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All around Grasse in the south of France, the world is full of flowers.

Maybe most of those old fields of flowers have been sold, turned into “concrete fields” as one rose grower said, or villas.

But the people who live there have kept flowers as their identity, what makes them unique and beautiful. They are the place where flowers and perfume once reigned supreme, and that’s a beautiful identity for any place, so they want to keep it.

(A statue in Grasse of a 17th-century perfumer. Imagine buying perfumes from someone in the streets like this! If only we could somehow blend the beauty of their world with one where we have electricity and vaccinations.)

So flowers show up…in violet flavored ice cream.


(The same place had lavender, rose, and orange blossom with pine nuts. More on this glacier later.)

In trous normands at fine restaurants, where the sorbets are flavored with lavender or thyme or rosemary. (Two of which aren’t flowers, but when you’re eating them, close enough.)


(What a delightful experience this restaurant was in every way, the food, the view, the waiter, the chef, the hostess…)

In guimauve, which is old-fashioned, handmade marshmallow. Cut, as Auer sells them:


Or left in strips, as they are in the big jar in this photo.


The flavors were orangeblossom, violet, anise, and rose.

In the same photo, we find flowers in syrups and liqueurs and jellies. (In French, jelly or jam is a confiture de fruits, but a confit de rose or jasmin or any flower.)

In fountains.


This one flows with eau de rose.

And that is not all, but I must take a break now and go lay me down in a bed of roses…

(Yes, yes, you’ve seen this photo before, but I just love remembering so many sweet-smelling roses.)



23 Comments to Fleurs

  1. Julie kinner

    I had violet ice cream from a cart in Luxembourg Gardens 10 years ago, and have been wanting to find it again ever since! I’m going back to Paris at the end of this month and am hoping to find it again. From your post, it looks like they have it at Angel’Ice – am I reading that right? Any other suggestions as to where to find violet ice cream in Paris? Thanks!!!

  2. Bonjour, Julie! Thanks for stopping by. Angel’Ice is in Grasse, in the far south of France, so I’m afraid that won’t help on your next to Paris. I can’t remember ever running across violet ice cream in Paris, but that doesn’t mean someone won’t have it somewhere. My favorite ice cream in Paris is Gelati d’Alberto on Rue Mouffetard, but he has never had violet that I’ve seen.