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Did you know that perfume was born in Florence?

Here's a fun fact you might not yet know

Our sense of smell triggers many subconscious instincts in us and is the strongest sense at retrieving memory with the subtle power to transport and transform our perception. Little wonder then that perfume and aftershave are one of the most popular gifts for our loved ones and ourselves.

Historically man has always used scents to mask or enhance our own body smell, but let us tell you one thing you probably didn't know. The modern version of perfume is widely thought to have originated in France, but the man who took perfume to Paris was originally from Florence.

Inside the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella
Inside the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella - Credit: Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella

In 1533 Catherine de’ Medici, engaged to the king of France, travelled to Paris and took her personal perfumier, Renato Bianco, with her. Renato specialised in making perfume and opened the first ever perfume shop in Paris. He developed fragrances mainly as ‘potions’ to attract love.

It was also rumoured that he also sold perfumes and poisons to get rid of unwanted attentions too. This is not unusual – the art of perfume making derives straight from the secret and mysterious world of Alchemy. Renato brought the fashion of perfumed gloves to Paris and this fashion soon spread all over the world making the use of perfume practical and stylish at the same time.