The Fragrance Path of ‘Città delle Fragranze’

An exclusive event for the elite of the perfume industry has taken to the streets, filling this Renaissance city with its intoxicating fragrances from September 14 – 16.

Perfume designers, curators, connoisseurs and aficionados will convene in Florence for the 2018 installment of Pitti Fragranze, a three-day cosmetic industry exhibition taking place from Friday to Sunday at the Stazione Leopolda. While the trade show itself is closed to the public, 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 first time, a map and itinerary of events is available for participants to plan their olfactory journey across Florence. All are free and open to the public, with the exception of a few dinners where reservations are also needed.

Filippo Sorcinelli Parfums has organized two sensational events described as “a journey into spirituality.” The first will stimulate attendees’ senses with words and readings by abbot Bernardo Francesco Gianni on Sept. 14 in the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte (9 pm).  The second will link music and smell on Sept. 15 by presenting a new perfume in the context of a recital featuring a pianist and a soprano at Palazzo Capponi (via de ‘Bardi 36, within the famous halls where director Ridley Scott filmed the 2001 thriller Hannibal); reservations required at

Fitting seamlessly into this year’s integration of Pitti Fragranze and urban Florentine culture are the perfumes created by Dr. Fernanda Russo, owner of the herbal remedies store Erboristeria San Simone (via Ghibellina 190) The perfumes in her product line, appropriately named le vie di Firenze, are each inspired by and named after the streets of Florence. On Friday, Sept. 14 Dr. Russo will debut a series of fragrances in conjunction with an aperitivo (cocktail hour) designed to reflect the dominant notes of each perfume and the scents/tastes associated with the street for which it was named. A bartender will be available to mix unique drinks for each attendee according to which scent they prefer: hors d’oeuvres will also be served. On Saturday, Dr. Russo will lead a class in which participants will assume the role of “mixologist for the day” and create their own personalized, one-of-a-kind perfume.

Also on Saturday, September 15, the Italian cosmetic retailer Campomarzio70 will inaugurate its new Florentine Essential Store (via della Condotta 61/67) with a special olfactory installation and fragrance bar dedicated to the sensual and iconic aroma of vanilla. The event will combine taste, smell and sight with the help of flowers, olfactory bells and cocktails all celebrating the essential ingredient.

On Saturday and Sunday, the Fashion and Costume Museum in the Pitti Palace will host a special guided tour (11 am) in which spectacular fashion works will be combined with fragrances and perfumes. Guests can follow Elisabetta Invernici through the sumptuous displays of by designers such as Gucci, Emilio Pucci, and Coco Chanel, all of which are coordinated with corresponding scents. Additionally, two secret corners of the Boboli Gardens normally closed to the public will be open for guests (8:15 am – 6:50 pm) to explore the world of exotic tropical plant species imported from the New World and grown during the Renaissance period.

Other Fragrance Path events include a children’s workshop at the Bardini Garden (Friday, Sept. 14, Costa S. Giorgio 2, 5 pm) titled “Stories of fragrances and the fragrance of stories.” The debut of new essences from creator Olivier Durbano will take place at the Société Anonyme concept store accompanied by a DJ set, drinks and food (Saturday, Via Niccolini 3/f, 7 – 10 pm; reservations at 055.3860084).  On Saturday and Sunday, Lorenzo Villoresi is guiding an explorations into rare and precious raw materials and essences used in perfumes (via de’ Bardi 12, 4 – 5 pm, booking at

If visitors work up an appetite exploring the city, they can appease their hunger at a series of themed tastings at Florentine restaurants. Obicà restaurant and pizzeria will host an innovative sensory dinner on Saturday, Sept. 15 in the historic courtyard of Palazzo Tornabuoni (via Tornabuoni 16), presenting a truffle-inspired menu in collaboration with famous Sicilian perfumer Antonio Alessandria. Other culinary events include a tasting menu dedicated to fragrance at Ora d’Aria restaurant on Sept. 14 at 8 pm. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, cocktails at Locale (via delle Seggiole 12r) will be inspired by Bohoboco fragrances and “Alcoholic Vanilla @ Atrium Bar” hosted by the Four Seasons Hotel Florence (Borgo Pinti, 99) and mixologist Edoardo Sandri (6:30 – 11 pm).

The multitude of activities and events showcase Florence’s rich history of fashion, art, and cuisine. Visit the Pitti Immagine website for event details, calendars, and more.  (leigh van ryn)