Rome – Profumo di Santa Marie Novella

If you walk between Piazza Navona and the Pantheon you will cross Corso Rinascimento and pass close to Profumo Santa Maria di Novella. I’d heard that this elegant perfumery, which started as a pharmacy run by Dominican Friars, is a haunt of those in search of sensory delights.

So while the rest of my family sat relaxing in a cafe nearby, I left them to seek it out. The Roman branch is is small with walls lined with dark wooden glass cabinets, like an old fashioned pharmacy and a table in the middle with fragrances and soaps laid out to smell.

The assistant spoke good English and talked me through the different products. Although I could have gone mad on some wonderful fragrances and creams, I remembered all the perfumes I still had in my drawer at home, and limited myself to a few boxes of travel soaps to give as gifts. They made sure that they packaged them up on their special bags with a long list of all the products popped inside.

Why not try the signature Melograno (Pomegranate) which apparently smells like a combination of gold musk and pencil-eraser, drying down with a hint of leather. Or there’s the Acqua di Colonia, a citrus-floral with lots of orange blossom, which was reputedly created for Catherine de Medici – if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me.

The branch in Florence is more like a perfume museum than a shop – I found some pictures of it below. I don’t think I could resist treating myself in a place like this.

The Roman branch is at Corso Rinascimento 47, Near Piazza Navona.

Photos by Curious Expeditions on Flickr 

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  • Reply
    Jen @ Santa Letters
    August 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    Wow – this is the kind of place my daughter would adore! Architecture and old fashioned store are similar to the original cologne shop in, guess where, Cologne, Germany.

  • Reply
    Heather Cowper
    August 10, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Yes Jen, I gather that the store in Florence (pictured) is even more of an experience than the Rome store that I visited.

  • Reply
    The Pantheon - in Rome | Heather on her travels
    June 1, 2011 at 8:58 am

    […] Posts Street entertainment in Piazza Navona Profumo di Santa Marie Novella – In Rome Chiesa Santa Maria in Trastevere – in […]

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