Violets of Toulouse
Toulouse is the capital of France’s southern region and is near the Spanish border.
The violet flower was introduced to France by Napoléon III in the middle of the 19th century. This humble flower with its delightful fragrance and bold colour has also inspired the city’s nickname of ‘City of Violets’.
Products made from with this perfectly edible violet flower include perfume, liquor, champagne, soap, body lotions, crystalized sugar coated violet candies, essential oils, honey, cakes, cosmetics, flavoured tea, and cookies.
This winter flower has been cultivated in Toulouse since the 1850s and can be drunk as a liquor, eaten, or crystallised to dissolve in champagne, and is a proud emblem of this French city. This flower is known for its medicinal purposes also. It aids breathing and calms headaches – because it contains aspirin!
Every year in the beginning of February, Toulouse celebrates its emblematic flower – the violet. It’s called “Fête de la Violette”. Since the 19th century, this street parade and its accompanying revelry have been painting the town purple in a celebration of Toulouse's favourite flower.