The industrial group expert in the development of natural raw materials, with customized equipment and packaging, since 1833

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TOURNAIRE, 185 years of innovation Key dates

Founded in 1833 in Grasse (France), the global perfume capital, TOURNAIRE has acquired considerable expertise concerning the processing of natural materials (extraction, subcritical extraction, rectification, evaporation, filtration…) and the transportation of sensitive and hazardous materials (the widest range of “barrier” packaging in the world, made from aluminium and extruded plastic).

With a pioneering attitude to the development of industrial tools and processes (including a number of “world firsts”), the major moments in the history of TOURNAIRE were:


1833 Birth of the corporation of perfume plant distillers leading to that of the boilermakers, who extend their expertise to encompass the manufacturing of stills. Joseph Tournaire moves into a modest workshop in Grasse in the Alpes-Maritimes
1900 Gustave Tournaire, an “Arts & Métiers” engineer, produces stills and a range of estagnons (containers) made from tin-plated copper for the industry in Grasse, French liqueur makers and European perfumers.
1930 Marcel Tournaire further builds on the family expertise by including the production of aluminium estagnons, produced as a single piece, thus ensuring that the containers are completely watertight.
1950 Jean Tournaire takes the company into other industrial markets, which require the containers to be very clean and the closing mechanisms to be extremely watertight (pharmaceutical ingredients, agrochemicals…). Two Divisions are created: Tournaire Équipement and Tournaire Emballage.
1960 The first floating filter extractor is designed by Gilbert Tournaire and installed for a Grasse perfumer.
1960-70 René Tournaire industrialises the production of aluminium containers (with the introduction of the first extrusion presses and the first swaging machines) while creating the first inviolable seals. The TOURNAIRE company embarks on international exports.
1980-90 TOURNAIRE increases the sophistication and the variety of its means of production (automatic scouring and oxidation unit for containers, plastic injection, production of co-extruded plastic packaging…) while finding solutions to more and more technical requirements from the customers (supercritical CO2 extraction unit, the first dryer for pharmaceuticals, the first condensation tower…).
2000-10 The first certifications: ISO 9001 for both the Packaging and Equipment Divisions, then ISO 14001 for the whole Grasse site. Acquisition of an American distributor (Elemental Containers) and creation of a plastic packaging production site in Châlon sur Saône, in partnership. Creation of the TOURNAIRE In-house School to transmit and preserve the “tricks of the trade” and unique professions.
2010-20  Ongoing technical (first subcritical water extractor pilot – automation of the first technical packaging line) and geographic expansion, with the opening of distribution and production subsidiaries and representative offices on all the continents.


Whereas the roll-out of TOURNAIRE’s business activities has always been dependent on the issues faced by its customers, the TOURNAIRE company and brand have now reached a critical mass and the awareness needed to be able to grow through new and prospective customers on all the continents, whether it is in the business of providing (1) processes for natural products, a fundamental, long term trend in the global economy, (2) technical packaging to preserve sensitive materials, or (3) its expertise through engineering and covering around thirty specific businesses.

To find out more about the history of TOURNAIRE click here, contact TOURNAIRE click here.