Parma Perfume Tour - Your True Italy

Discover a centuries old perfume tradition in Parma

Parma Perfume Tour

Written with love by Your True Italy

What do Napoleon’s wife, Franciscan friars, and a flower from Asia have in common?

At least one thing, in fact, they all played a role in the centuries-old perfume traditions thriving in the Parma district.

In 1816 Maria Luigia, daughter of Austria emperor Francesco I and wife of Napoleon Bonaparte moved to Parma and became Duchess of Parma, Piacenza, and Guastalla. She had a passion for botanic and the Parma Violet became her favorite flower. In fact, its color became ubiquitous at her court: clothes, decorations, and even her signature on letters carried this symbol.

Franciscan friars from the nearby Annunziata church conceived a formula for a Parma Violet perfume, made exclusively for the Duchess.

Fast forward to 1870 and Ludovico Borsari, a local barber managed to obtain the formula from the friars. He then started a successful business. In fact, other companies followed suit, and many are still active today, showcasing the essence of made in Italy.

So if you like perfumes, you should add a Parma perfume tour to your Italy travel itinerary!

In Parma, you can visit the Acqua di Parma flagship store and the Antica Farmacia San Filippo Neri with its galenic laboratory dating back to 1789.


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