No, I have not just come back from Italy (on the basis it’s inclemently cold in Europe at the moment I’m thrilled not to be anywhere near it). But when I was in London I bought – Granny-style and, I have to say, totally on my mother’s excellent recommendation – some extremely grown-up potpourri from Santa Maria Novella’s very smart store in the Picadilly Arcade. Before you question my sanity, I promise there isn’t a curled pink wood chipping in sight; we are talking a delicious peppery, woody scent that permeates your home and smells…expensive.
And sadly, it was expensive….but I’m very much working on the basis that as it’s now in humid Singapore it’ll last twice as long as it would in Italy or England (as it won’t dry out as fast).
Santa Maria Novella is a bit of a goldmine in its own right. One of the oldest and earliest Italian pharmacies, it’s been in action since the 1600’s.
They justify the price of their potpourri (£20/S$40 does need some justification) with a lot of chat about it being made from herbs and flowers all grown without pesticides in the Florentine hills, soaked in century-old earthenware jars etc, etc.
Apparently it is also carefully packaged ‘as it has been for centuries’ but as it came in a plastic/foil lined bag I have to say I am ever so slightly skeptical about that part of the story, but love the sound of the rest of it.
You just have to remember to muzz it up from time to time to revive it’s gloriously spicy signature scent.
And like most thing in life, nice things generally do cost money.