Post by TinaG
We’ve recently returned from an amazing trip to South Korea – Portia, Jin, Kath, Matt and I travelled around for about two weeks having an absolute ball in a wonderful & welcoming country. Before we left, I had a few chats and did some research on what fragrances I may have access to that I wouldn’t normally get my hands on in Australia. One of the names which came up was Santa Maria Novella, which I happily discovered has a flagship store in Seoul.
“Officina Profumo – Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella” is one of the world’s oldest pharmacies. Originally established in Florence, Italy in 1221 by Dominican Friars, who created herbal potions and remedies for use in their monastery, the pharmacy was opened up to the public in 1612. The original Florence pharmacy still stands, with all of their products continuing to be hand made at their Florence factory site utilising old recipes and classic artisanal methods.
The South Korean store in Seoul is located near pretty Dosan Park in an upmarket shopping district within Gangnam-Gu. We were greeted and kindly looked after by the shop hostesses. I made a beeline for the colognes whilst Portia explored all of the other wonderful goodies on display.
From Fragrantica: Santa Maria Novella is one of the oldest pharmacies in the world. It was opened in Florence, Italy in 1612, taking the formulas of Dominican friars that originate from 13th century.
Their products are all the types of things you may expect to find in an apothecary: high quality and beautifully presented soaps, fragrances, herbal extracts and essences, side by side with more modern home items such as wax candles and dog & cat grooming collection. I could so easily have stayed there for hours on end, but I did manage to get my nose to a fair few bottles including the recently released Alba de Seoul which had a refreshing pine needle note, a nod to the cultural importance of the South Korean pine trees. I wished I could have taken more home, but I decided to treat myself to a full bottle of ….
Muschio by Santa Maria Novella
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Musk, powdery notes
Muschio is a really gorgeous comforting scent and has quickly become my go-to fragrance this winter. Although technically a cologne, Muschio isn’t one of those which can be splashed on liberally or needs refreshing every couple of hours – there is no need as it has very good longevity and silage. On opening there is a predominant puff of musk with slightly woody undertones, a touch of vanilla and a ghost of lemon hovering over the top. The musk is nothing animalic but it light and airy. The dry white wood in the background keeps it from being overly candy-shop sweet, giving it a lovely powdery feel. It doesn’t change appreciably in dry down, although the musk softens and the woods become more prominent. I also get a cinnamon-stick note, spicy wood without the peppery kick, adding to the warmth.
The visit to Santa Maria Novella was a fragrant highlight of a fantastic holiday. I’m so glad I purchased Muschio, it holds a dozen happy memories for me along with the continued enjoyment of a really fabulous cologne.
Do you have a fragrant holy-grail location that you’ve managed to visit, or wish to? Here are some pics of mine.