This year, the Florentine wonder that is Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (Santa Maria Novella for the aficionados), celebrates the 400th birthday of its establishment (and I thought I was getting older at 32...) But really, what started as the apothecary for the Dominican Friars of the eponymous church has been in existence since the 13th century...
I fell in love with this amazing beauty and skincare range the year I got married, when we travelled to Florence for a long week-end. We stayed in a house literally a couple of doors down from the original pharmacy, and dropped by to visit the museum towards the end of our stay. That's where I learned about the traditional recipes and the ancient preparation techniques that are still used in the pharmacy... As you can imagine we flew back laden with soaps, colognes and body lotions... (that's me, all about moderation!)
More than five years later, I still can't resist their Lavanda Ambrata cologne and their soaps are, for me, amongst the best, classic and simple yet heavenly smelling. Of course their classical packaging also looks absolutely fabulous in my bathroom, so that's an added bonus! I couldn't resist popping into their Piccadilly shop the other day, just for a little refill really...
Santa Maria Novella
117 Walton Street
Enjoy the sunshine everyone!