Last year, I went on a trip to the Old World and found some incredible things, including Santa Maria Novella, a perfumery whose history goes back centuries. It just goes to show you that businesses aren't just start-ups that can succeed or fail at a drop of a hat, it can be something that endures.
|Image credit: Aaron Graubart|
Just a few steps from the city’s main train station sits Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (SMN), a 400-year-old perfume and beauty-product company that grew from the methods Dominican friars once used to cultivate medicinal herbs for a convent infirmary. Though SMN’s operations have expanded past these halls (there’s now a factory just three miles away), the company preserved its original premises, including its vaulted ceilings and frescoes. Still, says commercial director Gianluca Foà, SMN is not “just a museum. We’re an innovative company competing in an international market.” [read more]