Few beauty brands can match the cult status and history of Santa Maria Novella. The story begins 800 years ago, when Florentine Dominican monks began experimenting with tinctures, balms, and ointments made from herbs and flowers grown in their monastery’s garden, eventually using their creations to treat patients in their small infirmary. From that beginning, the brand has grown into a global beauty powerhouse. The gentle breeze of an Italian summer evening, bestsellers like Melograno, a delicious pomegranate scent, and distilled rose water (once used to cleanse during the Black Death, now simply to refresh and hydrate the skin) have stood the test of time.
Santa Maria Novella uses only natural raw materials and continues to follow old procedures. Santa Maria Novella still focuses on the art of the herbalist, with all preparations based on traditional herbs and oils. The latest Firenze 1221 bath and body collection, including Tabacco Toscano, a fragrance that combines woody and smoky vanilla notes, pays tribute to Catherine de’ Medici, Queen of France in the 16th century, who used tobacco as a remedy for migraines.
But the secret to the brand’s success lies in more than just the products.
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The stores are a snapshot of the brand’s rich history. The pharmacy in Florence is considered the first in the world. Still drawing crowds, it is a masterpiece of marble, paneled tall cabinets and ornate ceilings with frescoes by great masters of the early Renaissance.
So it makes sense that the cult brand chose the historic Strand Arcade for its second store in Sydney (the first is in Paddington). Dating back to 1892, the listed Victorian-style space has been redesigned by renowned Italian architect Filippo Burresi. Reminiscent of an old pharmacy with ornate wallpaper, chandeliers and glass cabinets, it gives Sydneysiders a taste of the brand’s heritage.
“The Strand represents the historic and artisan heart of Sydney,” said Nick Smart, the founder and CEO of Agence de Parfum, which distributes Santa Maria Novella in Australia. pamphlet. “Santa Maria Novella’s DNA is perfectly emphasized by the historic setting of The Strand’s architecture.”
Like the Paddington boutique, guests can expect the full spectrum of Santa Maria Novella products, which have expanded to include everything from colognes, soaps, laundry products, room fragrances, hair care, oral hygiene, facial and body care to liquors, leather goods, ceramics and a hairdressing line. And for anyone wanting to delve deep into the brand’s history, private masterclasses are available.
Santa Maria Novella Beach Arcade
Shop 26, Ground Floor, 412–414 George Street, Sydney
Mon to Wed 10am-5:30pm
Fri & Sat 10am-5:30pm