Polvere Per Bianchire le Carni by Santa Maria Novella


Post by Val the Cookie Queen


The company, we´ll call it the SMN Pharmacy, was founded in 1612. I am sure most of you know of their stunning fragrances but maybe not the skin care and other things that they offer, including shampoos and deodorants for your pets! The SMN Pharmacy in Florence is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever been into. You enter through a most unassuming door and it opens up into a multi-roomed Aladdin´s cave.


Santa Maria Novella Ceiling ValPhoto Donated Val CQ

They have candles, liqueurs, teas, supplements and even ceramics. I seriously wanted to buy everything!

The store is also a favourite of Neela Vermeire from Neela Vermiere Créations. I purchased the almond hand cream, highly praised by Birgit from Olfactoria´s Travels and the Polvere Per Bianchire le Carni recommended by the immaculate sales assistant. It is a natural facial scrub, or perhaps a delicate facial exfoliator is a better description. At 20 euros it was quite affordable.

Polvere Per Bianchire le Carni by Santa Maria Novella

Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Firenze

Polvere per bianchire le carni Santa Maria Novella ValPhoto Donated Val CQ

That´s ground up orris root, a little rice powder, and a touch of fragrance to you and me, not to forget a little lupin if I read the box correctly. I am sure the Medicis themselves probably used it. It certainly can´t have changed much in the last 400 years. It is 105 grammes of legal white powder in an utterly gorgeous cardboard box. Enough for a lifetime!

It smells lovely but I cannot for the life of me describe the smell. It is so unique that I could pick the product out in a blind test. Very simple to use. You take yourself out about a teaspoonful, not heaped and mix it with a little water. Massage onto a damp face and rinse off. Take out more than a teaspoonful and mix it to a paste and use it as a mask. As simple as that. Your skin will be beautifully soft and ready for moisturizing. It leaves the skin quite luminous and with regular use would probably lighten the skin a little. Which is perfect
if you are looking for an alternative to arsenic.

As I understand it you cannot order online. They do however have shops on 5 continents, and many multibrand stores where their products are sold. Do take a look at their homepage to see if there is one near you. If you are ever in Florence it is an absolute must see.

Have a good week APJ Peeps.


28 thoughts on “Polvere Per Bianchire le Carni by Santa Maria Novella

  1. Hello CQ
    Yes, that building is jaw dropping! As is the aloofness of the sales assistants!
    It’s offputting that you have to ask for anything you want to try. I never saw this powder, but now I must return to buy some.
    Any excuse really..


    • Hi Jackie! The sales assistants were totally amazing. They let me try everything I asked for first, advised me, and were absolutely charming. I guess they can´t leave everything out on the tables for the hordes to try, It would kind of take away the medieval ambience! I actually asked for a facial scrub and this is what they offered me. Ground up iris. How could I say no? xxx


  2. Val, I walked past the shop on Piccadilly once again last week but still haven’t gone in. Now I’m afraid to because I think I would also want to buy everything in there too.

    The store in Florence looks amazing.


  3. Hi there Val,
    I love your posts, I always feel like we are just having a chat and you’re relating a story. Like being with you in your kitchen.
    We went to the SMN store in Korea. Pretty much EXACTLY the same. I wish I’d known about this product then. I may have to snoop a store in the USA this week.
    Portia xx


  4. Hey Val! They have so many gorgeous products. I love their stores and one time I will not be so overwhelmed and might cave and buy something. This sounds amazing. Xo


    • As I said above, they could not have been more helpful. It is the only store I have ever been in. But now that I know there is one in Piccadilly. 😉


    • Hey Sun Mi Fontaine! Totally cool to see you here. I have only tried the two products but they are both lovely. Is use the hand cream on my elbows. Now I have 18 year old elbows on a 55 year old body. Hahahahaha. Seriously – the handcart is gorgeous stuff.
      Bussis. Val xxxx


  5. I am all in favour of a bit of magic dust – I mean powder – especially if it contains lupin. Big fan of lupins. I once said to my best friend at school, who had failed to identify the flower: ‘Why, I was brought up on lupins!’ and it has been a catchphrase of ours ever since.


  6. Hi Val. You got my interest. I love your line about this being an alternative to arsenic! LOL Now excuse me while I go check where other SMN Pharmacys are.


    • Hi Elizabeth! I have not tried them but they look absolutely gorgeous in their beautiful bottles. Neela Vermeire from NVC says that they are wonderful. So I am sure they are!
      Good seeing you here! xxxx


  7. I’m glad I don’t have a store like that nearby. I’m such a product junkie it would be bad for the wallet.
    I think Portia should pack you in the suitcase and bring you along too.


  8. Hi Cookie!
    I second Poodle on this one. I would be in big trouble if Santa Maria Novella was anywhere near Seattle! I think I’m safe for now? Wait! Brad just informed me that there is a shop that carries SMN in Seattle. Essenza near Fremont. Not one of the main stores but a retailer. Oh dear, I doomed.
    Azar xx


  9. Hello Cookie Queen,

    I have not as yet tried any SMN perfumes, and am rather behind in my milestones in that I have never ventured out of Queensland and been overseas (at 53…!). That pharmacy in Florence looks amazing. What’s wrong with us here in Oz, why don’t we have pharmacies like that?!!

    I have just checked the liqueurs on their website, and they include Elisir Di Rose, Cappuccino Liquore, Liquore Al Cioccolato and six others. They sound wonderful.


    • Hi there Tourmaline! I can only guess that there are no pharmacies like SMN in Oz because Florence is in Italy! Sad but true. Maybe it´s time to visit overseas? Travel is so expensive. But if you ever make it to Europe …… let me know! Thanks for dropping by.
      Bussis CQ xxx


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