Home > Beauty & Grooming > World’s oldest apothecary Santa Maria Novella opens its first concept store in Hong Kong
World’s oldest apothecary Santa Maria Novella opens its first concept store in Hong Kong

The 800-year-old pharmacy sets up shop in Harbour City and celebrates eight centuries of tradition with eight body care collections.

Whether you’re looking for simple painkillers or Catherine de Medici’s favourite perfume, word of mouth says the best place to go is The Officina Profumo — Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy. Founded in 1221, it is one of the world’s oldest pharmacies, at one time even making treatments for the Black Death. Just over 800 years later, the Florentine company has expanded to Harbour City in Hong Kong.

The age-old apothecary got its start in the 12th century when Dominican friars were granted the use of Santa Maria Inter Vineas, where they cultivated a botanical garden of herbs and plants to craft medicines, ointments and balms. Today, Santa Maria Novella’s beauty confections are still made from natural ingredients according to ancient formulas.

The original Santa Maria Novella museum store in Florence, Italy

To understand Santa Maria Novella’s cult following, you’ll first have to make your way to the original location in Florence — which, by the way, is not simply a shopfront but also a café, museum and tourist destination. Visitors can check out their favourite fragrances, soaps and personal care products in the shopping area; take a break in the majestic tea room; and view historical artefacts including pharmaceutical pottery and original soap machines in the museum.

For those of us who can’t afford the flight tickets or days off to visit Italy on a whim, the Hong Kong location offers a sound solution. The new concept store references the Green Room of the original Santa Maria Novella museum for you to immerse yourself in the timeless elegance of the Renaissance era.

The new Santa Maria Novella concept store in Hong Kong

And now, to celebrate 800 years of tradition, Santa Maria Novella has created eight body care collections based on eight Eau de Colognes of the Firenze 1221 Edition. Standouts include the Melograno and the Pot Pourri collections, each comprising their own Eau de Cologne in two sizes, a Bath & Body Line and a Home Fragrance.

The Firenze 1221 Edition Melograno collection

Santa Maria Novella, Shop 2408, Level 2, Harbour City, 2 Gateway Boulevard, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 5998 5417

World’s oldest apothecary Santa Maria Novella opens its first concept store in Hong Kong

Charmaine Ng


Charmaine enjoys eating steamed broccoli and knocking back cups of spearmint tea, all in the name of health. Covering art, beauty and music :)


Sign up for our newsletters to have the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Yes, I agree to the Privacy Policy

Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.