Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella: the perfume made in Florence

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella: the perfume made in Florence

PHOTOS & SPANISH VERSION BELOW

In this mythical perfumery of Florence with four centuries of history, one senses that nothing wrong could ever happen. Moreover, a walk through its premises makes you feel as weighty as Catherine de’ Medici, queen of France as well as customer of a brand that today still sells the same scent created only for her: Acqua della Regina. Francesco Carlino, responsible for the establishment, gently shows and explains to me every corner and detail of the site, such as the original store overlooking the cloister of the Santa Maria Novella basilica, which today houses the herbal section of the business; the apprentice rooms on the first floor, where future employees of the firm are trained; the old office of the friar, with a strategic window porthole from where he used to control all activity in the store; the machinery used to manufacture perfumes, elixirs, air fresheners, hygiene and toilet articles; the old chapel with frescoes from Giotto’s school; or the church, today transformed into the main room of the store. The original site was a pharmacy founded by the Dominican monks in 1221. Given its success, it opened to the public in 1612 as perfume manufacturer, thus becoming the oldest in Europe today. In the second half of the nineteenth century, it passed into the hands of the state, which ceded its management to the nephew of the last friar director. This family has since then controlled the empire.
Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Via della Scala 16


Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella: el perfume made in Florence

En esta mítica perfumería de Florencia con cuatro siglos de historia nada malo podría pasarnos. Uno pasea por sus dependencias sintiéndose tan importante como Catalina de Medici, reina de Francia y cliente de esta marca con solera, que todavía hoy comercializa el perfume que en su día crearon únicamente para ella: Acqua della Regina. Francesco Carlino, responsable del establecimiento, me muestra y explica gentilmente cada rincón, cada detalle: la tienda original con vistas al claustro de la basílica Santa Maria Novella que hoy alberga la sección herbolario del negocio; las salas de training en la primera planta, donde se adiestra a los futuros trabajadores de la firma; el antiguo despacho del fraile desde donde este controlaba la actividad de la tienda a través de una ventana estratégica estilo ojo de buey; la maquinaria antigua con la que se elaboraban los productos de la casa (perfumes, elixires, ambientadores, artículos de higiene y aseo…); la antigua capilla con frescos de la escuela de Giotto; o la iglesia, hoy transformada en la sala principal de la tienda. Esta antigua farmacia, fundada por los monjes dominicos en 1221, es la más antigua de Europa. Dado su éxito, en 1612 abrió al público. En la segunda mitad del siglo XIX pasó a manos del estado, que cedió su gestión al sobrino del último fraile director, familia que desde entonces controla el imperio.
Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, Via della Scala 16

Author Gravater

Paco Neumann

Paco Neumann is a journalist, photographer, proofreader, flâneur and perpetual amateur currently living in between Florence, Berlin and Tenerife. He´s been a regular contributor to fashion, art, trend and lifestyle magazines and worked for news, advertising and communication agencies

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