In Paris it’s parfumeurs, and in Florence it’s Dominican monk-operated apothecaries. Santa Maria Novella, born in the city of the Ponte Vecchio, has been churning out salves and rosewater for years, much to the delight of the beauty-savvy crowd that can’t get enough of their products.
There was a time when fragrance lovers had to jet over to Italy to get their favorite scent from Santa Maria Novella. Little by little, the centuries-old brand allowed select distributors to carry a few products but it just wasn’t the same. Enter the Bon Marché, fresh from a discreet face lift, and its new Santa Maria Novella shop. It’s (almost) all there: the dizzying array of colognes for both men and women, candles, and a skincare line that feels as good at it looks.
The shop is more than a booth – there is space to stroll around, browse, and try before finding the ultimate fragrance. It would be hard not to find the one: Santa Maria Novella scents range from floral to spicy, woody to sweet, yet never cloying. Evocative creations such as Alba di Seoul give a good reason to stray, just this one time, from the French masters. It’s the perfect gift: the one that has the beauty and the brains, too.