Discovering Florence’s 2019 ‘Fragrance Paths’

An exclusive event for the elite of the perfume industry has taken to the streets, and will fill Florence with its intoxicating fragrances from September 13 – 15. 

Perfume designers, curators, connoisseurs and aficionados will convene in Florence for the 2019 installment of Pitti Fragranze, a three-day cosmetic industry exhibition scheduled from Friday to Sunday at the Stazione Leopolda. While the trade show itself is open only to buyer and the press, residents and visitors of all ages are invited to participate in Firenze – La Città delle Fragranze (Fragrance Paths), a diverse array of interactive events, fragrance workshops and beauty product showcases throughout the city. Offered for the second time, a map and itinerary of events is available for participants to plan their olfactory journey across Florence. Most are free and open to the public, with the exception of a few food events.  

Antica Erboristeria San Simone, once ancient pharmacy of the Santa Maria Nuova hospital, and now one of the most historic stores in Florence specializing in perfumes and cosmetics, has organized three thematic events for everyday of Pitti Fragranze. Visitors who wish to transform into the vibe of forest can learn how to mix wood scents by attending “Journey in the precious woods” on Sept. 13 (3 pm – 4:30 pm – 6 pm) and compare and recognize scents of silk wood, bamboo and rare agarwood in combinations. On Saturday, Sept.14 (3 pm – 4:30 pm – 6 pm ) visitors will create their own “Colors of the Rainbow” perfume. The expert will show how to connect the different scents and link it to the colors of the rainbow in order to create the perfect aroma for an individual’s choice. This workshop requires reservation and open to children. For more historical and fruity smell people can choose to visit the store on Sunday, Sept 15. at 11 am for “The Rose of the 4th Century” and learn everything about the history of ancient rose cultivation near Paestum and its unique scent, followed by a creation of a rose perfume (Via Ghibellina 190r; reservations for all three of the events can be made at at 055.0517646 or

 On Friday, the ones who desire to connect with nature through the sense of smell are welcome to visit “Being Landscape.” The event, on the program of  the God is Green Festival currently being held at the Manifattura Tabacchi, will host Ernesto Collado, CEO and founder of Bravanari, who will share his experiences linked to the aromatic essence of incredible natural landscapes (Via delle Cascine 33-35; Friday, Sept. 13 at 7 pm).

Perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi invites fashionistas to understand and experience scents and receive a gift at the end of a free tour at his perfume museum, Museo Villoresi.  During the visit, he will describe the myths, legends and transformation of aromatic substances and give a “behind the scenes insight into the world of perfume” (Via de ‘Bardi 12; Sept. 13 -14 at 2:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 6 pm, Sept. 15 at 11 am and 2:30 pm; reservations at 055 2340715,

On Saturday, the Fashion and Costume Museum of Palazzo Pitti will host a sensory tour of the exhibition “A Short Novel on Men’s Fashion,” exploring changes that have taken place during the 30 years of men’s fashion and evolution of men’s cologne. Elisabetta Invernici will lead a tour where visitors will have a chance to challenge their sense of smell by experiencing scents of men’s cologne, which can complement or spoil the image of men’s fashion (Saturday, Sept. 14 at 11 am; reservations at 

The Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy is another of the oldest pharmacies and laboratory that keeps ingredients and recipes with centuries old practices still operating in Florence. The Pharmacy, which uses raw materials of the highest quality following the artisan procedures of the Dominican friars, invites people for a free guided tour in two languages. (Friday, Via della Scala 16, 9:30 am guided tour in Italian,10:30 am guided tour in English; booking at

People who miss the smell and warm feeling of Christmas can go to Unique Fragrance Theater and experience the new Christmas Collection scent paired with gourmet flavor of petite truffle sandwiches (Saturday, Sept. 14 6:30 – 8:30pm  in Via de ‘Tornabuoni 64r; reservations at 055.4212240). 

The perfect way to spend the last day of Pitti Fragranze is to smell the freshly, delicate aroma of roses in the Rose Garden at Piazzale Michelangelo. The Marginalia Cultural Association offers a guided tour  of history, color and cultivation of roses on Sept. 15 (reservations at 366.4475991 or; €10 participation fee).

Visitors can also attend a series of themed tastings at Florentine restaurants. Obicà restaurant and pizzeria will host an innovative sensory dinner on Sept. 13-15 (€ 30 fee per person)  in the historic courtyard of Palazzo Tornabuoni (via Tornabuoni 16), presenting special menu available for both lunch and dinner in collaboration with famous Sicilian perfumer Antonio Alessandria. On Saturday, historical pharmacy of Florence, Santissima Annunziata Pharmacy offers appetizers and drinks inspired by perfumes and cosmetics of an ancient pharmacy (Sept. 14t in the Via dei Servi 80r). Wine tasting and aperitif will be offered at the Ristorante Boutique Vetreria, where visitors will discover the new Aqua Dos Açores – Atlantic Ocean, meant to express the essence of the waters around the Azores (Via del Proconsolo 30; reservations at 335.7715910 or  Both the perfume and its packaging are sustainable and eco-friendly.

The multitude of activities and events of La Città delle Fragranze (Fragrance Paths)  showcase Florence’s rich history of fashion, art, and cuisine. Visit the for event details and calendar. (maria filatova/additional reporting by leigh van ryn)