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The scents of the south of France

Laura in Provence

This week I’m lucky enough to be spending a week (actually 8 days!) away on holiday with my husband in the south of France. We started with a couple of days in Monte Carlo, then onto a blissful hilltop hotel near Salon de Provence, and finishing our trip in Cagnes Sur Mer, just south of Nice.

And while we’ve had a lot of time to relax I’ve been distracted by all the beautiful scents in this region & thought I'd write a little something about it.

To start at the beginning of our trip I was thinking about Monte Carlo and aside from the smell of money(!), another yet somewhat unusual scent in the area, would be the exciting scent of warm rubber. Not classically a very popular scent with many, but there’s something exciting about it as you walk through the streets of Monaco. I’ve never seen so many super-cars in my life, and even a little Renault Twingo feels like a star driving through those streets, rev’ing up the engine, giving us a little hit of rubber. Naturally, this isn't all Monaco smells of but it was just one interesting scent I wanted to pick out.

Monte Carlo

Next, onto Provence. It's hard to miss the green and intoxicating scent of Pine in this region. It’s definitely not unique to the south of France, as I know a lot of people associate Pine with warm holidays in general but it's a winner none the less. Being here, surrounded by it is such a treat for the nose and I imagine will conjure up memories of this trip for years to come. It’s made me think that’d it’d be a nice present for brides or grooms getting married in the area to give their guests. Perhaps a nice little pine scented candle to remember their day when they get home. Just a thought ;)

As well as Pine, our old classic Lavender will also now remind me of this trip as the hotel we were staying in had lots of it dotted around, and it’s also commonly found growing wild in this beautiful region. It’s not a scent for everyone when used to scent beauty products or candles, but in it’s natural environment it’s an absolute classic which is beautifully complemented by a warm climate in my opinion.

Lavender in Provence

And finally, not to miss out my favourite, there is also quite a bit of Rosemary growing wild in the area it seems. I hadn’t actually noticed this myself but since my husband pointed it out to me earlier (he was a little smug to have pin pointed this one before me!) I’ve realised that it’s all just part of the scent of the area. And after a little reading up about the area, it seems that in fact, this ‘scent of the area’ has it’s own name; ‘garrigue' (gah-REEG). The signature scent of the south of France, described as a mix of piney shrubs, spicy herbs and sweet flowers. Who knew!

I feel a little south of France scented candle coming on when I get home.

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