The first stage of existence of the “Officina” can be traced back to the 1221 when the Domenican friars, arriving in Florence, built their monastery just outside the city gate. Shortly afterwards they began to study and experiment the properties of officinal herbs grown in their gardens next to the monastery. The preparations obtained in this way ( medicaments, balms and ointments) were at first intended for the monastery’s small infirmary, used to keep the friars and other members of the community in good health. In 1612 the pharmacy opened to the public and the Domenicans officially started their commercial activity selling their curative and ephemeral products.
Caterina de’ Medici, the Florentine noblewoman who was crowned Queen of France, was the first “testimonial” of the Dominican brand for whom the friars created the essence that was known as Acqua della Regina – Water of the Queen, today named Water of Santa Maria Novella.
After 400 years of uninterrupted business in the building situated in Via Reginaldo Giuliani tradition is perpetuated and renewed. Raw materials of the highest quality are still used and apothecary father’s artisanal procedures are still followed, yet the company avails itself of modern technology and state of the art equipment.
In order to the tradition, a small vegetable garden has been realized by the factory and its growth follows the rhythm of the nature so visitors will be able to appreciate the fruits of every season.
Today the Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella sells its products not only in Florence but also in the main Italian and European cities. In the U.S.A., Russia, Australia and in far East in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Indonesia.