The incontestable legitimacy of Grasse as the world capital of perfume was consolidated at the turn of the twentieth century. Ever since the seventeenth century, local residents had been recognized and esteemed as perfumers, and a prosperous artisanal and agricultural economy was already present.
But the real development of perfume and the worldwide reputation of Grasse occurred along with the Industrial Revolution in France during the final decades of the nineteenth century. Starting in 1860 and especially in the 1880s, dynamic and ambitious companies like Lautier Fils, Cavalier Frères, Payan-Bertrand, Robertet, Tombarel Frères and Sozio invested in the local area and launched the building of vast industrial complexes with factories, warehouses, research laboratories and sales and administrative offices.
The evolution of techniques, the development of modern chemistry, existing know-how combined with ingenious new applications, an abundant supply of labour (primarily feminine in the perfume factories) and an ambition to conquer the international market that also included importing exotic raw materials led the companies of Grasse to worldwide success, which some of them still enjoy today.