I didn’t think while I was abroad I would find myself able to revisit any of the places that I traveled to, but I’m happy to say that my original assumption was incorrect. During my spring break I took a solo day trip to visit the the beautiful city of Florence again and had a blast. I was able to revisit all of my favorite places from my first trip, as well as make it to a few new places.
One of my favorite visits was to Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Florence is well known for its perfumes, but in the midst of running to all the other must sees of the city I had originally forgotten about this. It was a funny coincidence that I choose to walk in this time, but I’m so glad I did. It is super understated and easy to miss, so make sure you mark it on your map beforehand.
The shop was originally a pharmacy founded by Dominican friars around the year 1221 for any ailments in the infirmary. In 1612 it was opened to the public and has stayed that way since. It has all of the qualities and charm of Florence all in one building. From the outside you would never guess how beautiful it is, but the inside is completely enchanting. You are suddenly transported back through time as you walk through the wooden doors and stone entry. Immediately upon entering you are greeted by the sweet scents of the profumeria. There are incredible glass chandeliers and woodworks throughout the rooms. If you don’t go for the perfume, definitely go just to walk though and see the architecture. There is so much history in this place, it is breathtaking.
All of the products are made in the apothecary and they continue to use the same ancient recipes from the founding fathers. The sales people are extremely knowledgeable and are able to help you pick out whatever scent fits you best. There is also a skin care line including: lotion, bath salts, soaps, and even a room dedicated to room scents, so you can pick out your favorite and bring it back home with you. They are a little pricey, but nothing too crazy and it is most definitely worth the experience.
It’s a hidden treasure of the city that you don’t normally hear about. So, next time you are in Florence make sure to take a moment and stop in to bring a little piece of history home with you. Or, if you are dying to try some of their products and can’t make it to the original shop, they do have a few stores located in the US including in: Florida, Maryland, California, and New York. Enjoy smelling!
For more information check out: http://www.smnovella.com