Thursday, October 18, 2012

Officina profumo farmaceutica S.M.Novella: factory and store visit

The perfumes collection

Scents for drawers 

I finally decided to write about my visit to Officina Profumo S.M. Novella in Florece. I first visited the factory and then I went to the store where Francesco was waiting for me for the visit. The pharmacy started back in the 1221 started by the Dominican friars and was opened to the public in May 1612. The friars used to use medical herbs to cure people and some of their mix are still sold in the store. The store used to be in the same place, but the main entrance was built in the XIX century: the old entrance was on the courtyard and it was overhung by Matteo Nigetti's sculture of a seashell. Nobles were welcomed in the pharmacy and they could taste some hot chocolate while choosing their herbs and perfumes. One of the first medicine created by the friar Angiolo Marchissi was the anti-histeria water: an alcoholic calming and refreshing lotion.Till 1869 the friars owned the pharmacy. Today, the production is not anymore where the store is, but they keep using the typical recipes and some ingredients are still top secret. They sell herbs, lotions, candles, creams, soaps, perfumes, licors... the choice is enormous and the temptation is to try everything. Most of their product have fascinating stories: like the vinegar of the 7 robbers, la Marescialla, Angel's of Florence cologne or Nostalgia. This year, for the 400th anniversary, they have presented two scents, Porcelain and Brass. A 360° delving experience. People come from all over the world and while Asiatics are fascinated by creams and colognes, Japaneses love rose's water and client's from Florence are affectioned to this place and keep trusting their quality and experience. 

Perfume process
Essences are mixed with alcohol for about half an hour. The perfume is pushed at 10°C under Nitrogen (in order to eliminate Oxygen) to maturation columns. Oxygen may alterate the perfume and it makes go bad faster the natural essences. Perfumes need to rest for about a month at controlled temperature and after they are ready to be put into bottles. The whole process is air vacuumed. The design of the bottles had been designed in the 30s and they are still handmade by glass factories around Tuscany.

I will stop here, there's so much to say and it would get boring. If anyone is interested in something more about my visit, general informations about SM Novella or Florence don't hesitate to contact me.

Soap maturation tray

Perfumed terracotta pomegranates

The dip in the perfume of the terracotta pomegranates

The perfume maturation columns

The S.M. Novella store in Florence

No comments:

Post a Comment