From the most intrinsic Florentine tradition to which Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is faithfully dedicated, comes the new line of Eau de Parfum 'Medici Gardens'.
Four essential and refined fragrances: Iris, Bizzarria, Gelsomino and Magnolia, are the references that bring back to life some of the rarest Medici botanical species.
"For us, this is a dream that we are finally realizing. Four unique olfactory stories, which have the power to connect the Officina to its most intimate soul", says GianLucaPerris, CEO and maitre parfumeur of the Florentine maison.
The Medici and botany
Known throughout the world for the refined level of erudition of which they are the undisputed symbol, during the Renaissance period the Medici family influenced the world not only in matters of art, music and architecture, but also in terms of botany.
With their way of living they introduced a new architectural philosophy which saw the establishment of a strong correlation between people, nature and architecture.
Among others, their interpretation of the garden deviated from the more usual functional conception at the time: they sowed to cultivate beauty and with the pure pleasure of contemplating it, consciously forgetting fruits and flowers destined for the kitchen; they were also the first to cultivate citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons and bergamots 'in conca', or large terracotta pots, which later became archetypes of the Tuscan art of living.
As evidence, in 2013 UNESCO recognized the gardens of fourteen Tuscan Medici Villas among the masterpieces of world heritage; the Medici, in fact, experimented with botany in the large country villas built between the 15th and 17th centuries.
The new Santa Maria Novella line: a return to the roots
To develop the four new references of the 'Medici Gardens line, the scientific team of Santa Maria Novella worked meticulously, through a philological approach of meticulous reconstruction which allowed the Florentine maison to trace the origins of some specific varieties of flowers and plants, whose history is intertwined precisely with that of the Medici.
In particular, the line draws inspiration from Villa Medicea di Castello and Villa Medicea La Petraia.
L'Iris, which was Officina's first Eau de Parfum to debut in 2022, represents the essence of time itself. The name, which is that of one of the most appreciated outside and present in many cultures, has become a symbol of the city of Florence since the victory of the Guelphs in 1266. We are therefore dealing with an icon.
For her, Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella has created an intimate and strong-willed fragrance.
Top notes of galbanum, Timur pepper and neroli meet geranium, magnolia champaca and jasmine sambac in the heart. At the base, moss and grey' amber, but above all the concrete of Florentine iris. An incredibly precious raw material, obtained after six years of decantation from the rhizomes of iris flowers grown on the Florentine hills.
La Bizzarria is an ode to singularity. The fragrance bears the name of a very rare natural periclinal chimera of bitter orange, cedar and lemon. Cultivated by the Medici family in the exceptional greenhouses they tended in the 17th century, it was noticed for the first time in 1644. Having disappeared for a long time, it was rediscovered in 1980 among the botanical curiosities of Villa Medicea di Castello.
The olfactory architecture of Bizzarria Eau de Parfum fascinates with timur pepper and the ambiguous and unmistakable sweetness of neroli. It continues by describing its polytropic qualities with the heart notes of absolute orange blossom , davana and ginger . At the base, cedar wood and moss.
Jasmine brings with it a long-lived history: it arrived from Goa in 1688 as a gift for Cosimo III De' Medici; it was a particular variety, with an unusually high number of petals per flower, more like a small rose than a classic jasmine.
'Jasmine of Goa', now also known as 'Gelsomino del Granduca', soon became the favorite of Cosimo, Grand Duke of Tuscany at the time. He was so fascinated by it that he forbade its cultivation: only his group of botanists and experts were allowed to properly perpetuate this magnetic and intriguing species. They did it with care, in a secret greenhouse specially built in the Medici Villa of Castello: the "Stufa dei Mugherini".
The bold olfactory construction of Gelsomino Eau de Parfum brings this story into our daily lives: bergamot, mandarin and pink pepper welcome us in the top notes. In the heart, the mystery is revealed with the absolute of jasmine sambac, geranium and ylang ylang. Finally, it opens fully with cedarwood and musk.
The prodigious flower of the Magnolia Grandiflora conquers twice: at first sight and then with its fragrance. It is a majestic evergreen tree whose traces can be found as far back as prehistoric times. An imposing specimen of Magnolia Grandiflora adorns the facade of the Villa Medicea di Castello: the species arrived in Florence in the 18th century and was soon cultivated in the properties of the Medici family.
Magnolia Eau de Parfum embraces all these characteristics with a powerful opening on white rose and geranium. It expresses its complex depth with a heart of magnolia grandiflora, paired with absolutes of magnolia champaca and jasmine sambac. At the base, amber and moss give the final touch.
The immersive experience
The reference to the fascinating Medici way of life was also an inspiration for Santa Maria Novella in the conception of an immersive experience through which to get to know the new line up close. From 12 June to 12 November 2023 the museum spaces of the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica of Santa Maria Novella (Florence) will in fact host the installation Blooming in Paradise, designed by the artist Felice Limosani on commission from the maison.
To welcome the visitor, a paradisiacal situation: thanks to the extraordinary contribution of digital art and augmented reality, we find ourselves immersed in an environment in constant bloom, where the lights and an evocative soundtrack play to involve the observer, who during the visit is enveloped in a suspended fragrance.
The line of Eau de Parfum 'I Giardini Medicei' is enriched by an elegant 'coffret-book' with illustrations and graphic motifs taken from the historic archives of the maison. Once the perfume is removed, a double-bottomed box is revealed, to be reused as a jewelery box.
Each Eau de Parfum is also part of the Firenze 1221 edition, which masterfully reinterprets some of Officina's most popular preparations, and is available in 50 ml and 100 ml formats.