Souvenir Sunday – Florence


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Perfume is not the only thing I came back from Florence with (distended belly, some leather goods and a fresh appreciation for a certain Signore David), but it is the most memorable. Along with many other things, Florence is home to one of the world’s oldest pharmacies: Old Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella or Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella. Started in 1221 by Dominican friars, the pharmacy is located in it’s original location and continues to serve customers today while also being a museum.


Images borrowed from

The many rooms in this pharmacy are decadent, historic and so Italian. They continue to use herbs grown locally and everything is made in Florence. I was tempted by all the creams and herbal remedies that the shop produces and stores and probably would have bought more if someone had made a hard sell. Alas, that didn’t happen which is probably for the best.

The perfume here is quiet extraordinary ranging from eau de toilette to triple extracts to pure essence. The perfume display is as extraordinary as the scents themselves. It looks like it belongs in Dumbledore’s office.

I wish I could post the scents, but one really does have to take a trip to Florence to smell everything. Here is a list of the pharmacy’s current offerings. I happily left with the Estratto Triplol (triple extract) Iris perfume and some Patchouli Eau de Cologne.  The packaging is as stunning as the products themselves – so these also make easy to pack presents!!




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