Aquaflor: A Perfume Legacy
A contemporary Florentine perfumery carries on the spirit of the Renaissance.
“At Aquaflor, we want the customer to stop and smell the various fragrances, to live in an atmosphere where all the senses have their own space.”
Tucked away among the streets of Santa Croce, Florence, is a palazzo entrance leading to a hall with rows of glittering glass bottles. This is how guests experience Aquaflor Firenze, a traditional Florentine perfumery founded by Mauro Arena.
In today’s world, where most perfumeries are commercialized to meet market demands, Aquaflor Firenze remains traditional and true to the spirit of the Renaissance, a time in which craftsmen strove to perfect their art.
But being true to tradition comes with a cost.
“Rare and delicate essence may not always be available, and that makes stable production impossible,” Arena says. “You either remain small or succumb to the global market and its insatiable appetites. We chose to remain small.”
Aquaflor’s head perfumer, Nicola Bianchi, is the perfect artisan to carry out the company’s vision. Long before his internship with the International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) in France, Bianchi was mentored by his father and family, who for generations were masters in the world of essences.