1 hour and 30 min
Groups and families
English, Chinese, Italian
This experience will see our sense of smell as the protagonist. We will visit the Officina Profumo Farmaceutica of Santa Maria Novella, the oldest pharmacy in Europe for more than 4 centuries where we will immerse in the history of Florence perfume and we will smell the fragrances that distinguish Florence, so as to remember its particular smell forever: it is the smell of marble, precious stones, iris, leather and jeweler’s gold.
Our guided tour will be held in the magical rooms of Santa Maria Novella shop, more precisely called Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella which is the oldest pharmacy in Florence and in the entire Europe. It has existed for more than four centuries and today still produces and sells soaps, liqueurs, cosmetics, herbal and food specialties as well as Italian perfumes made using the artisanal techniques of Dominican friars.
As early as the 12th century, the Dominican friars, who were in the adjacent Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, were busy cultivating herbs and medicines for the production of ointments and oils for personal use. Only in 1612, however, they decided to officially open Santa Maria Novella pharmacy to the public and sell their products to Florentines and foreigners, making it famous first throughout Europe and over time also in Asia and the whole world.
In the Nineteenth Century, the pharmacy became a council-owned property, but since then it has never undergone substantial changes either in its appearance or production, considering that many of the products on sale are still made following the artisanal techniques of the Dominican friars.
Today it looks like a fascinating, mysterious and ancient boutique/museum where it is possible to buy niche perfumes and high-quality products mainly related to body care. Among its beauties there are also the wonderful frescoes rooms, full of details and works of art that will give you the feeling of being in a place rich in history.
To find out more, take a look at my blog article on the origins and history of Santa Maria Novella pharmacy.
Why to book this experience dedicated to perfumes?