Thursday, April 5, 2012

Heaven Scent

When a luxury product has been around for centuries like Santa Maria Novella, there's a good chance that splurging on a nice gift is always worth it. Last night I attended a mix and mingle event at LAFCO New York with founder Jon Bresler and his informative team at the Dallas Highland Park Village shop. As my nose was allured by the aromas of Santa Maria Novella fragrances for the first time, my brain was transfixed in learning the rich history of the line. 

The Santa Maria Novella church in Florence is home to one of the world's oldest pharmacies where Dominican monks first started creating lotions and potions in the 13th century. Since 1612, it has evolved into a high-end line of products with truly exquisite packaging. 

The fleur du lis, cherubs, and lush garden flowers featured on this soap box are so delightfully charming that I considered buying it for the packaging alone. Each bottle of lotion, soap, cream, and perfume had lovely Italian illustrations and intricate typography. It all reminded me of this beautiful stationery that my dear friend Sally gave to me from Florence. She currently lives in Rome and is a travel planner extraordinaire through her business, A Slice of Tuscany. You should definitely check it out if you are planning on taking a trip to Italy. 

I thought about Sally often as I quite literally stopped to smell the roses, something that as Americans we don't do often enough. Ever since I heard Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness Project, speak on cultivating your sense of smell, I've tried to recognize scents better in my daily life. It made me smile to see that House & Home, LAFCO's modern candle collection, was named after different rooms in a house and different types of dream homes. 

Of course, my favorite scents all happened to be rooms that I don't have in my small space. 

These candles were featured on Oprah's Favorite Things list in 2010. We all know that if Oprah likes it, it must be good. 

A big thanks to LAFCO New York for treating my nose and teaching me the history of Santa Maria Novella. Happy 400th Birthday! 


Sally said...

Great entry! I wish I could smell Santa Maria Novella :) The pharmacy definitely a place you should pop into the next time you're in Florence. The building has stunning frescoed ceilings and ornate woodwork throughout. It feels more like you're entering a spa than a "farmacia".
Great post, Al!
- Sal

Jennifer B said...

Wow! Sally, now I want to go to the Basilica. What scent do you recommend for Spring or Summer?