That same evening after first hearing about this abstraction of an ancient pharmacy in Florence that used ancient formulas for its perfumes and aromas, I was sitting out to a holiday dinner with COCOCOZY crew members AC and VS, when AC all of a sudden plopped a white bag in front of me and said…”This is from one of my favorite perfumeries…they just opened one on Melrose Place”. It was a beautiful bottle of rose water. AC, who is our COCOCOZY assistant, then went onto inform me that this rose water was “the best” smelling rose water anyone could ever imagine. Her eyes were sparkling with delight. I looked at the bag and it was from Santa Maria Novella.
Cut to 2 days later, on Christmas Eve, my friend SJF came to my family dinner. He gave me a lovely bracelet and exclaimed “I love this store…thought you would like it.” He then jutted a package towards me. I looked at the package…it was a Santa Maria Novella pot pourri. When I looked up at him, he too, like assistant AC and the woman in my office, had a gleam in is eye like he had been hypnotized.
Then just a day or two later…my oh so stylish friend, Jennie O, from San Francisco sent me a text…her daughter had seen something on social media where I mentioned I had received something from Santa Maria Novella. Her text was entirely gleeful, “I hear you have Santa Maria Novella. I love it.”, she said in her posh German accent. “I have been using their lavender soap for years!” she exclaimed.
Seems to me this line of fragrances and cosmetics has taken a hold of a group of people…they are all entranced by it.
So I wanted to share it with you…and this is not an ad…just a phenomenon that I happen to have witnessed and now am part of the club! Pictured in this post are a few pretty things from the Santa Maria Novella store here in Los Angeles on Melrose Place. I told assistant AC that I wanted to do a story on this brand…and within a minute and on her own volition, she grabbed the office camera, went to the store herself and took these photos!
Is there such a thing as a perfume groupies? If so, I know handful of them!
History from Santa Maria Novella website –
“During the thirteenth century, thanks to a growing economic development, Florence attracted crowds of outcasts in search of work, finding asylum in the city centre; they camped in villages where they were miserable and unhealthy. They dedicated themselves to support their new mendicant orders. The Franciscans settled east of the city, where they settled in the area of the shops of the dyers and tanners, polluting water and air and where the church of Santa Croce was built, completed around 1385. The Dominicans settled in the city walls to the north-west: first at the church of San Pancrazio, then in that of Santa Maria delle Vigne, which, in the middle of the fourteenth century, was rebuilt and named the Santa Maria Novella. The Carmelites settled in the south, in a booming area, where workers lived in poor carders and Battilana: Santa Maria del Carmine was consecrated in 1422.”
I love all of the fragrances and perfumes and delicately scented waters I received for the holidays. It is not quite my own obsession yet…but maybe when I visit the store here it will be.
If you are in Florence, Italy, seek out the flagship shop. Here in Los Angeles, you can find Santa Maria Novella on a tiny little street called Melrose Place.
Wishing you a good smelling week ahead…