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Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
Ranked #4 of 316 Shopping in Florence
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Started in the 16th century by Dominican friars, this is more like a museum than a perfume shop since it stocks an awesome range of perfumes, herbal elixirs and soaps based on, of all things, vinegar.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities
Sheffield, England, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Beautiful!”
Reviewed June 1, 2014

A friend had recommended a visit here and I'm certainly glad to have gone. Not difficult to find once you know which road to take - just off the square with the Santa Maria Novella Church. It's free to go in - perfumes, lotions and potions are on sale but it's not required that you make a purchase.
What a step back in time, and what a luxurious time - chandeliers, glass fronted ceiling high cabinets, porcelain, gold leaf, statuary, paintings. All is quiet, calm and cool. Well worth a visit.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Jackie T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Florence, South Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
370 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 170 helpful votes
“Fascinating from every aspect”
Reviewed May 30, 2014

I had read about the Officina Profuma di Santa Maria Novella in my guidebook and thought it would be an interesting diversion. Little did I know what a big deal it is! It is unremarkable from the street, as many European places are, but what a gorgeous place on the inside! The marble entrance is impressive, as are the ceilings and furnishings. The product line being sold here is quite extensive and its roots are ancient. The elixirs and tonics are so interesting to read about. We actually made two trips because we were in "overload" on the first one. The retail method is one I've never experienced. When you are ready to buy products, they give you a plastic card. You visit each department and tell them what you want. They put it on your card electronically, then you take the card to the checkout area and they bring your basket to the front already filled. Global Blue tax free is available here.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank KelekeWahine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Level 6 Contributor
347 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 323 helpful votes
“Awesome, a trip back in time”
Reviewed May 30, 2014

What a gorgeous place. So worth a visit, even if you don't buy anything. The store is over 400 years old, the gardens are gorgeous. Great experience. The products are expensive, but I bought a facial regeunative serum and it's amazing. Also, Santa Maria Novella is a beautiful church with few crowds.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank KWS63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ely, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
“Fabulous”
Reviewed May 28, 2014 via mobile

Great shop - beautifully set out, lovely architecture and gorgeous products. Despute whar people have said, this is really easy to find. Take the Scala Rd off the Piazza where Santa Maria Novella Church is and it is on the right a little way down - look out for the blue awning out front. Well worth a visit and not outrageously expensive for what it is.

Helpful?
Thank PhilStevens80
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Paris
Level 6 Contributor
102 reviews
45 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 136 helpful votes
“Gem of a place, beautiful, refined ... and expensive”
Reviewed May 26, 2014

This perfumery/herbal shop has been in existence for 300 years, it is housed is a gem of a house, with gorgeous antique paintings and decor. It looks very old-fashioned/vintage, refined, and luxurious. Of course, the price tags are also very .. refined. I liked their soaps and the herbal teas/tisanes I purchased there are absolutely outstanding and worth the money. I would definitely repurchase. I also recommend their famour "pot-pourri". Their fragrances I did not like as much as the rest, however. The salesladies are quite patient, given the sometimes rude way the tourists tend to behave (as far as I was able to witness while I was there).
They have a beautiful tea room, but it was closed when I visited.

Visited May 2014
Helpful?
Thank Mary P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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