Getting lost in a European city is one of my favourite things… wandering aimlessly through the back streets, soaking up the atmosphere and catching glimpses of those slices of life that you just don’t get if you stick to the main tourist drag are the things that really make a holiday for me.
It was while exploring the back streets of Florence that I came across the Aqua Flor Casa Di Profumeria. The stunning window display was the first thing to catch my eye – beautiful black and white images of Marilyn Monroe and bottles of an exquisite looking fragrance called MM – my curiosity was piqued! It turns out that Aqua Flor, in the Santa Croce neighbourhood of Florence, is so much more than ‘just a perfumery’. Situated in a 16th century palazzo, the building also houses the on-site laboratory for the company as well as the workshop of master perfumer Sileno Cheloni.
I explained to the staff about Perfume Anorak and they offered to give me the full tour of the building and talk me through the history of the company and the fragrances it produces. Needless to say I jumped at the chance – this was a genuine ‘kid in a sweet shop’ moment! From the main Parlour of Essences to the laboratory where antique shelves hold more than 1500 scents, Aqua Flor is a veritable temple of fragrance with everything created and manufactured on site. The company also produces home fragrance, soaps and body products – I could have spent a lot of money! If you don’t find what you are looking for (and if money is no object!) you can choose the bespoke service and Master Cheloni will create your own personal fragrance for you. Creating an original perfume”, says Master Cheloni, “is like constructing the biography of an individual: it cuts the present in half like a tree to read the circles of life that represent years, happenings, emotions. We are taken back in time and then we return with a new sense of pleasure on having been called to remember with awareness.” I’m sold!!
Aqua Flor is a must for perfume lovers so if you have the opportunity, seek it out at 6, Via Borgo Santa Croce, 50122 Florence