the officina profumo-farmaceutica di santa maria novella in florence, italy, was founded in 1612 ....................................................................................

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pharmacy preparations come
complete with groovy, hip packaging


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see this amazing packaging phenomenon:
essences, pomades, spirits, balms, waters,liqueurs
and other preparations of the officina profumo-farmaceutica
di santa maria novella.

adiacent to piazza di santa maria novella is one of
the oldest pharmacies in the world, established by
the dominican fathers shortly after 1221, the year of
their arrival in floence. in the garden, the fathers
began to cultivate the herbs that they need to prepare
medications, balms and creams for the monastery's
little infirmary.
in 1612 the grand duke, fernando I di medici,
gave the dominicans permission to open this little store
- the pharmacy was opened to the public.
a century later their herbal secrets had become
internationally renowned.

the officina profumo-farmaceutica di santa maria novella
has a modest sign near the door and no window in which
to display it’s wares.

many of the officina’s preparations have made history
and have marked an epoch: the essences, as well as
the famous and much requested perfumes,
are still prepared to a large extent following the formulas
studied in 1500 for caterina de’ medici.
the history of 'eau de cologne' is quite special in this regard.
indeed, it seems that this was the essence that
caterina de’ medici, queen of france, took with her to paris,
where it acquired the name of 'eau de la reine'.
later, the italian giovanni paolo feminis, who moved to
cologne in 1725 and began to make it there,
changed its name to 'acqua di colonia', as a tribute to the
city where it was produced.
the 'acqua di rose', rose water, an excellent refreshing tonic
for red eyes, was already available for sale in the second
half of the fourteenth century.
other favourites include the perfumed powders produced
from the ground rhizome of the iris, the flower that grows
freely on the hills around florence in such profusion as to
be adopted as the lily symbol of the city, still represented i
n its coat of arms.

today the farmacia is under the direction of eugenio
alphandery and the traditions are being carried out with
unaltered success.
production is limited and is meticulously controlled.
only the highest quality natural ingredients are used and
the procedures are the same ones used by the pharmacy's
founding fathers.




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in its rooms, as in a jewel casket, the officina hosts frescoes,
furnishings and ancient implements of the pharmacist’s trade,
alongside its products.

/ see the sales room



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the distinctive logo



the fancy shopping bag



all prescriptions are made with herbs and flowers from the hills of florence



soaps, produced with machines dating back to the 1850s, stamped , aged for sixty days in ventilated cabinets and wrapped by hand, piece by piece



all the packaging is reminiscent of the era.



acqua di rose