Arts + Culture

World's Best Bespoke Souvenirs

by Colleen Clark

Perfume in Florence

Legend has it that the first perfumed waters were created in Florence during the Renaissance, and that when native daughter Catherine de' Medici married a Frenchman—the future King of France—she ordered the cultivation of lavender in Provence for her signature scent, Water of the Queen. Florence's aromatic tradition lives on today with Italian aristocrat Lorenzo Villoresi, who has conjured custom scents for the likes of Jackie O. and Madonna. You don't have to be modern-day royalty, however, to book a two- to three-hour consultation in his medieval palazzetto overlooking the Arno. Villoresi explores your personality and your tastes by testing essences from the thousands of small vials on his olive-wood shelves. The result? A signature fragrance fashioned on the spot for you and only you, packaged in a delicate vessel made from traditional Tuscan materials such as Volterra alabaster and Carrara marble.

Lorenzo Villoresi
14 Via de' Bardi
Florence, Italy
Tel: 39 055 2341 187
Custom scents from $5,000, including private consultation and a set of products

Next: The most supportive shop in Paris >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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