August 23, 2011

Online Shops- Do They Diminish The Fascination?

One of my usual stops when I am in Florence is at the Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica Santa Maria Novella. Visiting and shopping there is a ritual of mine, as I always feel such a sense of calm upon entering; the scents are heavenly, and this ritual marks the beginning of a fabulous week time and again.

My favorite products are the Calendula Face Cream (one of the best face creams ever), Crema Viso Protettiva (for sensitive skin), and their potpourri. Other products I buy there are bars of soap (great for gifts), bath salts, and talcum powder, usually in their trademark melograno (pomegranate) scent.

But wait a minute, I can just order these online from their US distributor and have them shipped to my home! I have known this for a while now, but kept telling myself that I still needed to carry all these heavy (because I stock up for at least 6 months...) items back home directly from Florence, usually causing my bulging suitcase to be over the allotted weight limit.

So why the hesitation to just go ahead and order these products online? Does their easy availability from anywhere in the world make them less special? Does taking away the exclusivity make the products any less effective?

Of course the face creams are just as effective- on the other hand, yes, maybe these Italian products become less magic because anyone can buy them, and the allure is taken away a bit. Nevertheless I still adore them. I’ve given in, and am now anxiously waiting for the UPS man to knock on my door. Most probably I’ll still stop at the Farmacia on our next buying trip, just to get that unique feeling, and maybe even pick up a few new items to try.

Above you'll find a few photos of what the Farmacia looks like; and here is a link to some information. This shop is definitely worth a visit when you are in Florence, and will allow you to take a step back in time and imagine yourself back in 15th century Florence.