Santa Maria Novella: the World’s Oldest Pharmacy

Officina Profumo Santa Maria Novella, born in Florence, creates tailor-made fragrances.

Perfume fits you like a dress that clings to your emotions, following the movement of your body, offering reassurance and communicating your well-being, personality and character, as well as being one of the most powerful tools of seduction.

Choosing a fragrance that matches your mood and the moment you are living is no easy task, and can take some time. First of all, you need to discover the olfactory family to which your desired scent belongs.

Citrus perfumes are set apart by notes of orange blossom and other similar scents and are typically preferred during the warmer months, or worn during the day for their freshness and lightness.

Floral perfumes, obtained from flowers such as rose, freesia, gardenia and tuberose, to name a few, can be monofloral, consisting of only one flower, or offer a more complex bouquet. Rich in sweet and enveloping notes, they emphasise the wearer’s femininity and are the perfect finishing touch for any look.

Oriental or amber perfumes such as frangipane, carnation and amber, are warm and aromatic fragrances, enriched with spices, created to suit a kaleidoscopic personality.

Woody fragrances are made up of drier notes such as sandalwood, or herbaceous plants such as vetiver and opopanax resin (best known as sweet myrrh), and are typically preferred by a male audience.

Finally, the green “Fougère” scents of lavender and hay are loved for their discreet presence, and are often worn by doctors or professionals who are in close contact with the customers.

Having identified the olfactory family that best suits you, the next important step is consulting a professional who can guide you through the selection process, first by spraying different perfumes onto paper strips (mouillettes) and then testing them on the skin, preferably the wrists, to allow a reaction that is both chemical and alchemical to take place, because finding the perfect perfume is truly magical.