When I was living in Florence I loved having Ortigia candles in my apartment. I adore their packaging which caught my eye while in Lungarno Details (and later found Ortigia’s own charming boutique across the Arno). All of their ingredients are native to Sicily, where the company is based, and include blood oranges, cactus, eucalyptus, lemon and grapefruit trees, almonds, pistachios, saffron and olives. Read more about their history here. Ortigia has only a few locations worldwide but luckily there is an on-line shop!
Lungarno Hotels is owned by the Ferragamo family and includes several hotels in Florence and Rome. They have done a magnificent job creating elegant yet inviting hotels and are located in perfect locations for taking leisurely strolls around town. Lungarno Details is the hotel group’s store located on the Arno River. I remember passing by many times on my way to Ponte Vecchio and almost always had to stop in because their window displays were so enticing. The store has a wonderful collection of home accessories and interesting gifts and I saw that they now have an online shop. Of course the selection at the store is much more vast and varied but these limited edition photographs really caught my eye. I love how fabulous and classy these women look sauntering around in one of my favorites cities.
I was so sooo happy to see a nice big brown package arrive at my door yesterday! It was a much-awaited order from Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella located in Florence. If you haven’t heard of this iconic pharmacy you must, must try some of their products.
SMN is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world still producing the same herbal products they’ve made since its official founding by Dominican friars in 1612 (it had been operating privately since 1221). All of the ingredients they use are found in the surrounding hills of Florence. I know a lot of natural products don’t exactly feel luxurious but these products feel and smell wonderful! Some of my favorites are Pot-Pourri Acqua di Colonia (you can also spray this on freshly laundered sheets for something divine!), Santa Maria Novella Acqua di Colonia (also known as “Water of the Queen” since it was made for Catherine de Medici, Queen of France), Sapone alla Mandorla (almond soap that smells like a fresh almond pastry, simply amazing), Olio Dermoprotettivo (body oil that leaves you smelling like you’ve been walking in wildflower fields soaked in the Tuscan sun).
I was incredibly lucky to live right around the corner from their boutique, which is a beauty in itself, while I was living in Florence and I was so relieved to find that Lafco New York imports their products to the States. Phew!
Here are some photos of the gorgeous interior of the pharmacy.
via Alessio Nesi
This is the room you first enter where you can consult with the helpful associates at the front desk. It’s hard to find photos that serve it any justice since it is difficult to also capture the very high and decorated ceiling.
via Alessio Nesi
The adjacent area next to the main room. Here you will find scented candles, potpourri and even some special products for your beloved pets!
via Mr. Rothschildt
The apothecary room where you can find specialized elixirs to ease any ailments. You can also view the ancient tools once used in the glass display cases.
via Alessio Nesi
This is the view from the apothecary room to the courtyard garden to add even more charm to this extraordinary place.
Oooooh! J. Crew just debuted About A Shoe, the first documentary video in a series of three about making their shoes in Florence, Italy. I’m ooohing because I spent last year studying interior design in this very, very special city and all the video shots made me wish very much to be back. (Especially at the end where they’re having espresso at Piazza Ognissanti, my flat was very close!). About A Shoe follows the J. Crew creative team as they visit the shoe mill and watch the incredibly talented Florentine artisans make their shoe dreams come true. I totally agree with Jenna Lyons about how there is an immense sense of pride and integrity when it comes to the craftsmanship tradition in Florence, which has been the center of fine handmade goods for centuries. Italian designers are really the best when it comes to quality and form.
all images via J. Crew