In business since 1612, this exquisite perfumery-pharmacy began life when Santa Maria Novella’s Dominican friars began to concoct cures and sweet-smelling unguents using medicinal herbs cultivated in the monastery garden. The shop, with an interior from 1848, sells fragrances, skincare products, ancient herbal remedies and preparations for everything from relief of heavy legs to improving skin elasticity, memory and mental energy.
It also sells teas, herbal infusions, liqueurs and scented candles. A real treasure, the shop has touchscreen catalogues and a state-of-the-art payment system, yet still manages to ooze vintage charm. After a day battling crowds at the Uffizi or Accademia, you might just want to come here for a cup of carefully prepared tea in its Tisaneria (Tearoom) or to buy a bottle of Aqua di Santa Maria Novella, one of the pharmacy’s oldest herbal concoctions, taken to cure hysterics since 1614.