Among the traditional crafts of the city, the art of creating perfumes stands out. An old profession that doesn’t seem to fade and is still looking for new olfactory experiences and unique essences.
Founded in 1612, the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is known worldwide for a tradition that started in Medieval Florence thanks to the monks from Santa Maria Novella. The friars began cultivating medicinal herbs in their gardens to prepare medications, balms and ointments for their convent’s small infirmary. In 1381 they began selling acqua di rose; they got famous by creating Acqua della regina (The Queen's water) for Caterina de’ Medici’s wedding with Hernry II of France in 1533 and now a best seller; in 1614 they created Acqua antisterica, now known as Acqua di Santa Maria Novella.
Immersing yourself in the old rooms of via della Scala is like going back in time, between frescos, old apothecary vases, perfumes: it feels like visiting a museum.
A bit far from the city center but next to Villa Medicea di Petraia you’ll find a plant garden, a large green space where flowers and essences are cultivated with love: if you want to visit it, make sure you make a reservation first.
Lorenzo Villoresi turned his passion into his job in 1991. His laboratory in via dei Bardi, in front of Ponte Vecchio, is a must see for frangrance lovers who want a personalized perfume made by Lorenzo himself. He is known world wide and has won several awards.
It is now possible to visit this perfume universe and live a unique multi sensory experience thanks to a new museum tour that can be made in Lorenzo's workshop and which has its core in Osmorama, a library of smells with a great collection of aromatic ingredients and more than 80 plants from which they used to obtain the essences.