essential role in the cultivation of fragrance plants. They are the home to flora and fauna that are essential for the ecological balance, they are useful to crops and constitute natural shelters for biodiversity. Thanks to heat retention, they help create an exceptional microclimate that is highly favourable to perfume plant cultivation.

Centifolia roses were planted between December 2020 and February 2021, and will be used in future perfumes of Maison Lancôme. Between April and June, Lancôme will plant new species including tuberose, jasmine, bitter orange and osmanthus. Beyond the existing crops which Lancôme will continue to develop, the brand will extend cultivation to emblematic plants of the Grasse region, such as iris, jasmine, lavender, but also beehives, as well as certain ancient aromatic plants including immortelle and verbena, to preserve and develop biodiversity. All endemic species, reintroduced to Grasse soil, come from Grasse farms.

All images courtesy of Lancôme, copyright Sarah Arnould.


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