Founded in 1412 as a Florentine infirmary, Santa Maria Novella opened to the public 200 years later as an apothecary. Its time-tested bath, body and home products are distributed in the States by fragrance distributor Lafco New York, and this joint shop is the primary place in the city to stock up on the heritage goods. Wrought-iron doors, large pillars and vintage apothecary jars exude an old-world European charm. Peruse indulgent items such as rosewater toners ($28), pomegranate-milk body lotions ($85) and men’s olive-oil–infused shaving foam ($28) laid out on rustic metal tables. Many wares are still made using the brand’s ancient recipes, including cosmetic vinegars ($52) that treat dry skin and dandruff, toothpaste ($20) formulated with Florentine iris root to prevent bleeding in sensitive gums, and secret-recipe potpourri ($35), once used to mask the smell of dead bodies in the dispensary.
Lafco NYC/Santa Maria Novella
|Venue name:||Lafco NYC/Santa Maria Novella||Contact:|
285 Lafayette St
|Cross street:||between E Houston and Prince Sts|
|Opening hours:||Mon–Sat 11am–7pm, Sun noon–6pm|
|Transport:||Subway: B, D, F, M to Broadway–Lafayette St; N, R, W to Prince St|