Posts Tagged ‘Santa Maria Novella’

What’s the Best Thing You’ve Bought Abroad?

Friday, March 18th, 2011

Needing no introduction...

I used to have a drawer in which I kept all beloved travel mementos: tickets, brochures, restaurant receipts—tiny evidence of things seen and done. Alas, like all things seen and done, those precious trinkets now share space with my sports bras and long underwear—tiny evidence of really cool shit I used to have time to indulge in.

But one thing remains. And it is a thing in the fullest sense of the word, a full-fledged elegant reminder of my honeymoon in Florence. One glass flacon of Santa Maria Novella Latte Per Il Corpo sits proudly displayed on my dresser, nearly six years old now—so old in fact, that its handmade label has slipped off the thin ivory paper box it came in, leaving behind a bright yellow square.

The Santa Maria Novella pharmacy, supplier to kings, happened to be directly across from our hotel in Florence. I can’t remember the hotel’s name but the musty, golden pharmacy interior is as fresh as the October morning I spent inside it. They made so many beautiful things. Almond soap and meade-colored perfumes, lotions and creams and oils of every conceivable consistency.

But the Latte Per Il Corpo, made just for women and costing nearly $80 EURO, stole my heart. Maybe it was the glass bottle or the gold leaf lettering. Maybe it was the powder scent, which I never would’ve loved in the States. Or maybe it was being newly married to a king of my own, walking down a shady, uneven lane in Florence that made the creamy liquid seem like just the way to remember the moment forever.

No matter, I brought it home. And now I dole it out in single pours, summer after summer, as if I can somehow seal in the way I felt there. What are you still keeping—in your drawer, close to your heart?