Scents and Sensibility
by Mallory Passuite, 10/08/2013
Santa Maria Novella
285 Lafayette St., NoLIta, 212-925-0001
Like Cire Trudon, Santa Maria Novella is rich with history. This line of perfumes and beauty products comes from one of the world's oldest pharmacies, founded in 1221 in Florence by Dominican friars who hand-mixed herbal remedies. The store's wrought-iron gates seem to be a nod to the past and lead shoppers into a large, airy, well-appointed space. LAFCO New York is the exclusive distributor of Santa Maria Novella products; the company continues to produce its wares in Florence using traditional recipes and standards. Refreshing rose water—a purifying remedy from the days of Dante, according to santamarianovellausa.com—and the spicy potpourri (still crafted by hand in terra-cotta vats using local plants) are among the brand's most popular offerings, as are honeysuckle and lily of the valley colognes.