In 1920, Marius Laborma, the company’s founder, launched his business by marketing local plant and flower extracts such as rose, bitter orange peel, and jasmine. In that day, perfume-plant production was at its peak and Grasse had been crowned the perfume capital of the world. 

 

Jasmine, treasured for the sweet fragrance it breathes into the summer nights, is a demanding plant that requires regular maintenance. In Marius Laborma’s day, the soil was plowed using draft horses, then carefully prepared so that plant’s roots had the ideal environment for development. The expert hand of man then intervened in the various stages of grafting, planting, fertilizing, pruning, and trellising, helping the plant to flourish and produce a blanket of blooms come summer.

 

The jasmine harvest took place from mid-July to mid-October, the period during which the flowers exuded the most intense fragrance. The blossoms, being extremely fragile, were delicately collected by hand, from dawn until late morning, and then quickly processed at the factory. It was a time when the cold enfleurage technique was widely used in Grasse: The fresh flowers were placed on a layer of fat so that odors were absorbed by the substance before the blooms faded. The resulting ointments were then reprocessed with alcohol to obtain the jasmine absolute so prized by perfumers.