I met Mrs Francesca on a mild, sunny morning of February seeming to be already spring . She open the doors of her laboratory with a big smile that is always of good omen and she started explaining me her work. She told me the story of her father, Doctor Giovanni d Massimo who decided to leave the chemist to found “Spezierie Palazzo Vecchio” creating great perfumes and natural cosmetics of high quality. The great reveal was a book of recipes of parfumes made by Caterina Sforza also knew as Caterina de Medici. He was very interested in this book and he decided to create these parfumes using modern ingredients instead of those used at that time. Francesca explained me that most of the people ask for natural scents but they don’t realize that there are many plants in nature that are tossic for the body. In the 1600 people used white ingredients such as meat of pigeons (but those staying “under the table therefore more precious than the normal ones), zibetto and ambracane coming from animals for cosmetics to have candide, white skin . Mrs Francesca explained me how to create a parfum, how many people are involved in this art, from those making the fragrance, those keeping alcohol and those blending ingredients. Then she explained me the fact that there are 3 kind of notes, Head, Heart and Bottom
After this lovely “feminine” conversation in which she also spoke about her life, her studies, her years at Microsoft (she speaks perfectly English!) and her passion for this job I made with her “an olfactory journey”
She took the liquid from a small bottle and she made me guess the different fragrances. Every time I had a stick under my nose I start a journey in my past…trying to recognize the smell I was back to Siria with sandalwood, I was back to Sicily with citrus, I was back to my childhood with talcum . Herbs,musk, spices…
Being able to recognize scents is an interesting experience as all as meeting Francesca.
It is not a working experience but it is an evocative experience, it is a training for the sense of smell and culture.
I exit from the laboratorio on a cloud of perfumes and I went to the shop to buy a diffuser for the house.
I chose “La chiantigiana” made with grapes..I need to smell my Tuscan origins in my house but I was spoilt for choice..these products of extreme quality. They are close to me and visiting the shop and the laboratory is a very nice experience but they also deliver their products all over the world.
Maybe in future “Spezierie Palazzo Vecchio” will allow people also to create a parfum blending different scents but the experience I already worth the visit and the time flied!
For more info: https://autenticafirenze.com/esperienza/spezierie-palazzo-vecchio/?lang=en