Florence, Anno Domini 1200. The Dominican friars arrived in town and began to grow the medicinal herbs needed to prepare medicines for the convent in the gardens adjacent Santa Maria Novella. And so the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella is born, a global perfume industry leader, headed, since 1989, by Eugenio Alphandery. One wonders if the brothers ever imagined that some of their recipes would continue to be reproduced to this day. For example, Acqua di Santa Maria Novella, originally Acqua della Regina. It’s this fresh and citrusy bouquet that Catherine de ‘Medici wore in 1533 on her wedding day to Henry II of Valois, enchanting the entire French court. And it’s just one of the many specialties of this ancient artisan perfumery, which now has more than 60 boutiques worldwide.