Livre Montpellier, Capitale ancestrale du parfum

A look back at a little-known destiny...

From the Middle Ages to the 18th century, Montpellier was a strategic place for the creation of elixirs, scented waters and above all perfumes. The opulence of the Mediterranean trading posts, the prestigious University School of Medicine, the creation of the Jardin des Plantes initiated by Henri IV, and finally the aromatic reservoir of the Montpellier scrubland, all this combination of ingredients enabled the apothecaries to develop the first perfumed compositions

Livre Montpellier, Capitale ancestrale du parfum

Livre Montpellier, Capitale ancestrale du parfum

Montpellier and perfumes, the story of a beautiful unknown alliance

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If the port of Lattes had not unloaded on its quays spices, unknown fruits, mineral and vegetable drugs, if the hinterland of Montpellier had not received this fabulous aromatic plant treasure, if the School of Medicine and the apothecaries of the Languedoc city had not excelled since the Middle Ages, then the history of Montpellier would undoubtedly never have been linked to that of perfumes, these fragrances that the kings and queens of France have adored over the centuries. This is the story of a history within history that is totally unknown.

Its little plus: Its cover is scented with the perfume of the Montpellier Plant Garden, Eau de Belleval, to invite you to go back in time, a journey through the historical past of Montpellier's apothecaries before plunging into the singular history of this olfactory epic.

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BOOK EAU DE BELLEVAL

The opulence of the Mediterranean trading posts with spices from the Levant, the prestigious University School of Medicine where brilliant scholars such as Arnaud de Villeneuve, to whom we owe the technique of alcoholic distillation, and Pierre Richer de Belleval, to whom Henri IV entrusted the creation of the University of Montpellier's Plant Garden, were taught, or Pierre Richer de Belleval to whom Henri IV entrusted the creation of the University of Montpellier's Plant Garden, this formidable combination of ingredients, associated with the fabulous aromatic reservoir offered by the Montpellier scrubland, enabled apothecaries to develop new and increasingly remarkable perfumed compositions.

In the 17th century, there were more than a hundred merchant perfumers in the old town and dynasties were born. Among the most famous, let us mention that of Sébastien Matte La Faveur who reformulated the Eau de la Reine de Hongrie, also called Eau de Montpellier, much appreciated by Louis XIV and Mme de Sévigné, that of Jean Fargeon, perfumer of Melle d'Orléans and later Jean-Louis Fargeon, master perfumer of Queen Marie-Antoinette and the Children of France.

The book retraces this formidable epic, that of the history of perfumes and the city of Montpellier, and which today revives this prestigious past.

Photo credit: Musée Carnavalet

BOOK EAU DE BELLEVAL

The opulence of the Mediterranean trading posts with spices from the Levant, the prestigious University School of Medicine where brilliant scholars such as Arnaud de Villeneuve, to whom we owe the technique of alcoholic distillation, and Pierre Richer de Belleval, to whom Henri IV entrusted the creation of the University of Montpellier's Plant Garden, were taught, or Pierre Richer de Belleval to whom Henri IV entrusted the creation of the University of Montpellier's Plant Garden, this formidable combination of ingredients, associated with the fabulous aromatic reservoir offered by the Montpellier scrubland, enabled apothecaries to develop new and increasingly remarkable perfumed compositions.

In the 17th century, there were more than a hundred merchant perfumers in the old town and dynasties were born. Among the most famous, let us mention that of Sébastien Matte La Faveur who reformulated the Eau de la Reine de Hongrie, also called Eau de Montpellier, much appreciated by Louis XIV and Mme de Sévigné, that of Jean Fargeon, perfumer of Melle d'Orléans and later Jean-Louis Fargeon, master perfumer of Queen Marie-Antoinette and the Children of France.

The book retraces this formidable epic, that of the history of perfumes and the city of Montpellier, and which today revives this prestigious past.

Photo credit: Musée Carnavalet

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