Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella

Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella
4.5
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 8:00 PM
About
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.
Duration: 1-2 hours
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Top ways to experience Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella and nearby attractions

The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Florence Historic Center
How to get there
  • Alamanni-Stazione Santa Maria Novella • 6 min walk
  • Porta al Prato-Leopolda Parco della musica • 10 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • Alison K
    Lodi, New Jersey2,471 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Pretty Perfumeria from the 1200s
    Pretty perfumeria from Medici times. Perfumes are unisex, and a little expensive. My husband was considering something for himself, so we went back twice to try and narrow it down. We ended up not purchasing anything, but it was fun to smell everything and walk through the museum part of it.
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 26 July 2023
  • Grace M
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique and Beautiful
    This was a really cool place! The building is beautiful and the products smell incredible. They are high quality and are priced appropriately. It’s a good spot to get a unique souvenir or gift. It was a little crowded but the same goes for everywhere in Florence this time of year. Please give it a try!
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 6 August 2023
  • VoyagerAimerSourire
    Princeton, New Jersey762 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Paradise if you like both perfume and history!
    his is actually much more than "a perfume shop" it is living history of the art of perfume! Other reviewers have amply covered the actual topic of perfumes at the Inside the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, so we took a different angle and took photographs that had nothing to do with their perfumes! The pics are about details in the decoration of each of the (already richly-decorated) rooms in the Officina, one can lose onself just in the decoration. There was also a temporary exhibit the day we visited, with an immersive sensory experience on theme of flowers). If you are here to buy their products, the staff is very helpful and the system of having a virtual shopping card assigned to you allows you to wander around without having to carry heavy bottles or boxes, which you will get upon final checkout. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to the Officina.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 August 2023
  • CanadianMomma
    London, Canada231 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Lovely Gelsomino!
    Great building and lots of history. The perfumes are lovely, ended up buying a bottle from the Medici line of the Gelsomino (Jasmine). Neat story and history behind the perfume. Service is awkwardly set up and not terribly helpful. Beneficial to remember to bring your passport so you can get the tax credit to bring to airport for refund.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 1 October 2023
  • Tualie
    Varese, Italy1,528 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Herbalists since Medieval times
    Many people just go, look around, photo and leave because the prices are really high. I guess that they justify their prices because of the hand made process and takes lots of raw material to produce; think about thousands and thousands of rose petals to produce few grams of essence after a long distillation process. The perfumery was created by Dominican monks of the nearby monastery of Santa Maria Novella in 1221 (as per products logo) creating balms, elixirs to treat themselves and their rose water was used during the plague. Catherine de’Medici requested a perfumer from this monastery to be part of her court when she moved to France to marry the 2nd son of the then King of France; perfume making formulas (and poisons) started to expand with his arrival in France. The interiors are very beautiful with ceiling frescoes, museum pieces along with their perfumes and cosmetics house products. They also produce liqueurs like the Alchermes (20,00 small bottle).
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 7 October 2023
  • ElizabethEC
    Pittsboro, North Carolina365 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful experience!
    I spent an hour here moving slowly through the beautiful rooms, watching the immersive experience and enjoying the rich history. Greeters limit the amount of people who enter so It never felt overwhelmingly crowded. They have a digital card system so I chose products and redeemed my card at the checkout rom and all of my products were beautifully bagged. Whether you purchase anything or not, do stop in for a special experience.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written 31 October 2023
  • Grant W
    Tupelo, Mississippi1,403 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unique and special gift.
    My wife and I stopped in to the shop on our recent visit. I knew of the history and wanted a special gift for my wife...a nice way to remember our Anniversary trip. The staff is friendly after approaching them and asking for assistance. We tested many different perfumes until she found the one...the shop's namesake. Highly recommend a stop. Very near the S.M. Train station.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 2 November 2023
  • Phil S
    Coulsdon, United Kingdom120 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Charming old perfume shop
    What a beautiful old perfume shop - well worth a visit. There was also a small museum to the perfumer’s art. At the time of our visit there was also an immersive experience in one part of the building - pictures and sound which were delightful.
    Visited November 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 December 2023
  • Angelo S
    Hilliard, Ohio4,987 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Gift of Catherine Medici
    One cannot say enough wonderful things about this shrine to perfume. The building itself is an architectural beauty and the inside is very ornately and delicately decorated - colors, carvings, statues, and frescoes. The one thing that struck me when we entered was not being overwhelmed by a smell of perfume, very different than in the United States. For as beautiful as the place is, the staff are extremely professional and helpful, greeting customers in turn, assisting where they can, and guiding your purchase. You can purchase soaps, creams, and perfume. Everything can be scent sampled and it is truly interesting. Many different rooms with a focus on different products. It is almost a museum as well with a couple of the rooms having historical items from over the years of operation. Even if you don't like perfumes, or scented soaps, it is worth a visit to just look around.
    Visited October 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 December 2023
  • LostInTime
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania21,346 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Perfume.
    I walked over to this place to bring something for my daughter. I waiting in line outside. Once inside it looks cool. It’s supposed to be the oldest perfume store in the world. I bought her a bottle after smelling a lot of them. It was interesting.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled on business
    Written 27 February 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,542 reviews
Excellent
1,018
Very good
364
Average
93
Poor
36
Terrible
31

Estela G
Sao Paulo, Brazil48 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2020 • Solo
Like many others in Florence, the building where this shop is located is absolutely beautiful. Antique pharmacy cabinets and equipments make it a trip to the past.
However, it's still a shop and as such should pay more attention to customer service. The lady helping me was clearly impatient - probably thinking I was not going to buy anything. When I picked my (not that cheap, mind you) Cologne, she could not hide her surprise and instantly started to treat me better. Sad...
Written 27 July 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Judy S
Coffs Harbour, Australia36 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2020
I visited this store in January 2020 and purchased one bottle of the Zagara fragrance and one bottle of the S.M.Novella - total cost 180 Euros. More fool me! I now own the worlds most expensive 100mls. of water - with maybe two drops of fragrance per bottle. Even when sprayed copiously on both my arms, there is absolutely no trace of smell within 20 minutes. My daughter's Zagara is exactly the same - no perfume left in less than 30 minutes. I have emailed the company, but of course they say that's just how it is. I have visited Florence a number of times, and this is the first time in Italy I have been totally conned.
Written 16 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Dan M
Frankfurt, Germany220 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
This was a beautiful perfumeria that has withstood the test of time.

We came primarily to smell Acqua Della Regina commemoratimg the legacy of Catherine de Medici:'s legacy, and, perhaps, buy a fragrance in some form (parfume, soap, potpourri, candle).

The location is beautiful and well cared for. The scents are nice, but there was nothing that was exceptional for our family. The prices are reasonable for a location of this stature. It is worth a visit if you are in the area, but I would not recommend going out of your way to get there.

As a note, they do expect guests to adhere to a dress code similar to when you visit a church. This does depend on the person at the door as we saw people of varying dress entering the building, but it is better safe than sorry.
Written 29 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

rhobags
London, UK17 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2020
I was so glad a friend had told me about this place before I went to Florence as if I had missed it I would have missed out on a real treasure. It has one room where they don't sell anything just go in to admire the frescoes. I did buy goods though - they sell wonderful fragrances there.
Written 9 August 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Emily F
Nashville, TN58 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2021
Even if you're not in the market for perfume, this is a must-see. The interior and history in this pharmacy is incredible and it's fun (and free!) to just look around. I knew I wanted to buy a small perfume as well and the staff was really helpful with finding me something I loved and it feels like a great value. Go here!
Written 28 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alison K
Lodi, NJ2,471 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
Pretty perfumeria from Medici times. Perfumes are unisex, and a little expensive. My husband was considering something for himself, so we went back twice to try and narrow it down. We ended up not purchasing anything, but it was fun to smell everything and walk through the museum part of it.
Written 26 July 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Vadim
Murmansk, Russia34,192 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Solo
Located on Via della Scala, the perfume shop can be considered as the oldest pharmacy in Europe, because it also deals with herbal medicine. After all, the Dominican monks also started with just rose water. The pharmacy has been operating at this place since 1612, so it can be considered as the oldest continuously operating enterprise. The store occupies part of the premises of the former monastery. In the corridor, you are greeted by dried flowers and herbs hanging from the ceiling, ideologically preparing you for the profile of the institution. Marble sculptures of Igea and Galen, representing health and medicine, greet visitors in the atrium. The sales hall is located in one of the chapels of the monastery. The vault by Paolino Sarti and the Gothic cabinets demonstrate the seriousness and history of the institution. The portraits of all the pharmacy directors since 1612, hung on the walls, give solidity and historical significance to the Green Hall. I even wonder how they were able to gather everyone? Did they really draw everyone before the appointment? The next hall of the Herboristeria was called Spezieria in the Middle Ages. It impresses with a rich, even slightly pretentious decor. Fantastic animals and birds, sphinxes and dragons in the Rococo style of the XVIII century are in good agreement with earlier cabinets of the XVII century, in which perfumes, various apothecary dishes and instruments of the previous 4 centuries are placed. Well, actually about the main thing, about perfumery. I wasn't going to buy anything, but I asked about the prices. High. There can be no other way here. After all, the aristocracy of Florence used to buy medicines, poisons and perfumes here. The position obliges...
Written 4 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Amandafclark
2 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
As others have said you are basically paying 80€ for Cologne or in my case 120 as they had conveniently sold out of the small bottle. What you smell in the shop is strong like perfume but it’s only when you get it home and open it you see it’s cologne I think I was also charged an additional €20 for gift wrapping that I didn’t ask for. I said it was for myself and when they said oh is it a gift? I said no but then when I got home I’d paid £140 for cologne that I thought was at least Eau de Toilette and the Gift wrapped cologne that I was just expecting to be €20. At least the staff were polite to me. Did get an air of not belonging through from the other customers like I was continually in their way. I didn’t really get a chance to absorb the point of the place. I’d gift it a miss unless you have lots of money to spare.
Written 13 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Phil S
Coulsdon, UK120 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
What a beautiful old perfume shop - well worth a visit. There was also a small museum to the perfumer’s art.
At the time of our visit there was also an immersive experience in one part of the building - pictures and sound which were delightful.
Written 3 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

KatrinaMolini
Corciano, Italy11,089 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Couples
Active for over 4 centuries, this place is considered one of the oldest in Europe. It started as a pharmacy and now it’s a perfumery. The interior is absolutely stunning and the staff is very polite and professional. If you are visiting Florence, it’s a must see and if you are living in Florence, you are definitely bringing your guests here to impress them.
Written 15 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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OFFICINA PROFUMO-FARMACEUTICA DI SANTA MARIA NOVELLA (2024) All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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