Lancôme has acquired an estate in Grasse, the historical cradle of contemporary French perfumery. Dubbed Domaine de la Rose by Lancôme, the estate is comprised of 9.9 acres organically farmed fields, centuries-old terraces as well as a distillery.
“This estate has been cultivated for around five centuries and the family, who previously owned the estate, is one of the pioneers of organic cultivation of perfume plants in Grasse. Thanks to this exceptional estate, Lancôme becomes an owner and producer of organic roses that will be used in our fragrances,” said Françoise Lehmann, Lancôme Global Brand President.
Organic farming and zero waste goal
Lancôme is already well established in the region through the exploitation of a 12-acre field in Valensole, where are grown the proprietary and exclusive to Lancôme roses as well as the Centifolia rose that are used in its skin care products. The brand has also been exploiting a field in Grasse where the Centifolia rose, jasmine and lavender are cultivated for its fragrances. These three domains represent a total of 24.7 acres, and all benefit from the unique geographical location and climatic influences of the Grass area.
Lancôme’s ultimate ambition is to use all parts of the rose bush - from the flower, to the petal, up to the stem and even the root - to develop new active ingredients with a “zero waste” approach in all production processes.
While the rose is Lancôme’s emblem, other flowers are used in brand’s signature products. Beyond the existing crops that Lancôme will continue to develop - including roses, olive trees, plum trees, fig trees - the brand will grow emblematic plants of the Grasse region such as iris, jasmine, lavender, bitter orange, tuberose, and osmanthus, ancient aromatic plants including immortelle, verbena and Madonna lily, as well as beehives, in a spirit of biodiversity preservation and development.
Reconnect with authenticity
The L’Oréal-owned brand also said this new acquisition would be an opportunity to contribute to the international promotion of the unique treasures of the Grasse region, which have been classified as an intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO. “Lancôme is also keen on sharing know-how around the Rose to internal and external audiences in a spirit of learning and transmission,” added Françoise Lehmann.
In recent years, the Grasse area has seen renewed investment from the various players of perfumery and cosmetics industry, including leading perfume houses like Firmenich and Givaudan, and luxury brands like Dior, or its parent company LVMH.
These initiatives respond to consumers’ expectations for authenticity, natural ingredients and shorter, more local and more traceable supply chains.