Since 1221, when Dominican Friars began making remedies for their monastery, Santa Maria Novella has maintained its dedication to natural ingredients. The monks’ prestigious reputation spread over the territory, and by the 1600s, the pharmacy opened its doors in Florence. Centuries later their products continue to attract beauty connoisseurs for their practical simplicity and elegance. More on beauty and body care.
“Our creations are rich in botanical substances, with beneficial active ingredients. Santa Maria Novella products have a well thought out reason for being,” said Jon Bresler, CEO/president of LAFCO/Santa Maria Novella.Now found in cities throughout the world, the appeal of each product varies according to the location, climate, and cultural preferences, but several must-have items are indispensable in every alcove. We take a look at some of the firm’s most coveted creations.
This is the essential summer cream for sunburned skin. Made from the healing marigold flower, which is considered nature’s best natural anti-inflammatory agent, along with flavonoids, essential fatty acids, and almond oil essence, this cream moisturizes, replenishes and soothes damaged skin.
Pasta di Mandorle
Reputed as the first product made by the Dominican monks, this multipurpose almond paste is perfect for dry patches. Made with almond oil, egg yolk, virgin beeswax, grape seed oil and glycerin, the paste offers hydration properties that moisturize and balance skin tone while reducing age spots.
Aetus Salubris Regenerative Serum
The regenerative serum from the brands’ Aetus Salubris is one of the firm’s newer products. Stem cells from rare Swiss Apples, which have the ability to heal themselves, provide an anti-aging cream that softens and brightens while reducing and diminishing fine lines, wrinkles, and puffy eyes.
Recommended for dry, sensitive skin, the Vellutina bar is packed with elastin, jojoba oil, collagen and coconut oil. Each bar is hand pressed using 19th-century equipment and aged for 60 days in ventilated cabinets. The soap boasts exfoliating properties to stimulate skin cell regeneration.
Santa Maria Novella Pot-Pourri
Each batch of pesticide-free flowers and herbs are collected from the Florentine hills and soaked in essence in enormous terracotta jars. The jars are sealed with wax and aged for months. The end result is a uniquely different product: this potpourri is moist.
Santa Maria Novella also creates a variety of colognes. Although the scents are unisex, some definitely take on a feminine or masculine feel. Also, according to skin chemistry, colognes could have different effects on individuals. Finding a favorite shouldn’t be too difficult a task since the label offers a vast selection. Two particularly popular these days are the Cuba Cologne and the Honeysuckle (CAPRIFOGLIO) Cologne. The Cuba Cologne carries a masculine scent that mixes tobacco, honey, and leather, while the best-selling Honeysuckle cologne is sweet and sensuous with bergamot, jasmine and lemon, a joyous fragrance that appeals mostly to women. ■