Saturday, October 23, 2010

World's Oldest Pharmacy

While spending 3 weeks in Italy, I was delighted to be able to visit the Farmacia de Santa Maria Novella, in Florence. The Dominican fathers arrived in Florence in 1221, and shortly after, founded the pharmacy. Originally, the herbs and flowers grown in the monastery garden were used to make medications, balms and creme, that were used in the monastery infirmary. The current store is a room adjacent to the original monastery pharmacy and infirmary.

As early as 1381, it is noted historically that the farmacia sold rose water as a disinfectant. In 1612, it was officially founded, and recognized, as a pharmacy. Its medications were famed as far away as China and India.

Today, there is little to mark the entrance to the Farmacia ~ just a small sign in the window. No wares are displayed. It is still part of the original monastery. The five rooms open to the public are incredibly fragrant, as one would expect with 400 years worth of floral perfumes and ointments being made on site!

There are many stories associated with the pharmacy; including the origins of the Eau de Cologne. This was originally crafted here for Caterina de Medici. She later took this formultion with her to France.

Today, there are many aromatic perfumes still sold here, and, are based on the original formulations going back to the 1500's. In addition,there are a wide variety of lotions and cremes. The original formulas were studied and catalogued, and were surprisingly up to date in their ingredients.

Today, the business is still active and sells its wares at select outlets worldwide. Merchandise is based on natural, pesticide free plant material and production is the same as was used 400 years ago. Production is limited, and quality control is strict.

The Farmacia has many of the ancient "tools of the trade" on display in Florence. There are
scales, thermometers, pestles, and bottles designed by Leonardo da Vinci.
For this aromatherapist, it was the highlight of Florence!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

New Catalog & New Website Coming!

Just a "heads up" about a new website and catalog coming soon! Business has been evolving, and I am concentrating on product development. The new website will be products only....and hopefully, within a short period of time, will include a shopping cart so that you can shop online!
All of the new products (which in some cases are just improvements and refinements of old favorites) will also be in my new catalog.
Expected time frame for the website and catalog: six weeks. Maybe less!
Any feedback or suggestions are, as always, appreciated!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Product Update

I have decided to make my products as organic as possible. For some of them, this means entirely organic....for others, the largest percentage possible is organic.
True organic products, without chemicals of any sort, are practically impossible to find. Of course, most manufacturers make hundred of bottles of a product, and, those products can spend weeks or months on a shelf or in a truck before even reaching the store. Those products have to be made with preservatives of some sort to assure that they are safe to use after a possibly long period of time. All of my products are hand crafted, in small batches, and made fresh. When you purchase from me, the product has likely only been around hours, days, or, at the most, a few weeks. The natural preservatives that I do use (natural Vitamin E) assures these products are OK for probably a year. Unless you leave them in the sun, or something. At least when they leave me, I know (and you know) they are FRESH!
LIP BALMS are now all organic!! As is my GARDENERS HAND SALVE! (both fragrances ~ Lavender/Rosemary and Lemongrass/Patchouli.) My new MASSAGE OIL is 100% ORGANIC!! It is a blend of organic sunflower and organic hemp oil. (Unscented, this is an outstanding product for babies.)
Shower gels (available in LIME, ORANGE, or GRAPEFRUIT are ORGANIC. Foaming Hand Soap is ORGANIC. Available in Lavender, Lemon/Vanilla/Peppermint, and Orange/Lavender/Patchouli.
Even my glycerin Bar Soap has gone ORGANIC.
Be good to yourself. Treat your skin with care.