Pot pourri? I know, never thought I could be persuaded. Untill last weekend when I went to Abigail Ahern’s masterclass – her house is incredible, by the way, and definitely worth a visit.
As soon as I walked in I noticed fragrance that was present all around the house. It wasn’t clear what it was. It was complex and pleasant. At the end of the session she opened a container with the most amazing pot pourri. It’s nothing like your usual cheap stuff – it was a mixture of natural herbs, leaves and even berries.
The pot pourri is made by an Italian company Santa Maria Novella, based in Florence. If only I knew when I visited Florence in September!
“The Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy is probably the oldest still-operating pharmacy in the world, and certainly the oldest in Italy. It was established in 1221, when the Dominican monks from the adjacent Basilica of Santa Maria Novella began growing herbs to make balms, salves and medicines for their infirmary. The superior quality of their products became widely known, and in the 17th century, the pharmacy opened its doors to the public.
The pharmacy itself is housed in the extraordinary original building, the rooms of which are complete with vaulted ceilings, ornate gilding, frescoes, walnut cabinetry, glass-stoppered decanters full of colorful potions, marble floors, glass-stained windows, bronze statues, and antique apothecary scales and mortars.” I found this short history on http://www.atlasobscura.com.
The company uses all natural herbal ingredients and some products are still produced according to practically unchanged formulas.
There are several branches in London, one in Kensington, 117 Walton Street, and another branch opened at Piccadilly Arcade in 2009 . There you will find beautifully packaged lotions, perfumes, eaux de colognes and soaps, an this is where I headed to buy my own pot pourri.
I have put it in little pots and tea light holders around the house and the smell is definitely noticeable. I am pleased! Apparently it also lasts for quite a while – up to a year.