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In the heart of bustling Shanghai, at the crossroads between tradition and modernity, a century-old colonial-style villa looks out majestically onto a beautiful garden. We are at 1431, Huaihai Middle Road, at the official residence of French Consul General Joan Valadou in Shanghai, where MANE was invited to participate in the event ‘Exploring France’.

The event, which took place on 16 December 2022 and was organised by the Consulate General of France in Shanghai, aimed to promote French culture and Sino-French cultural exchange with the theme #MyRomanticFrance. Many prominent guests from various sectors – journalism, tourism, education, and social media – were in attendance.

Nothing embodies French culture more than fragrance, and industry leader MANE was invited to present the company and the art of French perfume-making. Our team explained how a family company had achieved international growth whilst maintaining independence. Diana Zhai Yue, a perfumer with MANE Shanghai, demonstrated our breakthrough extraction technology Jungle EssenceTM. Guests were also presented with classic ingredients used in French perfumery, such as rose de Mai and mimosa from the French fragrance capital, Grasse, and lavender from sun-filled Provence.

As these captivating scents wafted through the rooms of the magnificent Villa Basset, guests learned all about the history and culture of making perfume. When was the first perfume invented? What is the oldest known method for extracting raw materials? What is the difference between ‘Eau de Toilette’ and ‘Eau de Parfum’? One thing is for certain: after this presentation, attendees will be looking at perfume with new eyes.

After this visual and olfactory feast, guests sat down to a sumptuous meal of delicious French cuisine, another iconic symbol of French culture. The meal was prepared by Joan Valadou and his wife and served with lovely French wine. It was a delightful conclusion to a highly enjoyable event, which explored a romantic, fragrant, and delectable France.