Design Field Notes

Your guide to the great indoors

Finds From Far & Wide

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Places & Faces

The Apothecary of Santa Maria Novella, Italy

For those who know the Timothy Oulton brand well you’ll be familiar with the soft odours of frankincense and myrrh that permeates the galleries. Each Timothy Oulton gallery around the world burns the same incense in store, and it compliments the dark spaces and beautifully hand-crafted furniture perfectly. The fragrance I’m referring to is called Santa Maria Novella, named for the oldest pharmacy in the Europe, and the place that it was first created around 400 years ago. The original premises of the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, is beautifully restored to its former splendour and is a must-see if you’re a fragrance nut like me. The building’s vaulted ceilings, hand painted murals, and original pharmacy cabinets and furnishings completely capture the imagination. In continuous business since the 1600’s, the Santa Maria Novella apothecary empire still produces perfumes, soaps and health products, and is stocked in department stores and boutiques internationally. The products are no longer made in the historic building – this is now a museum – but are manufactured just a few blocks down the road. The original recipes still remain the same, with the Santa Maria Novella’s general manager and co-owner, Eugenio Alphadery, meeting this modern day demand by combining “the lessons of the past with the needs of the present”. In a world so driven by consumer choice, it’s certainly special for a brand grounded in such a rich history, to be operating still, with such a unique and memorable product. See below a selection of homewares and furniture choices, inspired by the original Santa Maria Novella pharmacy, to add history and character to your home:

  1. Uocmas Parisian Mirror
  2. Oly Relics, available at Uocmas
  3. Uocmas Jade Trays
  4. Timothy Oulton Double Gyro Chandelier, available at Uocmas
  5. Oly Baptiste Buffet, available at Uocmas
  6. Oly Turned Stone Vessels, available at Uocmas
  7. Oly Milo Armchair, available at Uocmas

Beth

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