29 Sep Florence: The fragrance of leather and incense, wood and chocolate gourmand
A few weeks ago I was in Florence, Tuscany, a city I really love because it reminds me of my adolescence, and my first year’s high school trip in particular.
I have retained deep within me crystal clear images of this city, steeped in art and above all, its fragrance, which as I fondly remember, smelled of wood, leather, chocolate, black pepper and incense.
Thirty years later, I revisited those places with fresh eyes, but its scents… those have remained unchanged.
So come follow me down this unusual path of the senses, if you like.
First stop, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, the oldest church in Florence. Its simple, unfinished facade conceals inside three aisles in plain colors. In these large spaces, the dominant fragrances are a combination of black pepper, lavender and incense. The fragrance that best interprets this mystical feel is 1681 by Carthusia. An Eau de Parfum with a well-defined and mysterious character which I recommend women wear, too.
Next comes a can’t-be-missed visit to the Uffi. In the immense corridors of the precious gallery, you come across the scent of art and seasoned woodwork. The same ones that recall in my olfactory memory the seductive Acqua di Colonia Eva of the Medicina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella where the hint of bergamot in the head notes gives way to the intensity of wood notes and its vetiver base.
After all that walking, let’s head over to the Ponte Vecchio for anything but romantic interests! I remember there was a terrific ice-cream parlor nearby, whose name I no longer recalled. I asked around a bit and there in front of me appeared the Caffé delle Carrozze! My only thought was to immediately order their chocolate mousse with whole hazelnuts.
Another ‘must’ is a stroll around the city center. The scent of leather and handmade items wafts overwhelmingly among the colorful stalls of handbags and accessories in the market, and around the entrance to handcrafted leather goods stores. Perhaps the same scent that inspired James Creed, with his Royal English Leather design of 1781, to perfume his gloves, expressly made for the English Royal Court, with citrus head notes, a gray amber heart and a base of leather and sandalwood.
So, does there infact exist an “olfactory logo” of a place? Surely yes.
Each of us can discover it through own interpretation of our treasured memories.
Go ahead, find it by “smelling” your memories …
Bye for now….Until our next destination!
Alla prossima destinazione!