Odors have a power of persuasion stronger than that of words, appearances, emotions, or will. The persuasive power of an odor cannot be fended off, it enters into us like breath into our lungs, it fills us up, imbues us totally. There is no remedy for it.
This is what Patrick Süskind wrote in his best seller “Perfume”.
The “perfumed” events in Florence will delight all those who are keen on perfumes. The garden Giardino di Boboli is the feather in the cap of Italian gardens, with its botanical garden and its greenhouse. Close to Piazzale Michelangelo there is the rose garden, il Giardino delle Rose, which is less known because it is open to the public only a few weeks during the year. With more than 1000 botanical varieties, and 350 species of old garden roses, the garden is open to the public from May 1 to June 15.
Flowers, medicinal plants and rare and precious specimens can be found also at the Giardino dei Semplici.
The Florence botanical garden was created in 1545, and it is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, together with those in Pisa and Padua. In 2008 a new way of visiting the garden was created, giving a lot of importance to the senses of smell and touch, so that also blind people can enjoy the visit.
In Florence there is also another important garden in the history of perfumery: the garden of the Dominican friars of Santa Maria Novella. The plants and the flowers grown in that garden during the 14th century were used to produce extracts, ointments, creams and elixirs that were sold in the pharmacy called Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, well-known all over the world. It is located in Via della Scala 16, close to the train station and to Palazzo Strozzi, and it is one of the oldest pharmacies still working in Europe. Visitors can admire the groin vaults, the original neo-Gothic shelves, the frescoes dating back to the 17th century, the cloister and the garden (that can be visited upon reservation), and a valuable collection of old pharmacy tools, while enchanting perfumes fill the air.
At the Florence charterhouse “Certosa di Firenze”, the monks produce and sell perfumes, flower distillates and aromatic liqueurs through old methods, such as steam distillation with wood fire, infusion or pressing. They use only herbs, flowers and roots as raw materials.
The Olfattorio Bar à parfums has nothing to do with the ancient laboratories: it is actually a very modern and captivating place. It is situated in via Tornabuoni 6, in centre of the city and it represents a very important place for perfume experts from all over the world. The Bar à parfums gives everyone, from experts to the general public, the opportunity to discover more than two hundred international perfumes, most of which coming from France and England.
The Brunelleschi Hotel is the ideal Hotel for your stay in Florence. It was built on the remains of the Byzantine Pagliazza Tower (Torre Bizantina della Pagliazza) and the church called “Chiesa di San Michele in Palchetto”. It is situated in the centre of the city, in front of the wonderful Brunelleschi’s dome, and close to the most famous shopping streets and to the most important museums of Florence.